Debra Sue (Carlson) Rhoden of Carmel, IN passed away on August 21, 2020. She was born December 15, 1954 to Virginia Wiwatoski and Dale Carlson in Hammond, Indiana.
Deb had a rich life filled with the love of family, friends, and coworkers. She had a long career at McDonald’s and would grow her family through the many people she met, most of whom she affectionately referred to as McFamily. If you could sit and talk with Deb today, she would tell you that People is the biggest asset you have and she lived that principle in her everyday life both at work and in her personal life. Deb was a humble woman, so allow me to share the rest. The impact she had on people was immeasurable and one that she will never truly know. Through her long career, she lifted people up and inspired them to be their absolute best. Her passion for the business did not go unnoticed. She earned several awards in her career including the most prestigious award any McDonald’s employee can earn, the President’s Award.
Deb met her husband, Edwin Rhoden, while attending Hamburger University. He was watching her walk to the training facility and told himself in that moment “I’m going to marry that woman.” He would do just that and they would spend many happy years together until Ed preceded her in death in 2018.
While Deb and Ed never had any biological children, they were “mom and dad” to many “McDopted” children. Their legacy will last for generations to come.
Deb rightfully earned the nickname “Lucy” due to her actions reflecting the character Lucille Ball. The stories she could tell truly sounded like they were taken directly from an episode of I Love Lucy. If you ever were a participant in one of these episodes – you can probably say you have laughed until you cried. She had a fantastic zest for life and fun was at the center of everything.
Deb loved to shop, go to the casino and travel (especially on cruises).
There is no doubt that her husband, Ed, has spent the past couple of years looking down on her and preparing to welcome her home to their next life of eternity.
Deb is survived by her two sisters-in-law Debbie Kay Rhoden and Linda Stane; her two cats Emma and Leo; and a countless amount of family and friends. She was preceded in death by her Mother, Virginia Wiwatoski ; father, Dale Carlson; and husband, Ed Rhoden.
Details for a Celebration of Life will be forthcoming. In lieu of flowers, please provide donations to the Ronald McDonald House of Indiana.