Adele F. Debrey, 97, a beloved mother and elementary school teacher, died peacefully Thursday, October 8, 2021, surrounded by family. Adele was in the care of the wonderful staff at Cascades Memory Care, The Fountains, Bettendorf, and Serene Care Hospice at the time of her passing. Adele felt she had lived a very fulfilled life and enjoyed her family and many friends.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, October 13, at Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, 3030 7th Ave. Rock Island, and can be viewed online at https://www.wheelanpressly.com/live-stream. Burial will follow at the Rock Island National Cemetery. The funeral will be preceded by a visitation beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Mary’s Catholic Church or to the DAV Charitable Service Trust, 860 Dolwick Drive, Erlanger, KY 41018.
Adele was born in Alma, Texas, the daughter of Andrew and Dessie Whitfill. She attended Our Lady of Victory College in Ft. Worth and earned a Teaching Certificate. She began teaching in a one-room schoolhouse (grades 1-6) at the age of 17. Later she taught elementary grades in Moline, IL and furthered her education at Augustana and St. Ambrose colleges.
In 1943 she met and married the love of her life, Andrew Debrey, and moved to East Moline, IL During World War II she returned to Texas while her husband was serving his country overseas. She taught elementary grades at Ferris, Texas until Andrew was wounded and returned to the states. While he was recuperating they moved to California and then to Michigan. In California Adele worked as a personal shopper. In Battle Creek, Michigan she did volunteer work at the Percy Jones Army hospital for amputees.
After Andrew was discharged, they returned to East Moline where she taught at the former Lincoln School, a position she held for ten years before starting a family. While her children were small she did tutoring and bedside teaching as needed.
In later years she joined her husband in much travel, including Canada, Australia, England, Ireland and throughout Europe. Her favorite location to visit was always Mexico. She also enjoyed reading, playing bridge and visiting grandchildren.
Her Catholic faith was very important to her. She was baptized and married at St. John Nepomucene, Ennis, Tx. She was a member of St. Anne Catholic Church, East Moline until moving to Rock Island where she became a member of St. Pius Church serving on the Altar and Rosary Society. She became a member of St. Mary’s Church, Rock Island, recently receiving the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick.
Her love for reading and the library was intense and she served as president of Friends of the Library (Rock Island Public Library).
Those left to cherish Adele’s memory include her daughters Elizabeth Debrey (Bill Glick), Bend, Oregon, Julie Debrey, Rock Island, and her son, Drew (Cindy) Debrey of Rock Island. Adele is also survived by 5 grandchildren: Hannah (Malia) Finazzo-Krueger, Bend, Oregon, Justine (Justin Watt) Krueger, Chicago, Andrew Krueger, Bend Oregon, Elissa (Eric) Dong, Pittsburgh, and Jia Ke Debrey, Rock Island. She had one great grandson, Maddox, and two more great grandchildren on the way.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother, sisters, and husband, Andrew Debrey.
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