Allegan County News & Union Enterprise Obituaries

Obituary: Deb S. Smalla

Passed away Monday, September 4, 2023 in Kalamazoo. Deb was born November 21, 1955 in Kalamazoo, the daughter of James and Diane (Kopp) Nelson. Deb was a 1974 graduate of Otsego High School and had worked for Perrigo for 41 years retiring in 2017. She enjoyed trips to the casino, she especially loved spending time with her friends and hanging out at her favorite social club, Salvino’s. She also enjoyed golfing, walking and being outside. More than anything, Deb loved her family, especially spending time with her grandchildren and watching their sporting events. On October 19, 2002 she married Tom Smalla who survives; also surviving are her children, Steve (Kelly) VanSparrentak, of Alamo Twp, Brandi (Kevin Kahl) Leonard of Gobles, Beth (Eric) Covault of Byron Center, Sarah (Jimmy) DeJonge of Kalamazoo, 10 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren; her siblings, Vicki Chenelle, Maryann (Dan) Bowman, Chris (Terry) Leroy, Bill Markus, Bob (Lynda) Markus. She was preceded in death by her parents and father William Markus and brother Dale Nelson. Friends may meet with Deb’s family Friday, September 8, 2023 at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego from 4 to 7 P.M.  A private burial of ashes will take place at Mountain Home Cemetery, Otsego at a later time. In lieu of flowers donations in Deb’s memory may be made to Wings of Hope Hospice. Special thanks to Lake House of Kalamazoo. Messages of condolence may be posted at

Leave a Reply