Dolores “Debbie” Reynolds (87) was born on November 25, 1933. She died December 31, 2020 in Boise, ID. She was a life-long resident of Boise and Meridian, having graduated from Meridian High School in 1951.
After high school, Debbie worked at The Telephone Company which earned her enough money to attend University of Oregon in 1953-54. During college, she loved to tell the story about how she used her entrepreneurial spirit to make some extra spending cash by gathering all the girls’ laundry in Henderson Hall and delivering it to the local cleaners for a 10% cut in the action.
During winter break in 1954, a friend asked if she wanted to go on a blind date. She said, “yes,” and that night she met the man who three months later would become her husband. She was with Bob Reynolds for the next 65 years.
Debbie and Bob’s relationship was unique to anyone who knew them. They were absolutely committed to each other; in fact, any story of Debbie must include her beloved Bob. They were married April 10, 1955 and were lifelong soulmates. They were truly devoted to each other. More importantly, they enjoyed each other’s company. Their relationship continued to inspire young people looking for examples of healthy relationships until the day Debbie passed.
After the wedding, the newlyweds moved to Denver so Bob could attend college. Debbie took pride in her ability to support Bob during this time. She worked at The Telephone Company and Prudential Life Insurance Company, and soon their new life emerged.
Their new life included children. When they decided to have a family, Debbie chose to stay home and raise the children. And as she said, “I was fortunate enough to be able to make that choice.”
Debbie had four children, and she endured the death of three of them (Mark, Linda, and Julie, in birth order) with a strength and courage that was inspirational to all who knew her. Even in the face of such great tragedy, she maintained her indomitable spirit.
One of her sources of pride was her ability to create a loving and beautiful home for her family and friends. She has been described by some as the quintessential hostess, and anyone who walked through her door felt welcome. She could always find enough to feed and welcome any number of people at the last minute. She would tell people, “don’t drive by, drive in!”
Speaking of driving, Debbie and Bob loved their fall road trips across this great country. The goal was always the same: travel to all 50 states and visit every state’s capitol. She particularly enjoyed the New England states during autumn’s rain of color. She also thrived traveling internationally to European countries, New Zealand, and central America. And who can forget the legendary yearly trips to Reno for a week, or weekend trips to Jackpot with friends and family? Indeed, she was always up for an adventure and lived life to the fullest.
After retirement, Debbie took up quilting, and her quilts were absolute works of art. Every Tuesday evening, they would meet at her house on Bel Air to quilt with “the girls.” Many of the girls were also part of the “McDonald Bunch.” The McDonald Bunch included nine beautiful, capable, and spontaneous women who met, and continue to meet, at the same time and place for close to 50 years! These women drank coffee together, traveled together, quilted together, and supported each other through life’s many trials, tribulations, and celebrations.
Debbie Reynolds loved her family both immediate and extended. She gave of herself and her home. She gave nurture and care to family and friends all her life. Her pride and joy later in life was her two grandsons, Max and Owen. She was so proud of them, and they could do no wrong in her eyes. She never lectured but taught by example. All who knew her are richer, kinder, and wiser because of her.
She is survived by her husband, Bob; son, Brian; and two grandsons, Max and Owen.
Services will be graveside due to Covid-19 at Meridian Cemetery on Thursday, Jan. 7th at 2:00. To watch the service, please visit: https://vimeo.com/498153092
The family would like to thank the gracious, caring, and supportive staff at Willow Park and the incredible caregivers with St. Luke’s Hospice
The family would love to hear memories you all have of Debbie. Please follow the hyperlink “Remembering Debbie Reynolds” to share the memories you have. https://docs.google.com/document/d/19zWMe1D7OAAc7zxCapFemVGL-LsYTu3waIu6e_sdPfQ/edit
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Redside Foundation, P.O. Box 8734, Boise, ID 83707.