FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) -- A joint memorial service was held Saturday (Sept. 21) in Fort Smith for Debbie Stevens and her now-deceased mother Nancy Organ.
Stevens died during the flash flooding August 24 when her car was swept away in a flash flooding. The 9-1-1 call between Stevens and former dispatcher Donna Reneau made International news after the released audio raised concerns about the way Reneau treated Stevens in her last moments.
Reneau scolded Stevens for being in the water.
Steven's mother, Nancy passed away about a week ago. A joint service was held at Eastside Baptist Church. It was an extremely emotional day as the community said their goodbyes.
"When you lose two people at the same time in a very short span of time it`s an overwhelming reality. Especially when they were both as loved as they were by not only the community but by their church," said Eastside Baptist Church Pastor Matt Bonnett. "I think it`s a blessing to be able to have the service together because in life they did everything else together. There`s obviously still things around the death of Debbie that are going to be difficult to process. Even in that process, there's still going to be things that are good that are going to come out of that."
Stevens was a caregiver to her mother Nancy. The pair were always together.
"Nancy had a tough time doing it on her own a little later in life. So, everywhere she went in everything she did she was encouraged by Debbie. When Debbie passed there is a lot of folks within our church and the family that were able to step up and continue to care for Nancy," Bonnett said.
Stevens and Organ were passionate about the church's children's ministry and taught a Sunday school class together.
"They were loved by all and they loved everybody. If they could help you with something they did. If they could be a comfort to you they were. They were just God's hands and feet here, wherever they were," said Helen Medley a fellow Sunday school teacher at the church.
In August, the church set up a memorial fund in Debbie's honor.
The donations covered the cost of Debbie and Nancy's funeral.
Church members said other money raised by the memorial fund will go towards the children's ministry in honor of Debbie and Nancy.