Obituary: Deborah Jean Onorofskie
November 15, 1952 – April 18, 2022
Deborah Jean Onorofskie, age 69, passed away on April 18, 2022, in Glenwood Springs, CO.
Deb was born to Dwight and Norma Jean Spies on November 15, 1952, in Mooreland, OK. She grew up in the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandle. As the baby of the family with two older twin brothers, she was doubly tormented and adored. Deb stayed busy with sports and activities from dance, cheerleading and beauty contests to barrel racing, basketball, and just about everything in between. She also helped at the family’s business, the Booker News. She graduated from Booker (TX) High School in 1971 and earned a double major in business administration and physical education from West Texas State University (now West Texas A&M) in 1975. She also competed in gymnastics and sold advertising for local newspaper while attending college.
The mountains were calling after graduation, leading Deb to Leadville, CO, for a job at Amax, Inc./Climax. There she met the love of her life, Stephen Onorofskie, and they were married on May 28, 1977. They built their first home in Sylvan Lakes. Along with raising their two daughters, Stephanie and Angie, they spent a large portion of their time enjoying the lake behind their house and skiing at nearby Ski Cooper. The family moved to their favorite vacation destination, Glenwood Springs, CO, in 1990 when Steve became the mine manager at the Eagle Gypsum Mine in Gypsum, CO.
Smart, skilled and capable of many things, Deb had a varied career which included small business development and ownership, real estate sales and property management, newspaper advertising sales, mining and banking. Prior to her retirement in 2017, she was a loan officer at Bay Equity Home Loans. She was passionate about helping people achieve the dream of homeownership, especially first-time buyers.
Deb was as active in Noon Rotary, a Glenwood Springs Chamber Ambassador, and a member of the local chapter of P.E.O, the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution, Glenwood Springs Elks Lodge and St. Stephen’s Catholic Church. She was always ready to lend a helping hand wherever she could.
Deb flawlessly balanced life, community and career, but family always came first. She encouraged her daughters to learn and experience as much possible, and she was there to support in everything they did. Deb and Steve spent a lot of time on the sideline of the soccer field, rain or snow; traveling to weekend swim meets throughout the summer and attending performances or school functions. A lifelong cheerleader, Deb was the first to congratulate everyone on the team – win or lose.
Her endless love and support grew even more as her daughters became adults, and she gained her two favorite (as she called them) sons-in-law. The brightest lights of her life were her two grandchildren, Mason and Paige, who affectionally called their grandmother “B.” Deb and Steve never missed one of Mason or Paige’s plays, recitals or sports games.
Deb enjoyed life’s simple pleasures including a good book, working in her garden, soaking at the hot springs pool and most of all, time spent with her family and friends. With family close by, there were many fun family gatherings, special occasions and trips. Redstone was the family’s frequent convening location, a place Deb truly loved.
Deb was genuine and one-of-a kind. She didn’t know a stranger, and always wanted people to feel included and welcome. Always positive, outgoing and friendly, she brought happiness and warmth wherever she went making those around her feel important and special. Her sense of humor, smile and laughter were contagious. She was a wonderful daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She touched many lives, and she will be dearly missed.
Deb was preceded in death her parents, Norma Jean and Dwight Spies and her brothers, Randy and Bill Spies. She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Stephen Onorofskie of Glenwood Springs, CO; daughter Stephanie (Nathan) Helfenbein and grandson Mason of Redstone, CO; daughter Angie (Scott) Anderson and granddaughter Paige of New Castle, CO, and many family members and friends.
A memorial mass will be held at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church on Saturday, May 14 at 11:30 a.m. followed by a celebration of life at Sunlight Mountain Resort. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
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