Deborah S. Oates, 72, of Crab Orchard, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 5, 2024 at her home.  She was born on December 19, 1951, in Omaha to George and Shirley Wilcox. Her family moved to Beatrice and she attended St. Joseph Catholic School. On December 23, 1975, Deb married Ronald Oates at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Beatrice. She did waitressing for 30 years and then worked in the lunchroom at St. Joseph Catholic School for 13 years before retiring.  Deb loved life and family and even though she had many ups and downs in life, she always prevailed.  She had an infectious laugh and enjoyed feeding and watching all the birds.  She also loved doing funny needle point and gave many away to family and friends.  Deb took great pride when Doug was wrestling, Sean was playing football, and Kyle’s involvement in all sports.  She was a member of the Crab Orchard Legion Auxillary.

 Survivors include her husband, Ronald Oates of Crab Orchard; sons, Doug (Caitlin) Oates of Ypsilanti, Michigan, Sean Oates of Crab Orchard, and Kyle Oates of Lincoln;  granddaughter, Riley Madison Oates; brothers, Mike Wilcox of Beatrice and Mark (Cathy) Wilcox of Tennessee; sister, Kathy Wilcox of Beatrice; sister-in-law, Jennie Oates of Beatrice; nieces, Marnie Oates, April Wilcox, Tracy Hartley, Brenda Wilcox, and Mikki Wilcox; nephew, Mark Trisler; great-nephew, Dylan Oates. She was preceded in death by her infant daughters, Jaimie, Laura and Stacey; parents, George and Shirley (Rice) Wilcox; brothers, Steven Wilcox and Matt Wilcox; mother-in-law, Rosemary Oates Smith; brother-in-law, Robert Oates; sister-in-law, Diane (Paul) Kollekowski; nephew, Chris Oates.

Memorial service will be held at 10:30 A.M. on Tuesday, June 11, 2024 at Fox Funeral Home of Beatrice with Father Joseph Faulkner officiating. Cremation has taken place and there will be no viewing. A book for signatures will be available on Monday, June 10, 2024 from noon until 8:00 P.M.  In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established to the Beatrice Mosaic campus and the family’s choice.  Casual dress is requested.   Arrangements entrusted to Fox Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Beatrice.