Deborah L. Obiala

Deborah L. Obiala, nee Schmidt, 76, of Hinsdale passed away Dec. 4, 2023, surrounded by family.

Debbie was born in 1947 in Chicago and grew up in the Beverly neighborhood, attending Kellogg Elementary and Morgan Park High School. At age 20, Debbie married the love of her life, Dan, and the two settled their family in southeast Hinsdale in 1973. Debbie and Dan's 53-year marriage was one of love and faith, happiness and pride.

Debbie built an impressive 45-year real estate career in the Hinsdale area as a longtime broker with Adams & Myers and Sotheby's. Debbie has likely been inside every house in the area and could recite its ownership history with amazing acuity and insight. She loved serving her clients and championing their dreams, as a shrewd negotiator and passionate businesswoman, all the while forging lifelong friendships with her peers and clients.

Debbie possessed an enduring love of horses and German Shepherds. She volunteered for more than 20 years at Hinsdale Hospital. Debbie enjoyed attending brunch at McCormick Place on her way to a Bears game, and skiing Vail, where she charmed John Denver. Debbie treasured nothing more than the thrill of the hunt for the perfect antique or bargain, and collecting sea glass from the shores of Pompano Beach, where she and Dan wintered.

Debbie was a devoted mother who was first to volunteer her time and talents helping make every event special. She put 110 percent into every endeavor. Debbie forged lasting and meaningful relationships with everyone she met. Her children would walk into any shop in Hinsdale and they'd soon be greeted by a chorus of, "How's your mom?" She charmed people with her spirit and her passion.

Debbie lived for her family and grandchildren. A source of constant support, adoration and praise, Debbie could be seen in the bleachers during a rainy April baseball game, delivering standing ovations during grade school recitals or eagerly awaiting a three-minute routine during an eight-hour cheer competition.

She was not afraid to invest in people, and they were the better for it. Debbie's family and friends adored her and will miss her feisty spirit and devotion to those she loved.

Debbie and her partner-in-crime, Janie Fischer, formed an eternal bond as loyal friends and trusted confidants. Their 50-year friendship is one for the books.

Debbie was preceded in death by her husband of 53 years, Daniel E. Obiala; her parents, Thur and Jacqueline Schmidt; and her brother, Erik Schmidt.

Debbie is survived by her children, Dan (Lynne) Obiala, Mike (Kerry) Obiala and Amy (Dave) Brown; her six grandchildren: Emma, Sophie, Jack, Catcher, Peter and Matthew; her great-grandson, Cameron; and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation is from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 19, at Sullivan Funeral Home, 60 S. Grant St., Hinsdale.

A funeral Mass will be said at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 20, at St. Isaac Jogues Church,

An open reception will follow immediately at the Hinsdale Golf Club in Clarendon Hills.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made online to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at