Our family is sad to announce the passing of Debra Jean Johnson age 71 of Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire. Debra passed peacefully on January 22nd surrounded by her loving family after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. Debra was born to George and Mary Halbedel. She was a 1970 graduate of Mascenic Regional High School and later in life attended Mt Wachusett Community College earning an associate degree in liberal arts with a focus on Biology. As with everything Deb attempted, she graduated at the top of her class and was chosen valedictorian.
Debra was a self-described “flower child” and an avid learner, she was passionate about trying new experiences. After retiring, Deb took up belly dancing, dressage, fermenting, piano, and orchidology. She was a lifelong artist that enjoyed exploring different mediums, her main focus was landscapes done in watercolors, but it was in her drawings that she captured the true essence and emotions of those she sketched. Much of her art was displayed at the Jaffrey Civic Center and she belonged to the New Ipswich Art Group. Deb was an outgoing woman and with so many interests she could start up a conversation with a perfect stranger that would end in a new friendship. She loved the ocean, nature, flowers, animals, and gardening but above all else Debra loved her family. She dedicated much of her life to keeping her loved ones close, happy, and healthy.
Debra is survived by her loving husband of 46 years Richard Johnson, her daughter Bethany Leblanc and husband James of Peterborough, her daughter Molly Johnson and her partner Philip Lopresti of Manchester, and her grandchildren Aidan and Kylie Boyle also of Peterborough -all of whom thought the earth, moon and stars revolved around her. She is also survived by her elder brother Gary Halbedel and his wife Susan of Delmar NY, her sister Rhonda Jackson and her husband Phill of Milford NH as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews and lifelong friends.
A celebration of life will be held in the late spring at her family’s home when her gardens are in full bloom.
Live in the sunshine,
swim the sea,
drink the wild air.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson