Debbie Furry, loving wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, and friend passed away January 16 after a brief illness. Her kind and generous nature led everyone who knew her to refer to her as the nicest person you would ever know. It is difficult to mention her name in any setting near Cambridge, Ohio without hearing that she was their 2nd grade teacher and she was the best teacher they ever had. She was generous and creative and loved giving beautiful gifts she crocheted or embroidered to her friends and family. She was an amazing listener who could find the positive in any situation and made you feel good about yourself. Her gifts will be missed by all who knew her.
Debbie was born in Columbus, Ohio on December 7, 1952, the oldest child of Chuck and Judy Norquist. Her family relocated to Jamestown, New York where her father joined the family business. He was a professional musician who later opened a music store near Chautauqua Institute in upstate New York. Her mother was a reading specialist and elementary teacher, avid golfer and lover of the outdoors. She shared a strong family bond and her beloved Swedish heritage with her three sisters who still meet every year to enjoy a “sister trip” together. She left New York to attend Muskingum University where she would graduate in 1975 with a degree in elementary education. She was hired soon after by Noble Local School District as a reading specialist and remained a teacher there until her retirement. She soon met a local Cambridge man, Chris Furry who was taken by her ability to listen to him and share his enthusiasm for the same things. They have been married for 40 years and share three children and three grandchildren.
Daughter Kristen shares Debbie’s love of music. She also graduated from Muskingum University with a degree in music education. She remembers her mother as a great listener who was always there for you. She was devoted to the students she taught and emphasized it was so important to see them for who they were. She not only educated them but made sure they had the clothing and food they needed to grow to be happy and secure.
Son Nathan shares Debbie’s love of family, travel, and adventure. She was a devoted Nana (a nod to her Swedish heritage) to his three children who showed that taking care of people was the most important thing to her. Nathan has made a career with the US Navy as a helicopter flight instructor. His mother’s stories of her travels around the world no doubt inspired his love for adventure.
Daughter Alison shares Debbie’s love of service to others. She is an occupational therapy practitioner working in a rehabilitation facility. Her sunny disposition helps her patients to believe they can overcome the obstacles they face. She remembers her mother’s always positive outlook and the ability to put other’s needs before her own.
Close friends remember Debbie’s sparkle, the twinkle in her eye, and her warm, loving smile. She was always game for a new adventure and you could be sure she would have lots of fun doing it. They share fond memories of long walks on the beach singing songs and laughing until the early morning hours. She was an active member of Harvest Bible Chapel where she leaves many dear friends.
Debbie leaves her loving husband of 40 years, Chris Furry of Pleasant City, Ohio, children Kristen Furry of Cambridge, Ohio, Nathan Furry (Emily) of Hampton, Virginia, Alison Furry (Brett Ennis) of Bountiful, Utah and grandchildren Madison, Lauren, and Christopher Furry of Hampton, Virginia. She is also survived by sisters Sallie Norquist (Noel O’Flanagan) of Verona, New Jersey, Mary Moynihan (Steve) of Portland, Oregon, and Janet Baglia (Dave) of Holly Springs, North Carolina and many loving nieces and nephews.
Services will be held for the immediate family followed by burial at Greenwood Cemetery in Byesville. A memorial celebration will be held later in the summer at the convenience of the family. Donations may be made to an endowment fund to support the music education program at Noble Local Schools. Please make checks payable to Noble Local School District and indicate the Deborah Furry Music Endowment Fund, 20977 Zep Road, Sarahsville, Ohio 43779.
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