In loving memory of

April 14, 1961 - November 22, 2021

Debra Ann (White) Pascoe, 60, passed away Monday, November 22, 2021 after complications from a chronic illness.

Debra was born on April 14, 1961 to Peter and Mary Ann (Hautala) White of Negaunee, MI, the youngest of two children. She graduated from Negaunee High School in 1979 and earned a Bachelor's of Science in English with a minor in journalism from Northern Michigan University.

Debra married Ronald Pascoe on May 11, 1985, and together they had three children: Jessica, Daniel and Melissa. The family enjoyed laughing together, especially at Seinfeld reruns. They resided on Allen Street in Marquette until Ron's death in 2005.

Debra worked in various positions over the years, including at U.P. Engineers and Architects. She started working as an editorial assistant at the local newspaper, The Mining Journal, in the early 2000s, and spent many years there. Deb loved writing and had written her own stories and essays since she was a child. She continued writing professionally and for pleasure her whole life. She began publishing a twice-monthly column in The Mining Journal in 2004, for which she received many Associated Press, Michigan Associated Press and Good News awards. Her favorite columns were eventually published into a collection entitled Life With a View in 2011, fulfilling a lifelong dream of becoming a published author. Deb continued writing for local websites and personal blogs after ending her column and tenure at the Mining Journal. She had many local fans of her work.

In 2012 Deb started working as a peer recovery support coach at Child and Family Services in Marquette, a position that she felt was her calling. In 2020, she made the switch to Great Lakes Recovery Centers, where she worked as a peer coach and residential case manager until her passing. Deb loved being able to share the lessons she learned during her personal journey with recovery through her job. Her work meant the world to her and she touched countless lives during her time as a peer coach.

Deb loved her coffee and was also known for her love of the three P's: Pepsi, popcorn and Phil Collins. She was a self-described bookworm with a one-of-a-kind wit and endearing love of whimsy. She loved music, animals, collecting Lake Superior rocks and beach glass, and spending time with her friends and family. She was proud of her inclusion in her close-knit friend group of recovery warrior women. Her last years on Earth were made sweeter by time spent with Wayne Forrest, her partner of almost a decade.
Deb's friends, acquaintances and colleagues expressed many heartfelt condolences upon hearing of her passing, including:
"Deb was a prolific writer with the most eloquent vocabulary."
"She had a heart of gold and lived with kindness and grace."
"Deb taught me that in life that you will make a lot of mistakes, but what's most important is how you recover and how you move forward."

She is survived by her longtime partner, Wayne Forrest; her three children, Jessica (Josey) Aalto, Daniel (Kate Anderegg) Pascoe, and Melissa Pascoe; and her three beloved grandchildren, Ernest, Everett and Emmett Aalto. She leaves behind a strong and cherished friend circle and many admirers in the recovery community and local community beyond. There was no one else like her. She was preceded in death by her parents, Peter and Mary Ann; her older brother, Richard; and her husband, Ronald.

Deb's service will be held on Monday, December 27, 2021, at Canale-Tonella Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Marquette at 4:00 p.m. with Rev. Tesshin Paul Lehmberg and Rev. Roshin Orion Young officiating. Visitation will be held starting at 2:00 p.m. until the time of the service. Deb's service will be livestreamed at

A graveside service will be held on Friday, August 5, 2022 at Holy Cross Cemetery at 12 noon.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks friends and family to consider donating to Great Lakes Recovery Centers or Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter, two causes that were close to Deb's heart.

We love you, Mom. Thank you for everything. Say hi to Andy, Zoobes, Oscar, Saira, Indy and Dad for us.

Canale-Tonella Funeral Home and Cremation Services is assisting Debra's family where memories and condolences may be shared at


Maureen Reevs wrote on Dec 10, 2021:

"She will be missed by this coworker and fellow warrior."

Jennifer Mazzuchi wrote on Dec 9, 2021:

"Deb was a very active member of the Drug Court team in the Circuit Court in Marquette. I have great respect for her work and I valued her input tremendously. She was compassionate and approachable, and she emphasized to our participants that sobriety was within reach for people who want it and are willing to work for it. She was an inspiring example of a happy life in sobriety, and I know she leaves that legacy for so many people she helped. She was also just a friendly and funny person and a pleasure to have on the team. I will miss her, and I wish her family peace in coping with this loss. Jennifer Mazzuchi"

Anne Erspamer wrote on Nov 29, 2021:

"I am thinking about you and what a treasure you were to your family. You were a joy to have as a client and friend. Want you to know how much I'm thinking of all of you at this difficult time. It's hard to lose a parent. You're all in my thoughts and prayers. Peace and love. ANNE ERSPAMER "