Debra Ann (White) Isham

August 1, 1962 ~ May 15, 2020 (age 57)


Debra Ann Isham, Nindizhinakaaz Gizhibaabizoage, age 57, of Onigum, Minnesota passed away on Friday, May 15, 2020 in Bemidji, MN with her family at her side.

Deb was born on August 1, 1962 in Thief River Falls, MN to Lyman and Shirley (Ellis) White Sr..  When she was young she lived with her family in Minneapolis, MN.  As a teen she and her family moved to Onigum, MN. Deb graduated from Walker High School in 1980. She went on to attend Central Lakes College in Brainerd, MN, graduating with her Associates Degree in 1990. While in school, Deb had the opportunity to travel to London. She married Curtis Isham Sr. and were blessed with four children:  Angela, Eric, Darcie and Danielle.  Deb worked in Human Resources for both Leech Lake Gaming and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.  She was well respected and proud of her strong work ethic.

Deb was an active part of the community in Onigum. She was a member of St. Johns Episcopal Church. She was the youth group leader and was an expert at engaging and keeping the attention of the many teens in her care.  She took them on fun trips to expand their horizons and organized three on three basketball games every week to keep them occupied. When she recognized a person in need she was quick to help with no expectations of a favor in return. Deb was also known for her great sense of humor and quick wit. She had the gift of organization and her family looked to her to make plans for camping trips and family gatherings. She had respect and appreciation for nature and had a special place in heart for the mountains.  She was an excellent cook and everyone was always sure to show up to the house when she was making tator tot hotdish.  Above all, she loved spending time with her family, especially her eight grandchildren.

She will be lovingly remembered by her husband, Curtis; her children:  Angela, Eric, Darcie and Danielle; eight grandsons:  Lyman, Will and Laverne Jacobs, Matthew Dow, Gary Isham, Miskwa  and  Ningozis Butcher and Curtis Isham; siblings:  Gary White, Vicki White, Lyman White Jr., Carol White and Marilyn Harrison; mother-in-law, Marybelle Isham; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Deb was preceded in death by her parents; niece, Leann Dick; and nephews, Timothy and Burton White.

A wake for Deb will begin at 5:00 PM on Monday, May 18, 2020 at the Onigum Community Center and continue until the time of service on Wednesday. The service will be held at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Onigum with Reverend Matthew Cobb and Reverend William Butcher officiating. Burial will be at St. John’s Episcopal Cemetery in Onigum.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Debra Ann (White) Isham, please visit our floral store.


May 18, 2020

5:00 PM
Onigum Community Center
8825 Onigum Road NW
Onigum, MN 56647

Funeral Service
May 20, 2020

11:00 AM
St. Johns Episcopal Church
Onigum Road
Onigum, MN 56484

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