Debra Johansen

Debra Joann Johansen, 64, formerly of Falls City, Nebraska, passed away on August 16, 2021, at Immanuel Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. She was born on March 18, 1957, in Falls City, Nebraska, to Don and Janis (Holmes) Larkin. Debi Jo, as she was known to everyone, was raised in Falls City and graduated from Falls City High School with the class of 1975. She was united in marriage to Larry Johansen in May of 1975 and to this union, two daughters, Heather Renee and Gretchen Nichole were born. The couple would later divorce. Debi Jo worked as a waitress for her parents at the Wright Place Restaurant inside the Stephenson Hotel for many years. She also drove a school bus for Falls City for a few years.

Debi Jo LOVED to play softball on her fast-pitch women’s team. She pitched for her team and this was a true passion for her. Debi Jo played softball well into her 30’s and you would find her out on the ballfield almost every night. She was also a coach to her daughter’s softball team. Debi Jo became disabled in 1997 and could no longer play or coach the game she loved so much. She moved down to Joplin, Missouri, in 2005 to live with her daughter, Heather. Debi Jo has lived with Heather, who became her full-time caretaker up until her death. She loved her family and friends. We always made a joke that Debi Jo “could make friends with a fence post” as there was no one she would not stop and talk to. She cherished her family and loved them dearly. Debi Jo loved and enjoyed her group of girlfriends from high school who became her lifelong friends. She shared many stories through the years of the fun and trouble she and her friends would get into. Her family and friends meant the world to her.

Left to mourn Debi Jo’s passing are her daughters: Heather (Johansen) Mitchell of Joplin, MO; Gretchen Courtney and husband Bobby of Coral Springs, FL; grandchildren: Breylynn, Gyensynn and Iyralynn of Coral Springs, FL; nephew Colton Gildersleeve and wife Katie and boys, Xavier and Baron of Falls City, NE; brother-in-law Joe Gildersleeve of Falls City, NE; special friend of the family, Lynn Chapman of Joplin, MO; her favorite dog in the world, Ellie Mae and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. She is preceded in death by her parents, her sister Donna Gildersleeve and her dear niece Ali Gildersleeve.

Funeral Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 21, 2021, at the Church of the Nazarene, 1812 Wilson Street in Falls City, Nebraska, with Pastor Richard Lehmkuhl officiating.

Visitation will be from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. on Friday, August 20, 2021, at the Hall Funeral Home, 2403 Harlan Street in Falls City, Nebraska. The family will greet friends from 7-8 p.m. at the funeral home.

Inurnment will be at the Steele Cemetery in Falls City, Nebraska, at a later date.

Memorial Contributions may be given to the family with a later designation.

Condolences can be shared online at

Services are entrusted to Hall Funeral Home-2403 Harlan Street-Falls City, Nebraska 68355 (402) 245-3131

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