Deborah Lynn Wagman

A celebration of life for Deborah Vickers-Wagman, 70, Lawrence, will be at 4pm on Wednesday, December 14th at her daughter’s residence, 3737 Peterson Road.

Deb passed away at KU Medical Center on November 21, 2022 just before noon due to complications with Covid and a rare congenital defect in her abdomen.

Deb was born in Fargo, North Dakota on January 28, 1952.  Her parents, Mick and Evelyn Vickers, raised her in Rapid City, South Dakota, along with her three younger brothers.

Deb graduated from Stevens High School in 1970.  In 1996 she obtained a BA in Literature from Iowa State University (magna cum laude).

Deb’s college degree at the ripe age of 44 augmented her many accomplishments in life thus far; she had become a celebrated restaurant manager, seasoned chef, practiced baker, renowned recipe developer, and superb culinary writer.

The highlight of Deb’s career was working as a Senior Editor for the Meredith Corporation (Better Homes & Gardens) in the Special Interest Publications department.  Her many captivating magazines earned her awards and accolades at the highest level.

Deb married her husband, Bruce Michael Wagman on February 4, 1974 in Bozeman, Montana.  She had two daughters, Erin Renee (Borgmann) and Rachel Elise (Bredemus).

In all her professional endeavors, Deb was exceptionally talented and relentlessly dedicated to perfectionism.  Her boundless creativity was expressed in all areas of her life and her eye for detail was inspiring.  Her artistry as a baker and chef was fueled by a love for gardening, a strong grasp of food chemistry, and an intense passion for flavor, depth and substance.

Deb was known for turning around a writing deadline in record time and for peppering her sophisticated verbiage with a searing sense of humor.  She did not suffer fools gladly nor did she do anything in life half-way.

Even after enduring a stroke in 2014, Deb continued to write, cook, and create beauty in her surroundings.  Though it was at a slower pace and through the lens of debilitating fatigue and depression, she always knew how to lay down a phrase that would make your head spin, and often, your heart sing.

Survivors include, her husband, Bruce, daughter Rachel, Lawrence, KS, three brothers Mark Vickers, Rapid City SD, Chris Vickers, Grapevine, TX, and Mike Vickers, Quincy, CA, and two grandchildren, Violet (Bredemus) and Charlie (Borgmann).

Deb is preceded in death by her mother, 2007, her daughter, Erin, 2013, and her father, 2020.

In lieu of flowers, Deb would have loved donations to be made to the Lawrence Humane Society at

Messages & Condolences

From Julie Siepker Casten...

Dear Rachel & family,
I’m so sorry for your loss. Your mom was always so kind & creative. I loved her handwriting 🙂
You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

From Julie Dixon...

Bruce and Rachel, I am immensely saddened that my old friend is no longer with us; I can’t imagine the world without her. Sending sincere condolences and love to you.

From Elise Wagter...

Dear Bruce and Rachel,
I haven’t met your wife and mother. But through the loving stories told by Rachel at camp (2006) she came to mind as an amazing, loving and outstanding woman.
Thank you for sharing those moments back then Rachel.
Love, Elise

From Suzanne Morrissey...

I intersected with Deb only briefly at Meredith, but she left an impression on me that created our long-distance friendship. We first met when a group of us were fulfilling Christmas wish lists for underserved families in Des Moines, and one Spanish-speaking family requested a microwave oven, among other things for the children. I bumped into Deb wrestling with an impeccably wrapped microwave oven in the Meredith parking lot. She had even included a lengthy note to the family’s abuela…in Spanish and her font-worthy penmanship…that encapsulated love for one’s neighbor and for preparing family meals. I was hooked, and have admired her writing and wit ever since. I am incredibly sorry you must bear this loss, Bruce and Rachel. Please know you are in my heart as well.

From Joel Green...

To Bruce, the Wagman and Vickers families, please accept my deepest sympathies for your loss. Deb’s love and energy were boundless, and positively touched many lives. She will be missed. May your memories of her be blessings to you all.

