Debbie Elkinton

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Debbie L. Elkinton passed away July 3, 2020 after a sudden and unexpected illness. Debbie was born on March 27, 1949 in Dayton, OH to Lawrence and Jackie (Britt) Spitler. Debbie was the younger sister to Richard Spitler. The family lived in several states in the Midwest in her youth before settling in the Kansas City area where she was a long time resident of Gardner, KS. Debbie graduated from Kansas City’s Southeast High School in 1967. After high school Debbie began working for several companies including Hallmark Cards, Bendix, and ADP. Debbie worked for the United States Census Bureau for the last 16 years. Debbie made a commitment to return to college later in life and ultimately graduated with a BA degree in Management and Human Relations from Mid America Nazarene College in 1994.

Debbie and Eldon Elkinton were married on March 23, 1968 and raised 5 children. The children are Steve (Tricia), Jeff (Valerie), Tracy, Mark, and Julie Elkinton-Strausbaugh (Mark). Debbie and Eldon are proud grandparents of 9 grandkids: Justin, Jordan, and Jack (Gurnee, Il), Macey and Isaac (Gardner, KS), Luke and Cale (Spring Hill, KS), and Wyatt and Griffin (Edgerton, KS). Debbie was preceded in death by Lawrence and Jackie Spitler (parents), Richard (brother), and Tracy (daughter).

Debbie had many passions in life, but being an active and proud grandmother was her clear priority. Her 9 grandchildren benefited immensely from her attention, support, and love. She enjoyed hosting her family for home cooked meals, attending her grandchildren’s sport and school activities, and coaching her grandkids through food preparation projects in 4-H including her award winning jellies. Sleepovers at Grandma’s were a special treat for everyone.

Debbie also shared activities with many close friends and family. Early in their marriage, Eldon and Debbie enjoyed bowling in several leagues. Bowling eventually transitioned into Bunco where Debbie was active with a couples group and a ladies group. Both groups continue to meet regularly and have done so for more than 30 years. Debbie was famous for her love of 4’s, and her excitement when she rolled them. Debbie and her family played many card games with Hearts being a multi-generational favorite inspired by her grandmother (Irma “Tommye” Shuttee). Debbie liked to visit the local casinos, and she regularly planned trips to Las Vegas and other casinos in the Midwest. These trips were a great chance for her to visit and share fun times with her friends and family. Debbie and Eldon travelled regularly and visited many states and countries throughout their marriage. Many cherished memories were developed with family and friends on these trips that included visits to Hawaii, Alaska, Australia, and China. Another highlight was a family trip to Niagara Falls in August 2018. All 17 children, spouses, and grandchildren along with Jan Spitler (Richard’s wife) were able to meet to celebrate Debbie and Eldon’s 50th wedding anniversary.

Debbie was a long time member of Sacred Heart Church in Gardner. She recently began volunteering with Harvester’s which is the church’s food outreach program. Debbie also volunteered her time with Meals on Wheels.

Services for Debbie include a visitation on Thursday, July 9 from 5-8pm, Rosary on Friday, July 10 at 9:30am followed by Mass at 10:00. The Mass of Christian Burial will be live-streamed on Divine Mercy Facebook page click here. All activities are at Divine Mercy in Gardner, KS. Face masks are required and social distancing when able while visiting Sacred Heart Church. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Debbie’s name to Children’s Mercy Hospital (Kansas City) or Catholic Charities. 

Children’s Mercy Hospital (Kansas City) https://www.childrensmercy.org/ways-to-give 

or Catholic Charities https://catholiccharitiesks.org/donate 

KC Funeral Directors 913-262-6310 


***Please remember a mask is required and social distancing when able in the church. The visitation and mass are open to those who would like to attend.***