Debbie Leong, 70, from Pierre, SD, passed away on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, at Sanford Medical Center in Bismarck, ND.
A private service for family members only is being conducted.
Debbie was born in Rangoon, Myama (Burma), on December 11, 1950, to Shee Chow Leong and Soo Koon Wong. She was the third oldest of ten children. She remembered her father’s store in Burma, and told of his talent and foresight which brought to the large family a very comfortable lifestyle.
Communism arrived and forced the family to New York City where they began things from scratch. After finishing school, Debbie worked with both her father and mother, and finally joined the Internal Revenue Service where she worked until her retirement, moving to South Dakota in 2014.
Debbie was a voracious traveler. From New Zealand to Italy to Alaska, it is hard to find a destination that she didn’t visit. She told tales of balloon rides, dog sled races, riding crew boats, watching musicals and unending seafood and filet mignon buffets.
Debbie was dedicated to her family and took her parents to China where they visited her father’s childhood village. After her father’s passing, Debbie and her mother became best friends and took to the highway again. Seeing the foliage in Vermont, cruising to Alaska twice, visiting family in California, they went everywhere together.
Debbie was an encouraging sister, always saying “go for it,” if asked about a venture. She spent her last days surrounded by loved ones. She will be missed by all.
Debbie was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers Johny, Richie, and her sister Helen. She is survived by brothers Frank (Marisa), Peter (Roseanne), and Jack (Sheree) and sisters Rosemary (Tommy), Betty (Rocco), and Tina (Libby).
In lieu of flowers, the family wishes that donations be sent to the American Cancer Society.