“Life is busy, but you just kind of enjoy the ride,” said Debby Deu, a Valparaiso native who loves her community.
Deu’s love for the area can be traced back to her childhood.
“I love everything about Valpo,” Deu said. “It will always be home to me. It’s my favorite place in the world!”
Particularly meaningful for Deu is the Valpo Vikings football field, where she made many high school memories.
“There’s just nothing better than those Friday night lights,” Deu said. “I was a team manager there, my brother played football there, and now my son plays football there. It’s really become a part of our family’s tradition, and it’s amazing to see it come full circle like this.” In high school, her best friend Natalie managed the team with her.
Today, Deu is secretary of the Viking Quarterback Club, a group of dedicated parents and fans who support the team.
“We’ll provide them with snacks, pizza, Thursday night meals before games, anything they need,” Deu said. “We host a golf outing in support of them as well.”
Deu’s mother also contributes to the team, making her connection to the Vikings even more meaningful. Affectionately known around town as “Mama Deu,” her mom bakes cookies for the team every Thursday night.
“They have a huge group of boys over there, but she didn’t even bat an eye,” Deu said. “Her help means everything to me.”
Deu says her mother has played an intricate role in her life from a young age. Inspired by her example of tenacity and dedication in raising six children and working in the Valpo school system for many years, Deu has adopted her mother’s never-give-up attitude about life.
“Mom used to tell us, ‘Life is rough but you need to keep getting back up, even if it’s 100 times.’ We might not have had everything, but we always had each other. She’s been my rock through everything. She was always there,” Deu said.
From her parents and family, to her friends and coworkers, Deu said she’s always surrounded by a network of powerfully supportive people.
“I call them my tribe. I’m very blessed to have a big family and a lot of close friends and coworkers,” Deu said. She is the receptionist at Indiana Beverage and said the company is a great family company to work for with strong family values. “I’ve been working there for eight years now, but I hope it’s forever!”
When she’s not working or helping out the Valpo High School football team, Deu volunteers for Rebuilding Together Duneland, which brings community volunteers together to improve the lives and homes of financially burdened homeowners.
“We want to keep homeowners safe, warm, and dry,” Deu said. “Giving back means a lot to me. I always say that we have two hands for a reason: one to do for ourselves, and one to do for others. I tend to live my life by that mantra.”
Deu has an air of lighthearted optimism about her, and an infectious laugh that can light up a room in seconds. With her positive attitude and resiliency, she lives every day to the fullest, embracing the good in her life.
“I have a great job, two great sons, a loving fiancé, and great friends,” Deu said. “I really couldn’t be happier. I have truly been blessed.”