Debra Anne Matthews

Born: Tue., Sep. 3, 1963
Died: Mon., Jan. 25, 2021

Funeral Service


5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Fri., Jan. 29, 2021
Location: James J. Sweeney Funeral Home

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Condolence Booklet

Ashley Miller
   Posted Thu January 28, 2021
I will miss working with Debra. She was always so happy and very talented in making art projects. She always said goodbye to me by telling me she loved me. She was very sweet and loved by many. -Ashley Miller, Debra's SC from Arc Alliance.

Ashley Miller
   Posted Thu January 28, 2021

Spathiphyllum was sent by Ashley Miller.

Liza Jones
   Posted Thu January 28, 2021
Debra was my friend for 27 years. She and I had an amazing relationship and she made me laugh all the time. I have talked to her so many times since I left Melmark four years ago. Debra had a sense of humor and a quick wit. She was always so caring and loving and made beautiful letters to people. She especially made families feel her genuine love for Jesus and for their loved ones when someone passed. I can only hope that the condolences offered here come close to matching her kind heart and the special person that she was. Debra helped me grow and was a very special person to me. She was loyal. She was kind. She was special. I will miss her so much. I love you Deb! Your friend, Liza Jones

Karen Mattox
   Posted Thu January 28, 2021
My condolences to Debra's family and friends. I miss her and hold dear all the many memories I have of her. She always made me smile and I take comfort in knowing that she is in heaven and we will one day see each other again.

Lyons house Staff
   Posted Fri January 29, 2021
Wishing Debra's immediate family and many friends she had the courage, strength and love to help us all through this loss! From her friends at the gym where she attended X2 weekly- religiously; before the pandemic to those she called daily from her house phone to find out how their day was? what they ate? what they should look out for? and reminding them she loved them! Debra will surely be missed!

At her residence, Debra made sure things were structured, the grocery list was continuously updated prior to grocery shopping, inventory for her personal needs and those for the house were kept on check! This made not only shopping a great event but a successful task whenever it occurred.

Debra wrote good letters to all her friends and I am sure most of her friends received her recent sent out holiday cards and messages.

For us at Lyons, we were Blessed to have had the opportunity to have known and lived with Debra! Most importantly Debra taught us how to both love others and to ensure to verbally share that at every opportunity we have since we just don't know when the last "I love you will come....".

Rest in Peace Debra and thanks for the many great memories you have left behind that we will all cherish forever.

Florence Ebun Jossy
   Posted Fri January 29, 2021
I will miss you greatly. Rest on peacefully in the Lord.

My condolences to the family.

Cyndie Burke
   Posted Fri January 29, 2021
Debra was so loved and gave so much love to all around her. She always had a smile and could make you laugh. She will be missed greatly by all that knew and loved her.

   Posted Fri January 29, 2021
To Deborah's Family,
I am so sorry for your loss. I have been at Melmark a long time and I was so glad I got to meet and work with Deborah. It was so nice seeing her work in the Meadows on different projects. She had a great smile and personality. She will be missed! My deepest condolences to you and your family! Sending healing prayers!

Joann Grant
   Posted Fri January 29, 2021
Debbi always made me smile. She viewed the world with a delightful naivete. I can imagine her playing bells in heaven for her grandmother.

Janet Benson
   Posted Fri January 29, 2021
My name is Janet Benson and Debra and I were housemates and friends, for many many years, we went to program together at the Meadows. Debra and I were in the same homeroom. We did knitting together and worked in the garden, and we loved stenciling together. Debra had a big heart and we all loved her very much. She always wanted to help everyone, When she went home for visits she would always call me because we missed one another. I miss Debra very much I know she my Angel now. Love Janet Benson

Elaine Early
   Posted Fri January 29, 2021
My name is Elaine Early and Debra is my housemate and friend.
She sleeps in a big room here at Lyons House with other women.
I went to Program with her we do wood shop together and garden.
I go shopping with her at Acme.
And she will always be my best friend and I love her very much.
I will always be with her forever.
For a long time to come

Pat and Tom Schanely
   Posted Fri January 29, 2021
We were so sad to hear about the loss of Debra. She was such a bright light for her family in Florida during her many visits. She was sweet, kind and so capable. She loved to help out in her Aunt Barbara's dog grooming store when she came to Florida. She will be missed by all who knew her and now heaven has gained a sweet angel.

Lodge Gang
   Posted Fri January 29, 2021
Several of us in the Lodge have been friends with Debra for a very long time. The oldest coming to Melmark back in 1968. We all felt like she was our best friend the moment we met her. We all enjoyed being in the Bell Choir and performing the many plays we put on together. There are so many fun memories that we were able to share with Deb. She loved to knit and would teach us sign language. We enjoyed taking walks with her around the campus. She was often seen riding her bike. Debra would love to tease and always made everyone laugh. We are going to miss her terribly, but know she's with Jesus. You are our "Ray of Sunshine", and we love you so much!


Bill, Ronnie, Marc, Doug, & Missy

Sharon Neeld
   Posted Fri January 29, 2021
I am very sad that my cousin Debra has past. She phoned the house every night to talk to my mother. I could set my clocks to her call. She was a very kind and caring person. She will forever be dancing with her favorite Disney princes and princesses. Love Sharon

Mary Odira
   Posted Fri January 29, 2021
My sincere condolences to the family and friends of Debra and the Melmark community as a whole. What a loss. As soon as I entered Lyons house, Debra would shout, "I like you!" and would ask how I was doing. I needed to make sure I had extra time at Lyons to chat, otherwise I would never make it to my destination. Debra liked to engage others in conversation and genuinely cared about the wellbeing of her friends. As I remember Debra, I'm challenged to always remember to stop and smell the flowers. Will miss her dearly.

Sing and sign with the angels Deb!

Forever in our hearts,

   Posted Fri January 29, 2021
we went handicamp and bible studies together. we were also roommates for a very long time. I will miss her soo much. may she rest in peace.

Alyssa Lingler
   Posted Fri January 29, 2021
I’m so sorry to hear my sweet cousin Debbie has passed. I’m so glad to hear that she brought a light to so many. I always looked forward to reading her letters as I grew up and helped my mom shop for her. I’m sorry I lived too far to be more in loved in her life but it sounds like she was lived by many.
With sympathy,

Robin Holts
   Posted Fri January 29, 2021
Dear Debra Anne,
"I'm Free"
Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free, I'm following the path God laid for me. I took his hand when I heard him call; I turned my back and left it all. I could not stay another day, To laugh, to love, to write or play. Task left undone must stay that way; I found that place at the close of day. If my parting has left avoid. Then fill it with remembered joy. A friendship shared a laugh, a kiss; ah yes, these things, I too will miss. Be not burdened with times of sorrow, wish you the sunshine of tomorrow. My life's been full, I savored much; Good friends, good times, a loved ones touch. Perhaps my time seems all to brief; Don't lengthen it now with undue grief. Lift up your heart and share with me, God wanted me now 'He Sent For Me" Love you Debra

Anne Zabinski
   Posted Thu February 04, 2021
Debra was a funny, caring, loving, hilarious, witty, wonderful soul. She will be truly missed by all! Enjoy all that cake and ice cream in heaven =)

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