RAPID CITY – Debra Pearl Swan “Wocekiye Waokiya Win”, 59, entered eternal joy on Sunday, August 5, 2018 in Rapid City.
Deb was born to Walter Swan, Sr. and the late Althea Brave. She had 4 sisters and 2 brothers.
She attended school in Rapid City and in Eagle Butte. She graduated from Rapid City Central High School at the age of 16 and entered college at the age of 17. During her high school years, Deb was active in track and field, throwing the shot put and discus. In 1976, Deb became the shot put champion for South Dakota and placed third in the discus at the state meet.
Deb had always shown herself to be very community minded. One may tell that by the many jobs she had held. She worked for organizations such as Western South Dakota Community Action Program, Youth and Family Services, National Native Health Office (Denver, Colo.), Youth Development Program, Oklahoma Community Action Program, Christian Children Fund, and the South Dakota Prisoner Support Group. Deb held lead positions in most of these organizations serving as executive director or area director.
Deb dedicated her life to her savior Jesus Christ and she was led to be part of many ministries. She participated in church activities reaching out into the community; she had worked with children in church activities with the First Church of God of Anderson, Indiana. Then as a co pastor of Smoke Signal Ministries; she shined. Her heart was for her community, where she dealt directly by feeding the homeless and holding clothing give-aways. She had always found cooks for different occasions and she had enjoyed feeding at the Knights of Columbus building on Christmas day. She had faith in her Lord God that he would take care of her every need. She loved sharing God’s word by showing God’s love, mercy and grace; those of us who knew here were drawn into her warmth and her love for you.
Deb (Swan) Douglas married Carl Douglas February 20, 1988, she had celebrated 30 year anniversary. She also celebrated 35 years of sobriety on August 4. She had only one child, Eric Douglas whom she loved and prayed for each and every day. Then she was able to adopt a child, Shannon Lovejoy Douglas, who she loved as her very own. She was a mom though to many young children and she made sure they knew it.
In addition to her husband and children, Deb is survived by her father Walter Swan, Sr. and his wife Barbara of Pine Ridge; brother, Walter Swan, Jr. and his wife Lena of Rapid City; Carlene Byington and her husband Ralph of Wentzville, Mont.; Isaac Swan of Springfield; Deb also has 20 nieces and nephews and several grandchildren.
Deb is preceded in death by her mother, three sisters; Clarinda Swan-Herrald, Charlene Flying By and Cheryl Bentley, one niece Elizabeth Flying By and one nephew, Spencer Swan.