Debra LaRue Woods Fitzwater

Debra LaRue Woods Fitzwater, born, August 12, 1955. Parents, Lister, and Janice Cannon Woods. Raised in the Escalante Valley, and proud to be from Beryl Utah. Debbie served many callings in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was loved by the young and old that she served. Later in life, declining health restricted her ability to serve others and participate fully in callings, which broke her heart. Debbie was the proud wife of Russell Norman Fitzwater for 46 years; they were partners in work and play. They enjoyed a great deal of time isolated and together on their cattle ranch in Central Nevada. She was the proud mother of two daughters, Emily Fitzwater-Venuti and Cassie (Corey Jenkins), two sons Zack (Taysha) and Rye (Portia), and the loving grandmother of 15 Grandchildren, 13 boys and 2 Girls. Debbie loved to travel, but her true calling was to keep Russ grounded. She will be waiting for Russ in the next life, eager to set him straight.

The family would like to thank all of the friends, family, and the many healthcare providers; Dixie Regional Medical Center, Dr. Carl Van Gils, and Zions Way Home Health and Hospice, for the tender love and compassion provided during the last course of her life.

The Family will be celebrating her life Saturday, January 2, 2021, 11:00 a.m. at Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S. Bluff Street, St. George, Utah. The services will be broadcast for others interested in celebrating her life, please log in to Type in the event number 44072 and password DLF2020.

Arrangements are made under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S Bluff St, St. George, Utah. Friends and family are invited to sign her online guestbook at



10:00 a.m.

Second Visitation


11:00 a.m.


Spilsbury Mortuary Chapel
110 S. Bluff
St. George, UT


12:00 p.m.
Central Cemetery
Central, Utah

Guest Book

46 Responses

  1. Russ,
    I am deeply saddened by the news of your wife. I pray to God to grant you and your family the strenght to overcome her loss. My most sincere condolences to you and your family. A big bear hug to you my dear friend, you are not alone in this. You have all of us at Dixie Leavitt here for you.


  2. So love the son she raised that is part of my family and so much fun to share Rye and Portia’s super children. She did an awesome job and I will miss seeing her smile. I’m sorry I can’t be here to share her send off.

  3. My deepest condolences to the Fitzwater family during this time of loss and grieving. I did not have the pleasure of knowing Debra very well but I do know how special she was given my conversations with Russ.

  4. So sorry to hear about Deb. She was so kind and beautiful. I loved visiting with her and the family. Love and hugs to you all❤️

  5. Russ, Kevin and I were very sorry to hear about Debra. We didn’t get a chance to know her very well but we know she loved you and your family very much. Our prayers are with you and your family.

  6. Russ and family. The class of 73 sends you our deepest condolences to you for the loss of your wife and mother. . What a great example of love and compassion Debbie was to all. She was truly loved will be missed by all.

  7. I always Smile when I think of Deb! She was the best visiting teaching partner ever! Beautiful Smile and loving presence, we were blessed to have been in her presence for a while.
    Prayers to you Russ, Lester & Janice…she always spoke of how wonderful you were…and you kids & grandkids, she loved showing off how beautiful & talented you all are. Truly Deb was an Angel here on Earth, she will be missed. So many good memories to treasure.🙏

  8. Em there is no way to say how your heart hurts. I miss my mom every day and its been 10 yrs. Love you to the moon. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers. Friends forever Kaye Peterson wright

  9. Oh my. Sad doesn’t describe how I feel. She was my sisters age. I loved seeing her drive her VW and that smile… that incredible smile. The Fitzwaters have been family friends for years. Prayers for everyone. Love to all Becky Adams Johnson

  10. I was so shocked to read of Deb’s passing. I have so many great memories of our childhood, she really was a wonderful person. I regret not staying in touch after high school. Russ my love to you and your family

  11. I was so shocked and surprised to read about Deb. We grew up together and I have so many great memories of her. She really was a wonderful person. Russ I’m sorry for your lost and I send prayers to you and your family.

  12. Dear Russ and family,
    It is with great sadness that we heard of the passing of your beautiful wife, mother, and grandmother Deb. She always made an effort to come and say hi to Cletus and I. What a special lady she was, a perfect example of Christlike love. You are all in our thoughts and prayers, at this difficult time, we are happy that she no longer suffers with the pain that she has had to endure, it still makes it hard to lose your loved ones.
    We love you all,
    RIP Deb

  13. Russ,
    I loved Debbie and will miss her. She was a great example to me. I am thankful for the knowledge of where she is and that she is no longer suffering from her terrible disease. The last time I saw her, she told me how good you were to her. She loved you and your family so very much.
    Laura Hulet Fullmer

  14. We have wonderful memories of Debbie’s cheerful smile and friendly, sweet personality. Our hearts are full as we offer our sympathy and love to all you family members. May Heavenly Father’s special blessings be with each of you as you await that special day of reunion and experience the joy of eternity together. We will be watching the services via the webcast, so know that we will be with you in spirit.

