Ogden: Debbie passed peacefully on November 17, 2018. She will long be remembered as a gifted and dedicated teacher, selfless volunteer in service to others, and a devoted mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend to those who were blessed to have her in their lives. Debbie is survived by her husband Bruce, sons Ryan and Mark (Abbey); mother Ruthe (Duane) Neu; siblings Bob LaBreck, Cheryl (Kearns) Dodd, Glenn Kearns, Kathy (Kearns) Vogel, Dana Neu, Scott Neu.
A celebration of her life will be planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, donation may be directed to The House of Mercy in Rochester, NY or to the American Cancer Society.
Online donations to The House of Mercy may be made at their website here: http://houseofmercyrochester.org/
The following is a eulogy, shared by Debbie’s loving husband, Bruce:
How do I adequately memorialize the truly wonderful woman whom I had the blessing of having in my life for more than half of a century? Debbie was taken from us much too soon, leaving an enormous void in the lives of her family and friends. However, it helps to fill that void with many warm and wonderful memories of our times with her.
Debbie has much for which to be remembered; she played numerous roles in the course of her life which affected many people – all for the better.
She was a loving daughter, sister, mother, wife, or friend who genuinely and deeply felt the joys, sorrows, exaltations or disappointments that others were experiencing. It wasn’t “just words” with Debbie; she truly cared, tried to help whenever she could, and just wanted to see everyone happy.
She was a volunteer ambulance driver, medic, and dispatcher who put in thousands of hours of service helping people in their moment of need.
She was a superior student who earned a master’s degree in education and went on to become a skilled and dedicated teacher who earned the rank of full professor. It wasn’t just the effort that she gave her students; it was also the caring. She worried about those who weren’t doing well and about any personal problems that might hinder them.
As a father, I had the wonderful peace of mind that comes with knowing that our sons have a mother who loved them intensely and did everything possible to ensure their well-being and to encourage their development. From the time that they were toddlers, Debbie constantly sought activities and experiences that they would enjoy, and that would teach them and broaden them.
Debbie had a generous heart and supported many charities, including the support of numerous children around the world through the World Vision program. The House of Mercy was a favorite for whom she collected and delivered donations of clothing and household goods.
I cannot adequately encapsulate the impact that Debbie has had on my life. From the moment when that beautiful young girl said “yes” to a date, through the moment she said “I do” at the altar, and for the forty-five years since, my life has been blessed by having her in it. She shared in the tough times as well as the good; she was my steadfast best friend and source of strength when I needed one. As much as the loss hurts, I am grateful for having had the chance to know and feel the kind love that many people never have.
I believe that Debbie’s spirit will live on; that the positive impact that she has had on our lives will lead us to have a similar effect on the lives of others.