Debra Swanson Lee

June 21, 1965 - May 20, 2020

Debra Sue Swanson Lee, 54, of New Prague, MN entered into peace Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 3:11 p.m. at her home in New Prague after a very courageous battle with cancer. Debbie was born June 21, 1965 in Sacramento, CA to Walter and Janet (Karg) Woodyard. At a young age, the family moved to Clarinda, IA where Debbie attended Clarinda Community Schools through high school graduating in 1984. Debbie then attended Iowa Western Community College in Clarinda, IA before moving to Ames, IA where she worked as an administrative assistant. She moved to New Prague, MN in 1992 and worked as an administrative assistant until the birth of her first-born child.

Debbie was blessed with two beautiful children, Morgan Elizabeth Swanson (1998) and Nicholas Woodyard Swanson (2002). She took tremendous pride and showed unwavering love, support and patience in raising her children. They were her world. Debbie was the fun mom that would let her children play in a swimming pool full of sand in the middle of her kitchen and would laugh as they played not caring at all about the mess. For Debbie, messes were meant to be cleaned up later, she was busy living life and making memories. She also blessed all of Morgan and Nick’s friends with her love and witty, fun loving personality. She was a mom to all of them. As the children grew older Debbie embarked on an adventure to bless her beloved community with her knowledge of yoga and health and wellness. In 2006 she started her own yoga studio, Way to Yoga. Debbie took such pride and care in helping those in her community with not only their physical health but their spiritual health, as well. She truly cared for all her students who eventually became her friends. Everyone that met Debbie were instantly drawn to her. A simple shopping trip to Coborns would take hours as she would inevitably see her friends and students. She would always take the time to visit with each one of them. Besides raising her children, this was something that Debbie was called to do. She ran the studio until she no longer had the strength to do so.

Debbie was united in marriage to her long-time fiancé, best friend and hero, Greg Lee, on May 18, 2020 in their home. To be in the presence of Debbie and Greg was to watch true love unfold in front of you. They were both so committed to one another that it was an inspiration to everyone around them. The life they led and the friends they attracted to them was a true testament to who they were as a couple, simply beautiful.

Preceding Debbie in death were her grandparents, Robert and Nadine Karg, great-grandmother Beulah Davis and uncle, Rob Karg. Left to cherish her memory are her loving husband, Greg Lee of New Prague, MN, daughter Morgan Swanson and boyfriend Austin Geelan of Menomonee, WI, son Nicholas Swanson of New Prague, MN, honorary daughter Sydney (Sydlet) Culshaw of New Prague, MN, parents Walter and Janet Woodyard of Liberty, MO, brother Rick Woodyard and wife Stacey of Liberty, MO, uncle Randy Karg and wife Chris of Clarinda, IA, father and mother-in-law Gary and Evalene Lee of Columbus, MN , brother-in-law Geoff Lee and wife Laurie of River Falls, WI, brother-in-law Jason Lee and wife Ranae of Andover, MN, sister-in-law Kim Baxter and Tony of Eden Prairie, MN, six nephews, three nieces and many wonderful friends.

Due to the current gathering restrictions, we will have a celebration of Deb’s life later when things open up enough to accommodate all those that love her.

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10 months ago
Tina and Brad Merzwski
11 months ago

We are so sorry Greg and family for your loss. Deb will be missed by many, yet her legacy will go on. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. RIP Deb

Tina and Brad Merzwski

Rebecca J Gladhill
11 months ago

Debbie was a beautiful lady- inside and out, with a quiet, loving spirit. Our condolences to her entire family. May God comfort you with His peace and presence.

Janeil Dropik
11 months ago

A beautiful soul, who touched so many peoples lives. We are so sad to hear we have lost such a special woman. To all who loved her, I send hugs and sympathy.

Ben Hilding
11 months ago

This breaks my heart. As I coached Nick in tennis, Deb sent me the kindest messages encouraging me as a coach. And she was so supportive of Nick as a player even as she battled this cancer. Nick- even though you aren’t having a gathering right now, know that you have my support and my prayers. God be with you, and may God be with Deb.

Mary Reedy
11 months ago

Deb was a wonderful kind , and caring person She will b greatly missed she was loved by many. A beautiful person here on earth and she is a beautiful Angel in heaven.

Andrea Bartusek
11 months ago

Sending love, strength, prayers to you all. She will never be forgotten

Deb Aune Wacha
11 months ago

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Wendy Fadden
11 months ago

I’m so sad to hear of your mom’s passing. Everything written about her as a mother was so true. What a beautiful daughter she raised, both on the inside and the outside.

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