Debra Lynn “Debbie” Cantrell, known to some as, “Miss Deb,” passed away on Friday, December 31, 2021, at the age of 65.
She was born on January 2, 1956, the eldest daughter of Ernest and Dorothy (Kosiara) Borowiak. She was a lifelong resident of Gaylord. She graduated from St. Mary High School in 1974.
For several years, Deb worked at Hidden Valley Resort and in the kitchen at Otsego Memorial Hospital. She then worked 31 years as a custodian for the Gaylord Community Schools, in both the high school and South Maple Elementary. One of her favorite parts of her job was helping children at lunchtime. She could also be found at the school, many winter mornings, at 4:00 a.m., starting to clear snow off the sidewalks. Often, while shopping around town, a student would stop her, just to say “hi.” Deb’s passion in life was helping others.
She was a longtime member of the Gaylord Eagles, where often she cooked for weddings and parties. She enjoyed playing cards with a group of ladies and her mom. She was also fond of searching for treasures at the local Goodwill store or garage sales. In her younger years, she enjoyed reading, bowling, and cross-country skiing.
Deb enjoyed taking her granddaughter, Taylor, skiing, to dance lessons, and shopping. Later, when blessed with a great-granddaughter, she enjoyed caring for her, as well.
She also enjoyed going to the casino with her husband, father. and mother. After the passing of her husband and father, Deb and her mom, Dorothy, soon became “casino buddies”. Deb and her late husband, Bill, were also avid Detroit Lions and Detroit Tigers fans.
Deb had a kind heart and cared about others. She especially loved kids and would volunteer to babysit for her friend’s children. She touched many lives and developed many friendships. She had fond memories of her “city cousins” coming “Up North” to visit and shop at K-mart.
When remembering Deb, “love much, laugh a lot, smile all day.”
Deb was preceded in death by her father, Ernest Borowiak, her brother, Gary Borowiak, and her husband of 30 years, William Cantrell.
She is survived by her daughters, Camille (John) Ostrom of Gaylord, and Danielle (Ted) Grabow of Hazel Park; her granddaughters, Taylor and Jonette; her great-granddaughter, Violet; her mother, Dorothy Borowiak of Gaylord; her siblings, Gail (Jim) Warner of Holland, and Dale (Lisa) Borowiak of Thiensville, Wisconsin; her nephew, David; and her nieces, Alexis, Madeline, and Grace.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, January 7, 2022, at 11:00 a.m., at St. Mary Cathedral.
Visitation will be held at the Nelson Funeral Home on Thursday, January 6, 2022, from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. St. Mary Altar Rosary Society will offer a Rosary, at the funeral home, Thursday evening, January 6, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. Visitation will continue Friday, January 7, 2022, at St. Mary Cathedral, beginning at 10:00 a.m.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Michigan or the Otsego County Animal Shelter.