OCALA - Deborah Diann Heister, 55, passed away on November 17, 2019. She was born on November 20, 1964 in Boston, Massachusetts to Thomas George Bowes and Camilla Marie Gartland. Deborah Diann Bowes, Deborah Heister, Debby D., Bebby - by any name, she is terribly, heart- achingly missed.
Debby grew up in Massachusetts, 35 miles south of Boston in Plainville. She went to King Philip Regional Vocational High School. She was extremely intelligent and enjoyed learning and reading. She tried her hand at corporate America, and soon discovered it was not her cup of tea. She preferred working on her feet and among people. The restaurant business was where she was happiest, and she ran a very tight ship!
Debby was a voracious reader often sharing books between her mother and sisters. She was not happy unless she was surrounded by books! She loved her tea; black tea with milk and sugar just like Mum taught us. Only recently did she veer ever so slightly from black to Chai and thoroughly enjoyed it. Debby was a true lover of animals, and a huge New England Patriots fan! Debby was a warm soul with a friendly and caring nature. She made friends easily and kept her very best friend from grade school Carol. All were welcome in Debby's world.
Debby touched the lives of so many people, not the least of which was her family. She knew early on she didn't want children. That didn't mean she didn't like kids. She loved her nieces unconditionally as well as the children of her friends, who all called her “Auntie”. She was an independent woman who loved her adventures and her life. She shared that spirit with them and gave them wonderful advice.
She left Massachusetts in the 80’s, following a friend who said & "Denver's great! Come on out!" So, she did. While there, she met her husband Brian Heister; a big old (teddy) bear of a guy. Like Debby, he had a big heart and a welcoming smile for all. They left Denver and bought an alfalfa farm! And, if that wasn't enough to keep them busy, they also hunted elk for their food.
When they got tired of farming, they moved to a small Colorado town called Romeo and opened a feed and hardware store. They always wanted to be busy, so Brian drove a big rig every so often, and Debby would sometimes accompany him. They worked very well together and were a true team.
After Brian died, Debby sold the store, and decided it was time for her next adventure. Two of our sisters and a niece were in Florida and Debby thought "Why not? I'll just spend some time near my family." So, she loaded up her trusty Explorer and moved to Ocala. The humidity was a definite change from the Colorado high desert, but Debby was really enjoying living close to Camilla and her husband Mike. Sherylene and Brianna weren’t too far away in Ft. Lauderdale and they each made the trip regularly to see each other.
The latest Bowes Girls plan was to fly west for Mum's 80th birthday. We were all so excited making plans and looking forward to all being together. Sadly, Debby suffered from bronchitis in the winters - and it does get cold in Florida. On Sunday, November 17th, one day after Dad's birthday and 3 days before her own, Debby sat in her comfy reading chair for a nap and didn't wake up. Our sister Camilla took loving care of her until the family were able to get there.
She is preceded in death by her loving husband, Brian Heister, and her father, Thomas George Bowes. She is survived by her mother Camilla Marie Gartland, sisters Megan Bowes, Sherylene Alfaro, and Camilla Stracuzzi, and her nieces Haily Shea and Brianna Alfaro-Bowes. Brothers in law Khalil Jada, and Mike Stracuzzi, her boyfriend Tyler Nelson, and her many, many friends and extended family. Debby is remembered by so many. We have truly enjoyed hearing your memories. Please continue to share them.
With all our love,
The Bowes Girls
Funeral arrangements are under the care of Countryside Funeral Home, Anthony, Florida. A private
family service is planned.
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