Debbie M. Kirschbaum Smith

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Debbie M. Kirschbaum Smith, 60, of Cottage Grove, formerly of Potosi, passed away Thursday, July 12. 

She was born July 18, 1957, in Prairie du Chien, the daughter of Donald P. and Bernadine (Voss) Kirschbaum. Debbie graduated from Potosi High School in 1976, and continued her education throughout her career as a Clinical Research Coordinator. She always had health problems, but never dwelled on them. 

Her grandkids lovingly called her “Gimpy,” but the rest of her family referred to her as “our Martha Stewart” because she cooked gourmet food that always tasted so good. Debbie could easily find beauty in the world around her, and was her family’s go to for helping pick out items, such as light fixtures and other décor. Debbie crawled around secondhand stores and picked up what others thought was junk, but Deb had a knack for making beautiful things out of what she found. She loved vintage items, and had her kitchen decorated like something from the Happy Days TV show – the Fonz would have been at home sitting at her kitchen table! Debbie loved her sons, and enjoyed spoiling her grandchildren and her goddaughter, Chelsey. She met her soulmate, Keith, and had a good and happy life. 

Debbie is survived by her sons Jeremy and Ryan Scott; five grandchildren Jesse Scott, TJ Ashley, Jennings Scott, Jordan Klaas and Kayla Koy; boyfriend, Keith Kolata; mother, Bernadine Kirschbaum; siblings Kathy Perry, Marcia Kirschbaum, Brian (Wanda) Kirschbaum, Joleen (Rich) Oyen, Steve (Sarah) Kirschbaum and Roger Kirschbaum; several nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews; and a goddaughter, Chelsey Perry.

Deb was preceded in death by her father, Donald P. Kirschbaum; a sister-in-law, Janet Kirschbaum; and her in-laws, Dorman and Modesta Scott.

Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 19, at the Martin Schwartz Funeral Home & Crematory in Lancaster with Fr. John Meinholz officiating. Friends and family may call on Thursday, July 19, at Martin Schwartz Funeral Home & Crematory from 9 a.m. until the time of service. A celebration of Debbie’s life in honor of her birthday will be held after 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 18, at Tranel’s Canal Street Restaurant and Bar in Bloomington. Anyone who wishes is welcome to join the family at 1 p.m., Thursday, July 19, at the Martin Schwartz Funeral Home & Crematory for a memorial motorcycle ride. In lieu of plants and flowers, a Debbie M. Kirschbaum Smith Memorial Fund has been established. The Martin Schwartz Funeral Home & Crematory in Lancaster is entrusted with her services. Online condolences may be left at


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