Photography

       


Debra Ann Lawler

September 13, 1936 ~ November 19, 2018 (age 82)

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Debbie’s honor to the Orange County Ronald McDonald House,
383 S. Batavia St., Orange, CA 92868,
or via their website at www.rmhcsc.org/orangecounty.

Debbie Lawler
September 13, 1936 - November 19, 2018
Debra Ann (Snellbaker) Lawler, a beloved wife, sister and friend, passed away Monday, November 19, at her home in the West Floral Park neighborhood of Santa Ana.
Debbie, as she was known to friends and family, was born on September 13, 1936 to Ulysses S. Snellbaker and Dorothy V. (Newburg) Snellbaker in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Her family moved to Southern California in the late ‘40s, where she attended St Anthony High School in Long Beach, graduating in 1954.
She entered the Immaculate Heart of Mary Convent in 1954 in Los Angeles and became Sister Mary Debra. She graduated from Queen of Angels School of Nursing in 1960 in L.A., simultane- ously working at the affiliated hospital, and received her Bachelor of Science degree in 1961 from Immaculate Heart College in L.A.
In 1963, she received her Master of Science degree in nursing from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
She was Sister Mary Debra from 1954-68, reaching the position as mother superior at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Apple Valley. In 1968, she petitioned Rome to be relieved of her vows and began a secular life.
In three decades at CHOC in Orange, Debbie rose from staff nurse to Vice President of Patient Services, retiring in 1998
She earned a post graduate degree in 1998 from UC Irvine’s Family Nurse Practitioner program and worked with the St. Joseph Heritage Medical Group as a part-time nurse practitioner from 1998 until 2009. She was also a member of the adjunct faculty at the Western University College of Graduate Nursing.
Aside from her medical career, Debbie served on the Orange County Ronald McDonald House Board of Trustees from 1992-2012. She served as the board president from 2006-2008.
Debbie is preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her husband, Glenn A. Lawler; sisters Sandra Bailey and Dorola Haley and several nieces and nephews.
A funeral mass will be held at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at Holy Family Cathedral, 566 S. Glassell Street, Orange.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Debbie’s honor to the Orange County Ronald McDonald House,
383 S. Batavia St., Orange, CA 92868,
or via their website at www.rmhcsc.org/orangecounty.

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