Arlen Dean Debus, a longtime resident of Haxtun, CO, passed away on July 19 in Haxtun, CO, at the age of 88. A memorial service will be held on Monday, August 3,2020 at Haxtun Berean Bible Church at 10:30 am. with Pastor Eric Wait officiating. Arlen was born on March 4, 1932, to Philip and Catherine Constance Debus, in Haxtun. He attended elementary and high school in Crook, CO, graduating in 1950. He accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior at the age of 16 at the German Congregational Church, now the United Church of Crook. He attended Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, CO, Colorado A & M University in Ft. Collins, CO, graduating from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, CO with a degree in education. Upon graduation, Arlen toured the eastern half of the United States with a college buddy, sleeping in horse barns along the way.
Arlen married the love of his life, Kathryn Leffler, on August 2, 1959, in Greeley, CO. They were the parents of three daughters Marsha, Janette, and Colleen. He began his teaching career at Wauneta, NE, where he taught and coached at the high school level. In 1961, the family moved to the family homestead where they lived and farmed in Crook, CO. In 1976, Arlen returned to teaching in Haxtun where he taught and coached at the Jr. High level. After 13 years, Arlen’s health and loss of hearing forced him to retire from teaching. His time quickly became occupied with what he loved most, helping local farmers with their farming operations. During his retirement years, Arlen and Kathryn hosted three high school exchange students from Mexico. Developing a strong bond with Alex, Jorge and Oscar, they traveled to Mexico to meet their families.
Arlen was an avid sports lover attending any game he could find. Long after his grandchildren were out of school, he loved watching the Haxtun Bulldogs. Even though it was evident his glaucoma was hindering his ability to see, he could be seen shuffling up the stands, and at times be seen driving across the school lawn, trying to park his van. He and Kathryn were honored to be chosen as Super Boosters by the Haxtun Booster Club in 2001. Arlen also loved to travel. He and Kathryn were fortunate to have taken a slew of road trips, many times with each of their daughter’s families.
He also loved to golf and spend his free time each summer at the golf course. It was a joy for him to teach and take his grandchildren to the golf course as often as he could until his health made it difficult for him to enjoy the sport anymore.
Buddy, as he was known to his family, loved farm life and agriculture in general; but above all, his wife and family were the most important to him. He was a dedicated father and husband, being the caretaker of his wife Kathryn for 11 of the 18 years she was a paraplegic, after suffering a massive stroke shortly before their 44th wedding anniversary. He was truly a loving husband honoring his wife with their wedding vows of “in sickness and health, till death do us part.” The past three years Arlen faced many health challenges from his Parkinson’s, Diabetes and Dementia, causing him to lose his eye sight and hearing, eventually making the final move from his home to the Extended Care Unit in Haxtun where he was able to spend his final days next to his beloved bride prior to her death. Even though he always wanted to go home, Arlen remained faithful and always said he lived a blessed life.
Arlen is survived by daughters Marsha Hagemeyer (Dennis) of Haxtun; Janette Michel (Gary) of Atwood, CO; Colleen Lockwood (Rick) of Haxtun; grandchildren Alison Michel of Atwood, CO; Jordan Hagemeyer (Taylor) of Sidney, NE; Andrew Michel of Atwood, CO; Kaitlin Hiller (Kirk) of Haxtun; Karci Mattson (Geoff) of Grand Junction, CO; great grandchildren Palmer Brook and Ian Hagemeyer of Sidney, NE and Hallie Hiller of Haxtun, sister Betty Norden (Roy) of Ft. Collins, CO; sister in-law Judy Debus of Sterling, CO; brother in-law Walter Amen, step sisters Cordelia Broman, and Donna Busch of Lincoln, NE; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. Arlen was greeted in heaven by his loving wife Kathryn, and he was preceded in death by his mother Catherine; father Philip; step-mother Rachel; sister in-law, Louise Amen, step-sister Beverly Culp; brother in-law Roland Kissler, sister in-law Mary Kissler, and brother Arthur Debus.
A private family graveside service was held on July 25, 2020 at 10:30 A.M. in the Haxtun Cemetery. A public memorial service will be held Monday, August 3, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. at the Berean Bible Church in Haxtun, Colorado . Memorial contributions may be made in Arlen’s honor to the American Diabetes Association. Baucke Funeral Homes and Monuments are in charge of arrangements.
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