From Julia Green Rombough...

Bruce & Rachel, I only met you one time (at Erin’s funeral). I only met Deb twice (first in Lawrence, & then at said funeral). I will never forget Deb’s generosity when my husband died unexpectedly in 2017. She sent me the book “Stitches,” by Anne Lamott. And she sent me some delicious caramels with this note: “In times of grief prayers don’t help. Casseroles don’t help. But chocolates do help.” I still remember laughing out loud at her truth & wit. May Deb’s memory be for blessing, & may your memories of her bring you peace.

From Dave Hessman...

Bruce my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you celebrate Debs life and the journey as her journey into eternity continues I knew Deb and her family from Blessed Sacrament first Communion confirmation catechism then high school where we all graduated in 1970 she always had a great attitude and a smile I know you and Deb shared marriage for 48years that alone speaks to your character and love I pray for Peace and good for

From Mike Gould...

It is difficult for me to think that a person of such energy, talent, and kindness has left us. The lamps of this world burn dimmer in her absence. I will miss Deb. May the passing of each day lighten your burden of loss. Much love from the Black Hills.

From Jeanne...

Condolences to Bruce, Rachel, and family. I so enjoyed Deb’s friendship, wit, and, compassion. I’m truly at a loss for words. She was a role model for me.

From Peter Claussen...

Dear Bruce,
A lovely person and wonderful writer has left us – as you know better than most and for that especially I extend my condolences and faraway sorrow. After leaving Rapid City, I knew Deb mostly through letters we exchanged for a time (beginning in the late 90’s) and from a brief stop-by visit with our then small children about 20 years ago. Still, I was surprised by news of Deb’s passing and am dismayed that her voice and wit are silenced. I will miss knowing she’s in the world. Take good care.

From Daniel Rolf...

Bruce & Family —
So very sorry for your loss. Bruce, you said so many wonderful and palpably loving things about Deb I feel like I knew her. You and your family are in my thoughts.

You cannot know how much I appreciated your friendship over the years. Your generosity, empathy, humor, and fantastic storytelling helped me during some difficult times in my life—truly. If there is anything I can do to help you now or in the future, never hesitate to ask.
All my love

From Steve Fair...

Bruce, one of my favorite afternoons was spent with you and Deb talking at your house. I am deeply saddened by your loss and I will remember her kindness and warmth. I always say this, but I’m down the street if you ever need anything.

From Andrea Herstowski...

Bruce thank you for sharing Deb with us at many Design Department events! It was always a delight to chat with Deb and see you together. Take care my friend and please let the people around you hug you extra long.

From Barry Fitzgerald...

So sorry to hear the sad news. My condolences to you and your family.

From May Tveit...

Dear Bruce, I’m so so sorry to hear of your loss. Sending love to you and your family. May

From Michael & Michelle Eckersley...

To Bruce and family. Please accept my condolences with the passing of your wife Deborah.

From Lilly McElroy...

Bruce, I am deeply sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you during this time. I only had the opportunity to meet Deb once, but I’ve loved hearing you speak about her and her work. There was so much warmth and generosity.

From Mike Sinclair...

You are in my thoughts and prayers. So sorry to hear this news.

From Tim Hossler...

Bruce, you have always been supportive and such a good friend. I can never thank you enough for being there when we were struggling. I feel so sad today after hearing today of Deb’s passing.

From Bruce and Cozy Hallberg...

To Bruce, Rachel, and Family. Our deepest sympathy over the loss of Deb, who will always be in our hearts as one of the greatest: chef, creator, writer, stylist, and friend. We are so sorry that she is gone and we send you all the love that has been there all these years, from the 1915 Firehouse to NYC, and on to the present. Sending love, and hugs. Bruce and Cozy Hallberg

Please Share Your Message & Condolences

*All fields are required. Your email address will not be published.