Fort Smith remembers Debbie Stevens and her mother


"We are here to celebrate the lives of two wonderful women"

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA) — Hundreds of people gathered on Saturday, September 21, to say goodbye to some of their own one last time.

The parking lot at East Side Baptist Church in Fort Smith was completely full of people who are celebrating the lives of two women who served there.

The church gathered together to remember Debbie Stevens, the woman who died trapped inside her car during a flash flood, and her mother, Nancy, who died unexpectedly after her daughter’s passing.

East Side Baptist Church Executive Pastor Matt Bonnett said this is an opportunity to reflect on Debbie’s and Nancy’s lives instead of the tragedy of their deaths.

He knew both women well because they cared for his son, Daniel.

“From the time he was three until he was almost six, he was with them every single week,” Pastor Bonnett said. “I got to see Nancy and Debbie playing with him, sharing their heart, loving on him, and showing him how exciting life can be.”

He said both women carry a great amount of legacy after all the years they put in selflessly giving back to the community.

“It was a privilege to be able to know them, know their integrity, know their love for people, and the way that they thought of others higher than themselves,” Pastor Bonnett said.

He said they both showed love in every capacity no matter where they were and that it was an honor to know them.

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