Obituary: Debra "Deb" Slatten


July 7, 2023

Debra "Deb" Slatten, 63, of Midway Township, died suddenly Thursday, June 29, 2023, of a cardiac event.

Deb was born April 1, 1960, in Cloquet to Theodore and Marjorie (Seboe) Hillman. She was thin, athletic, and seemingly in perfect health when something went catastrophically wrong.

Deb's law enforcement career started at the age of 15, with the Carlton County Sheriff's Office as a clerk. Deb graduated from Wrenshall High School and earned a law enforcement degree from Bemidji State University. She worked for the Carlton County Sheriff's Office for 10 years. She retired as a sergeant from the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office after 26 years of service.

Deb was a pioneer. She was the first female on patrol in Duluth, the first female criminal investigator and the first female sergeant in Duluth.

Deb married Richard Slatten on Oct. 6, 1990 in Duluth and they built their home in Midway Township. After retiring in 2014, she joined the St. Louis County Rescue Squad, where she became the matriarch and specialized in incident command. Deb thought up "projects," ideas about squad improvements from little to big, that she ran with and made reality.

She was an accomplished seamstress, stained glass artist and sand carver. Deb made beautiful things and other things beautiful, and the squad is a better place and the world more beautiful because of Deb.

We are absolutely destroyed and heartbroken. We will miss Deb beyond any ability to express, and we welcome your prayers as we move forward.

We will honor Deb by gathering around Rick and each other, and then continuing our mission to find the missing, care for the injured, and respectfully recover the dead.

She was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Mary and Gustav Seboe; her father, Ted, and beloved dog, Kaizen. Deb is survived by her loving husband, Rick; her mother, Marge Hillman; brothers, Colin (Michelle) Hillman, Allen (Karin) Hillman and Brian (Angela) Hillman; a niece, Amanda "E-Girl" (Zack) Wyman; a nephew, Jake Hillman; great-nephews, Evan, Aiden and Emmett; Rick's extended family and numerous adopted sons and daughters in the rescue squad.

A visitation took place Wednesday at Williams Lobermeier Boettcher Funeral Home. Visitation continued Thursday morning before a celebration of Deb's life at the AAD Shrine Event Center in Hermantown. Burial was at the Minnesota Veterans Cemetery-Duluth in Saginaw. Memorials to the St. Louis County Sheriff's Volunteer Rescue Squad, P. O. Box 16222, Duluth, MN 55816 would be appreciated.

Pine Knot News, July 7, 2023


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