M. Deborah “Debbie” Green, 89, of Sharon, Mass., formerly of Morton, Ill., died early Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, after enjoying Christmas Eve dinner with family in Brookline, Mass.
She was born Mary Deborah Colbert on May 12, 1931, in Minneapolis, Minn., to John F. and Margaret E. (McClellan) Colbert. She married Vincent John Green on Aug. 6, 1955, at Our Lady of Lourdes in Bettendorf, Iowa. He preceded her in death on April 6, 2012.
Debbie was a 1953 graduate of Marycrest College in Davenport, Iowa. After college, she worked in Corpus Christi, Texas, until marriage and motherhood beckoned. She returned to the labor force when her youngest child was 2, working as a medical technologist at Proctor and Pekin hospitals in Peoria and Pekin, Ill., respectively, and later as a custom-framing specialist alongside her husband at Framing House in Bloomington, Ill. In 2014, after 48 years in Morton, she made the difficult decision to leave her friends and “honorary daughter,” niece Sue Knight, there to live closer to family in the Boston area.
Family, faith, and friends were her joys. She loved visiting her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren throughout the country, taking pride in being present at the baptisms, graduations and other important events for each one—even setting aside a lifelong fear of flying to attend her granddaughter’s wedding in Zaragoza, Spain. On the rare occasions her kegerator was empty, she made do with wine (preferably high-quality vintages costing less than $8). She spent many, many years volunteering for various activities while her children were growing up and was an active member and volunteer at Blessed Sacrament Church in Morton and, later, Our Lady of Sorrows in Sharon. Debbie enjoyed socializing, either in person or, during 2020, at a safe distance, with friends in knitting and rosary clubs. She was an avid seamstress, most recently sewing baptismal bibs for Our Lady of Sorrows and COVID-preventive masks for family and friends. And her keen sense of humor and fondness for pranks were legendary.
In addition to her husband and parents, one sister and one brother preceded her in death. Surviving are seven sons, Mark (Karen) of Brookline, Mass., Brian of Farmington, Utah, Michael (Teresa) of Austin, Texas, Joseph (Jane) of Sharon, Mass., James (Mary) of Eagle, Wis., E. Casey (Theresa) of Frisco, Texas, and Timothy (Jessica Ray) of Boise, Idaho; one daughter, Kathleen (Thinh Vu) of Falls Church, Va.; 20 grandchildren, Colin (Cara Busch), Alexander (Mia), Olivia, Jason (Stephanie), Kelsey, Carolyn, Michael, Sarah, Joshua, Matthew, Maegan, Meghan, Patrick, Benjamin (Ashley) and Madeline (Christopher Nguyen) Green, Kristine (Juandi) Abellanas and Joseph, Margaret, Vincent and Thomas Vu; eight great-grandchildren, Michael, Madeline, Emily and Lucia Green and Lucas, Maximo, Lydia and Sofia Abellanas; one sister, Kathleen Redmond; four sisters-in-law, Mary Colbert, Helen Fay Green, Alice Lasack and Lucille Pickarts; one brother-in-law, John Hershberger; and many nieces and nephews.
James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, Walpole, Mass., is handling local arrangements. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a celebration of Debbie’s life will be held at a later date. Her cremated remains will be interred at Camp Butler National Cemetery in Springfield, Ill., beside those of her beloved husband.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Pl., Memphis TN 38105.