Deb Flemming, 1954-2022

May 1, 2022


Debra J. Flemming, 67, died Monday, March 14, 2022, at District One Hospital in Faribault, Minnesota.

Deb Wendland was born to Joni and Ken Wendland on Aug. 5, 1954. She graduated from Waseca (Minnesota) High School in 1972 and was a proud student of Drake University and received a degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota.

She and Loren Flemming were married in November 1978 in Waseca. They lived in Waseca, Owatonna and Mankato, Minnesota, and Traverse City, Michigan, moving where Deb’s job with newspapers took them. The place they both loved and returned to was their cabin on Roberds Lake in Faribault.

After her divorce, Deb continued to live her passions and values in her work and community. She became active in the Landmark program, eventually becoming a leader in its family division, working with children. She also began to explore living in other locales — San Diego and the Largo, Florida, area.

Deb's passion, after her family and friends, was journalism. She worked as a reporter, copy editor and editor, but she relished being a mentor to young journalists. She was a passionate believer in the First Amendment and the public's right to know what elected officials were doing. She filed several lawsuits against government bodies in support of the Open Meetings Act.

Deb returned to southeastern Minnesota in 2019 to become a consultant for the 761 Foundation in Owatonna and then the editor of the Steele County Times in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota.

She is survived by her family, sister Laurie (Art) Griffith and children, Kristin (Aaron) Hugen, John (Caytlyn) Griffith, Samuel (Hannah) Griffith, and David Griffith; brother Brad (Monica) Wendland and children Matt and Olivia; step-son Jason Flemming and children, Ashley, Ciyera, Evert and Trinity; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents, former husband and niece Abby Wendland.

A celebration of life was held on March 19 at Parker Kohl Funeral Home in Faribault.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the family or the 761 Foundation/Debra J. Flemming journalism scholarship.

Obituary as Deb would have written:

Debra J. Flemming
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