INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Debra D. Linder (Debbie), of Indianapolis, Ind., passed away Tuesday, April 21, and joined her Lord in heaven.

She was born on March 31, 1958, in Chicago, Ill. Her birth parents were the late Henry and Willie H. Pittman and her adoptive parents were the late Ike and Deleane Milligan. She attended Lakeview High School and graduated in 1976.

Debbie married Thomas E. Linder Jr. (Tommy) on Feb. 27, 1998. Tommy’s parents, Tom and Mona Linder live in Wilton and since Debbie met Tommy in 1997, the Wilton area had become a second home to Debbie and Tommy’s family became Debbie’s family.

She was an active member of Northside Baptist Church in Indianapolis, where she sang in the choir and participated in numerous choir events and Christmas and Easter pageants over the years.

After meeting Tommy in 1997, and a whirlwind courtship for a year, they married on Feb. 27, 1998. They both shared a marriage rich in doing things for each other and for others and practiced “Pay It Forward” whenever they could.

They both loved each other (more than words could express), holding hands (in public and private), vacations, cuddling, stealing kisses (in public and private) travel, telephone collectibles (due to Debbie’s telecommunication background), Moose collectibles (from Debbie’s new found family via Tommy in Maine) cooking gourmet meals, reading, yellow roses (Debbie’s favorite flower), church and church related events, gardening (indoors and out), music and singing, Christmas in Maine with her new mom, dad, sisters and family (Tommy’s parents, sisters, and family eating out (though not a much after they each had bariatric surgeries in 2003 and 2004), Southern Gospel music and quartets, beaches (and walks on the beach) and lighthouse.

They both exemplified the saying “Life Is Good” and they looked forward to growing old together. Tommy said he married a younger lady so she could take care of him when he was old.

She worked for the law firm of Isham, Lincoln & Beale in Chicago in the late 1970s and early 1980s as a telecommunications specialist/counselor (managed their telephone system). Maintaining her skills and training, she left the law firm and went to work for the Chicago Sun-Times as their telecommunications analyst/manager, managing their entire telephone/communications system.

She moved to Indianapolis in 1993 to work for Fairchild Communications as a communication customer service manager overseeing telecommunication and telephone systems for Fairchild clients.

She accepted a job as a business communications account manager for Verizon in early 2008, where she oversaw Verizon client communications in Texas, until being assigned to the Verizon client territory in California early this year. During her 35 plus years telecommunications career, she received numerous certifications, awards, achievements and recognition.

She was a member of BICSI, the foremost professional association supporting the telecommunications industry.

She is survived by her husband, Thomas E. Linder Jr. of Indianapolis; one son, J.C. of Indianapolis; two daughters, Ann and Emily of Lynchburg, Va.; three sisters, Cricket Capps of Milan, Tenn., Brinda Hoffman of Jackson, Tenn., and Vickie Lester of Charlotte, N.C.; two brothers, Billy and Wesley Pittman of Chicago, Ill.; one deceased brother, Terry Pittman; three grandchildren, Jayden, Maddox and Myah of Indianapolis; and many friends who loved her dearly. After her meeting Tommy in 1997, and her marriage to Tommy in 1998, she claimed Tommy’s family as her family and their Maine home as her home. As such, she is also survived by her Maine father and mother, Thomas E. Sr. (Tom) and Mona Linder of Wilton; and three Maine sisters, Pamela and Clint Brooks of Jay, Paula Linder of Orono and Charlotte (YaYa) and Mike Nyboe of Round Pond.

She considered her life richly blessed to have her Maine family adopt her as one of their own. On frequent visits to Maine and the annual “Christmas in Maine” with the Linder family, Tommy and Debbie attended Farmington Baptist Church and enjoyed their Southern Baptist Church “Family,” the worship services, the music and especially the teaching/preaching of their dear friend, Pastor Earl Edgerly, senior pastor of Farmington Baptist Church.

Tommy came to Maine in 1967 with his family, due to Tom Sr. being transferred to the new International Paper Co. in Jay. Tommy attended and graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington in 1972. During their visits to Maine, Tommy introduced Debbie to many of his college friends and faculty, family friends, Maine Rep. Tom Saviello (a mentor of Tommy’s), L.L. Bean and other Freeport merchants, giant cinnamon rolls and other goodies from Moody’s Diner, Maine lighthouses, the Maine Coast, Maine “winters” and lots of snow, Maine moose, Maine “Whoopie Pies,” Maine lobster, the Mainestone Jewelry Store in Farmington, Maine gemstones, the Victorian Rose Bed & Breakfast in Wilton, Farmington Area Shopping (Mickey’s Variety, Everyday Music, Calico Patch, Reny’s, Richard’s Florist, Homestead Bakery & Restaurant, the Granary Restaurant, Java Joe’s, Up Front & Pleasant Gourmet, Liquid Sunshine, Dutch Treat) and that most unique and loved “Maine Way of Life.”

In memory of Debbie’s passing, a scholarship fund has been identified for contributions/donations (for contributions/donations see the funeral notice). The Mee Maw’s Kitchen scholarship fund was founded by Frank Speckman, Mee Maw’s (Darlene Speckman) husband, to honor Mee Maw and to fund the needs for Northside Baptist Church youth and allow them to attend the “Ultimate Youth Camp” each year. Mee Maw Speckman introduced Debbie to Tommy in 1997 at church at Northside Baptist and the rest is history. Mee Maw passed on to be with her Lord in March 2005. Debbie’s son, J.C. was saved at “Ultimate Youth Camp” and both of Tommy’s daughters, (Ann and Emily) have attended “Ultimate Youth Camp.”

Debbie’s favorite Bible verses include: “Be still and know that I am God” – Psalm 46:10 (her “most” favorite), “I will praise Thee: For I am fearfully and wonderfully made” – Psalm 139:14 (a favorite verse from Tommy’s late grandmother), “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose” – Romans 8:28, “Call unto Me and I will answer Thee by revealing what is hard and hidden, what you do not know” – Jeremiah 33:7, and “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in time of trouble” – Psalm 46:1.

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