Debra Pierce

July 23, 1955 - September 7, 2021

Fort Atkinson, WI - Debra L. Pierce, age 66, of Fort Atkinson passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by her family on Tuesday, September 7, 2021. She was born on July 23, 1955 in Madison, WI to Dale and Ruth (Foss) Smithback. Debbie graduated from Fort Atkinson High School and then attended the University of Wisconsin-Stout where she earned a degree in Home Economics. She then went onto attend school at UW-Whitewater to get her Masters in Special Education. She married Thomas Pierce on October 18, 1980. She was employed as a Special Education teacher and spent over 30 years with the school district of Fort Atkinson at Barrie Elementary School. She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Atkinson and loved to sew, quilt and make cards.

She is survived by her husband Thomas Pierce of Fort Atkinson, son Christopher (Stacey) Pierce of Fort Atkinson, Daughter Mallory (Jonathan) Klaphake of St. Cloud, MN. Granddaughter Ryann Pierce, Mother Ruth Smithback of Whitewater, Siblings Douglas (Lisa) Smithback of Edgerton, Lisa (John) Butler of St. Augustine, FL. She is preceded in death by her father Dale Smithback.

Memorial Services will be held at 11:00a.m. on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Atkinson with the Rev. Amy Waelchli officiating. Visitation will be held from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Friday evening at the Nitardy Funeral home in Fort Atkinson and then again on Saturday morning at the church from 10:00 until the time of services.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the wonderful nurses and staff at Rainbow Hospice for the excellent care they provided. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to Rainbow Hospice or Trinity Lutheran Church.

Nitardy Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences can be made at

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