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Debra Louise Moree Shackelford (better known as Debbie, Deb, Sister, Mom and Granny Shack), 69, of Crosses, Arkansas passed away on February 20, 2023.
Debbie was born on August 7, 1953 to Louise June Bell and George Emanuel Moree in Palm Beach County, Florida. She was preceded in death by her parents, one brother, Paul Grover Stickel, her late husband, Eugene Shackelford, and her best friends Isis Brown and Bob Warford.
She is survived by her partner of 22 years, Steve Sandoval, four sisters, Harriet, Gerri (Ronnie), Kay and Mary, her two daughters, Mina Nazarali Bradford and Amy Shackelford, Steve’s sons, Danny Sandoval (Sarah, Harmony, Emily, Darian and
Stella) and Mark Sandoval (Kayla and Danika), and her two grandchildren, VanZandt Gray Bradford and Pippa Joon Bradford, along with many nieces and nephews and a host of other family and friends.
As a young woman, Debbie had an adventurous spirit. For many years, her only mode of transportation was her trusty bicycle. In October of 1975, Debbie, her sister, Gerri, brother, Paul, boyfriend, Bruce, and friend, Lydian set out from Southampton, New York on their bicycles on what they dubbed, “The Great Journey”. They traveled a total of 1,576 miles over 25 days. They would ride during the day and camp at local parks at night where they would befriend fellow campers. They visited State Parks in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
Debbie had many talents. She enjoyed taking pictures. She documented her entire bicycle adventure with her Pentax 35mm camera. She was a writer. She and her fellow companions kept a journal of that adventure and it is as entertaining to read today as it was 45 years ago. She was a fantastic seamstress who made her own clothes, even before she knew you could buy and follow a pattern. She made many costumes for her daughter, Mina, over the years. She was funny and definitely had
a knack for spinning a good story. She loved to go on adventures, have fun and laugh. Debbie also had the talent for building things. In her lifetime she built two homes.
After her bicycle adventure, Debbie decided she wanted to live in a place that experienced all four seasons. Upon the recommendation of a coworker, Debbie set out to find the perfect place to plant her roots and landed in Northwest Arkansas.
After a three day trek across Arkansas with her sisters, Debbie found 60 acres of land for sale in Patrick. To her, it was the dream place she had imagined. She could look at the small, lean-to cabin that was set on the vast land and envision all of its potential.
In order to be closer to her dream in Arkansas, Debbie moved from New York to Houston, Texas. This allowed her to be closer to Northwest Arkansas and have a steady job to earn the money she would need for the purchase of the 60 acres in
Patrick. While working as a waitress at a local steakhouse, Debbie met Hooshang Nazarali. They were married in 1980. This union resulted in the birth of their daughter, Mina. Shortly after Mina’s birth, they moved to Patrick on the 60 acres
and purchased the Crosses store. Debbie spent her days working at the store and used her free time to build her dream home around the small lean-to. Before long, a beautiful house stood where once only the lean-to had been.
In 1990, Debbie married Eugene Shackelford and moved to Crosses Creek. This union resulted in the birth of their daughter, Amy. For ten years, Debbie worked on their chicken farm tending to four chicken houses. They also owned horses and
enjoyed going on trail rides on the Buffalo River. Every year, they looked forward to the four day long ride to attend the annual St Paul Pioneer Days. Debbie was widowed in 2000.
In 2001, Debbie met Steve Sandoval. They spent 22 wonderful years together. It was with his help that she built her second home, but the houses were not all she built. She also built furniture for the house. Steve and Debbie loved cheering on
the Kansas City Chiefs football team together. They also shared a love of traveling and camping. Whether it was across the country or just down the road at Tim’s house, they would pack up Steve’s camper and set out on an adventure. In 2001,
they took Danny, Amy and Mark on a road trip to Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, and Garden of the Gods. Over the years, they enjoyed camping in Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia and Florida. Debbie and Steve also shared a love of
music, especially the Perkins Brothers Band.
In 2012, Debbie welcomed her first grandson, VanZandt, followed by first granddaughter, Pippa, in 2014. Granny Shack, as her grandkids lovingly referred to her, was very proud of her grandbabies. She was even known to send their photos to every single person in her Facebook contact list. Van and Pippa loved spending time with Granny Shack. She would play foosball, board games, and cards with them. They were convinced that the chocolate chips at Granny Shack’s house tasted better than chocolate chips anywhere else in the entire world. Her grandkids brought out the kid in Debbie, as well. She loved pretending to be a monster in the mornings when they would go to wake her up. Debbie also traveled with her grandkids on a three week road trip down through the South, back up the East Coast to Rhode Island and across Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and back to Arkansas. She introduced them to Wheel of Fortune and kept a trampoline at her house just for them to jump on.
Debbie lived a good life. She loved a good party and she was often the life of that party. She loved to dance, drink, laugh and have a great time. She was free spirited, fun-loving, and independent. She was a carefree, jack-of-all trades, who would help anybody that needed it. She lived a loud, big, full life with adventure, love and fun. She was adamant that she never wanted a funeral. She never wanted people dressed in black, crying over the fact that she is gone. Instead, she wanted a party where friends and family could get together, talk, laugh, listen to good music, dance, have a cold drink and remember all of the good times to celebrate her life, a life well lived.
Arrangements by Arkansas Cremation, 10515 W Markham St, Ste B1, Little Rock, AR 72205.
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