Deborah  Jerisha

Obituary of Deborah L. Jerisha

A loving and devoted wife, mother, and grandmother who had a passion for horseback riding and animal welfare passes away at the age of 72.

Deborah L. Jerisha

Deborah “Debbie” Jerisha, age 72, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, September 6, 2023, at Ascension Saint Joseph Hospital in Joliet, IL surrounded by her husband and family.

The daughter of Harold and Ruth (Ogrzewalla) Clark, Debbie was born in Du Quoin, Illinois on March 24th, 1951. She attended Joliet Public Grade Schools and Joliet Central High School for her first two years before moving with her Mother to Milwaukee, WI where she graduated from Washington High School. After graduation, Debbie moved back to Joliet and married her husband, Anthony “Tony” Jerisha, Jr. She attended Joliet Junior College but left their nursing program to raise her family. Debbie became a stay-at-home mom, raised two sons, and did not return to work until after her sons were grown. Throughout these years, Debbie enjoyed Florida vacations with her family and camping trips to South Wilmington Sportsman’s Club in Essex, IL.

Always a fighter, Debbie was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia in 2004 and has battled that cancer ever since. Debbie has also fought through several other illnesses in recent years.

After her Leukemia diagnosis and with her sons grown, Debbie was able to fulfill her lifelong passion to own and ride horses. Over the years, she owned three horses, Harley, Big Red and Journey. Debbie continued to ride as long as her health allowed.

A passionate advocate for animal rights, Debbie was always going out of her way to care for the family pets and any other animal that crossed her path. Her passion for animal rights ran so deeply that she became a vegetarian for most of her adult life. In between spending time with her family and horses, Debbie enjoyed feeding her backyard pond fish, squirrels, and birds. When not researching and learning about the natural world through documentaries, she loved watching supernatural shows about aliens, ghosts, and Bigfoot.

Debbie is survived by her husband of 53 years, Anthony “Tony” Jerisha, Jr who cared for her during her illnesses; her sons, Anthony “Little Tony” Jerisha (Lori) of Aurora, IL and Dr. Jason Jerisha of Cleveland, OH; brother-in-law, Dr. John Jerisha (Susan) of Fitchburg, WI; nephew, Joshua Jerisha of Fitchburg, WI; grandchildren, Darin Jerisha and Taylor Chamness of Aurora, IL; several cousins; and her pet cats “Squirrel” and her very special friend “Picasso”.

Debbie was preceded in death by her mother, Ruth; her father-in-law, Anthony Jerisha, Sr. and her mother-in-law, Dorothy Jerisha. Debbie was also preceded in death by her three canine special friends, Pooh Bear, Boo Bear “Bear” and Taffy.

A Memorial Service will be held at Fred C. Dames Funeral Home 3200 Black Road Joliet, IL, Monday, September 18, 2023 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to The Will County Humane Society, 24109 Seil Road Shorewood, IL 60404

 For more information, please call 815-741-5500, or to leave an online condolence, visit her Memorial Tribute page at


Memorial Gathering

4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Monday, September 18, 2023
Fred C. Dames Funeral Homes - Joliet
3200 Black at Essington Roads
Joliet, Illinois, United States
(815) 741-5500

Memorial Contributions

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to The Will County Humane Society, 24109 Seil Road Shorewood, IL 60404