    Theron & Gayle Randall

  15. When I think of Aunt Deb, I can’t help but think of her beautiful smile and spunky personality.
    I pray that her soul is at peace, she had a kind heart and was good lady 🤍

    Even though I am miles away, my thoughts and prayers are with everyone that is hurting.

  16. Debra was a good friend in school. Always so friendly to everyone and a beautiful smile. I pray for peace for you and your family during this difficult time.

  17. We only knew Deb for about 8 years, but in that time she brought so much good to our lives.
    May God bless her loved ones as they mourn her passing.

  18. When I was young, Aunt Deb was always the “fun” adult. She and Aunt Jan could be counted on to make us laugh no matter what. I learned so much from Aunt Deb. When I got older and had health issues of my own, she was someone I could look to for guidance on how to deal with those issues with dignity. I will miss our long talks and forever remember that when I was in the hospital she absolutely would not take no for an answer – she absolutely knew how to manage those doctors and did it. I was so happy to hear her voice on the other end of the line. Besides all of that, she managed to marry and raise and love some of my favorite people. Love to all of you, from all of us.

  19. So sorry to hear of your loss. Our condolences go out to the Fitzwater family. May the Lords spirit comfort you in this time of need.

  20. Russ,
    May you be comforted in the loss of your life time sweetheart. Deb was a true lady and so dedicated to you. May your promises to her help you to endure life without her and help you hope for your grand reunion. Thanks for the memories dear friend. Helen

  21. Our children grew up with Deb and Russ in the New Castle Ward. Such good memories of them and their family.

    Lister and Janice you raised a beautiful daughter which you will miss dearly.

    Thank you Russ for the opportunity we have to know your family. Our prayers are with each of you.
    With love, Jim & Linda Christiansen. 💕💕

  22. The Jones family is deeply saddened to hear this news. Debra was a remarkable lady. We will keep the family in our thoughts and prayers. May she rest in peace.

  23. She will be missed she was a ray of sunshine. Sorry for your loss but sounds like she is in a better place.

  24. A truly gracious, beautiful spirit, wonderfully brave and courageous woman. She will be missed by all who knew her. Russ and Debbie were as family to us. Our sincere wishes for peace and good memories for all of the family members

  25. Russ and family and Lister and Janice and family, Deb was a beautiful woman, inside and out. My heart hurts for all of you. My condolences. The loss never goes away, I know it will get easier to bear with time. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this most difficult time. With love, Janeen Hulet Nickel.

  26. Marty & I were so sad to hear of Deb’s passing. Our thoughts are with her family at this time.

  27. Russ & family: We’re so sorry to hear about Deb. She was a gem! Always, always had a smile on her face, no matter what! What a great example! She loved her family so much! She’s in a better place and will be your angel watching over each of the Fitzwater gang! We are all better people because of her. Russ, your always welcome in our home anytime! May the Lord comfort you all during this time!

  28. Steve and I love the Woods and Fitzwater families. We have missed so much seeing all of you since the ward was split and then Russ and Deb moving. Russell you have been in our thoughts and prayers as well as your family. Deb and I had a lot in common, not only our names but birthday months and love for the family and the way of life we were blessed with. Our kids grew up together and it’s been very special having all of you in our lives. Deb will be greatly missed! Her spirit, kindness, humor and wit plus strength, perseverance and determination are just a few of the special qualities I grew to love about Deb. May the Lord’s blessings be with you all!
    Our Love always!

  29. Sorry to hear this Deb was a good friend but we are fortunate to believe we will see her again. Praayers

  30. We are so sorry. The service was beautiful. We love you. We are praying for you to feel her love and know that she is happy.
    All our love,
    Kerry and Sue Woods

  31. What a wonderful funeral and tribute to Debra. I was touched by each of the kids sharing memories of their mom. Fred did an excellent job too. I was touched by his message and spirit. I will think of Deb often when I whine and complain about pain. Sending thoughts and prayers to the family.

  32. I was so sad to hear of her passing. She was such a great lady. Beautiful and kind. Just one of those special souls you want and NEED in your life. I was so blessed to have known her. What an incredible example she was. Prayers and hugs to all the family. She will be greatly missed.

  33. To Janice, Lister, Russel and all the kids and families- I for some reason saw last night that Deb had passed. I have thought of her along. I remembered her bringing the girls over to Grandma Ruths house to play in the wading pool with our daughter, Ginny when she was young and we would visit Ruth at the Desert house we called it that she and my dad had shared. Deb was very kind for sure. She also later helped me get back a keepsake that both my mom and Ruth shared. It is very important to my daughter now. So sorry for your loss. You are all in our prayers.

  34. I am so saddened by this news. I loved Deb SO much! She was my young woman’s leader when I was 15-16. She was my favorite person to laugh with and talk about all my crushes with. She had a fun loving personality and was always so encouraging. I never doubted her love for me. She made sure you KNEW you were loved! She had a pure, beautiful heart and she made a big impact on my life. She was my biggest mentor at a time in my life I needed it the most! I am so incredibly sorry for your family’s loss. My heart hurts for you. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.💗💗💗

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