Cover photo for Debra Jean Rhoades-Martin's Obituary
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1956 Debbie Martin 2023

Debra Jean Rhoades-Martin

February 17, 1956 — September 20, 2023



Debra “Debbie” Jean Rhoades Martin, 67, passed peacefully at home on September 20, 2023, surrounded by family and loved ones after a battle with cancer. Debbie was born February 17, 1956 in Long Beach, California to Ervin and Beverly Jean (Johnson) Rhoades Jr. A memorial celebration of her life will be held on September 27, 2023 at 11:00 AM at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Davenport, Iowa. Father Patrick will be officiating. Memorials may be made to the family. Cremation rights have been observed.


Debbie was united in marriage to Dan Hansen and together, they had three children, twin girls and a boy, two of whom died at birth and one just days later. They divorced and she later married Richard "Rick" Dawson, and although they later divorced, they remained friends and committed to raising their daughter Chanel together. She was later married to Thomas Martin on December 28, 2013. He also preceded her in death on November 18, 2020.


Debbie had an infectious personality and a quick wit that could make you laugh no matter how you were feeling. Her first passion in life was her daughter Chanel and her grandchildren. She would move Heaven and Earth for them if she had to, and her love for them will be ever eternal. Her second passion in life were the children she fostered and her friends. She had such a generous heart, and her her home was always open to those in need, becoming a “mom” to many. Debbie also loved her furbabies and had many throughout her life including a skunk named Oreo. She enjoyed baking, cooking, traveling, riding on Tom's motorcycle, fishing, camping, sewing and crocheting. Most importantly, she loved spending time with her family. She was so loved by so many, and her absence will truly be felt.


Debbie was always quite the worker who did what she had to do for her family. No matter what the job, she was always dedicated to it. In her early years, she worked for Sears Awning, IBP, Hackners and Seven-Eleven in addition to bartending in Davenport and Rock Island. In her later years she ran a restaurant in Northpark Mall, then Southprk Mall. After marrying Tom, they moved to Terra Haute, Indiana where Debbie opened a restaurant called Deb's Diner. About two years later, missing home and her daughter, Debbie convinced Tom to move back to the Quad Cities.


Debbie also studied Criminal Justice and Political Science, and earned her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa in 2005.


Those left to honor her memory are her daughter, Chanel Dawson Pfiffner, Davenport, Iowa; two grandchidren, Hayden Pfiffner and Alexzandria (Alex) Pfiffner, both from Davenport, Iowa; stepdaughter Erika Dawson, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; a sister Rhonda M. (Larry) Rhoades-Pruden Jr., Bonaparte, Iowa; and a host of nephews, nieces, extended family and special friends.


In addition to her three children and husband Tom, she was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Michael “Dusty” Rhoades and Ronald “Ronnie” Rhoades; and sister, Brenda Rhoades.


Online remembrances may be expressed at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Debra Jean Rhoades-Martin, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Mass

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church

4105 N Division St, Davenport, IA 52806

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