WORCESTER - Debra Joan Miller, 72, passed away peacefully as the sun set over Worcester on May 21st. In her final moments, she was surrounded by family sharing fond memories of their times together.
Debra was the daughter of Floyd Telford Miller and Ora Eleanor (Cote) Miller. She is predeceased by her fiancée, and the love of her life, Samuel “Sammy” Rehn. She is survived by her sister Susan Rainville and her husband, Donald of Millbury, her nephew Don Rainville Jr, his wife, Heather, and their sons Jacob and Logan of Dublin, Ireland, and her niece Leah Rainville, and her son Hunter, of Millbury. Debbie also leaves her dearest friend, Susan Manzi of Worcester.
A lifelong teacher, mentor and leader in education, Debbie began her life’s passion at Belmont Street Community School in 1969 after graduating from Worcester State College, where she also earned her Master’s in Education. Throughout her career she had the pleasure of working in collaboration with Olde Sturbridge Village, the Worcester Art Museum, Worcester Historical Society and many other educational organizations. She was a member of the Educational Association of Worcester (EAW), the Massachusetts Teachers Associate, (MTA) and a member of the Central Massachusetts Reading Association.
She had the honor of serving as Chairperson of the Northeast Regional Conference for the Social Studies, President of the Central Massachusetts Council of the Social Studies, President of the Massachusetts Council of the Social Studies. She received an award from the Daughter’s of the American Revolution and was a recipient of the Thomas Green Award.
Debbie was able to share her love and faith, through teaching CCD at Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Worcester. She will be remembered for her quick wit, infectious laugh, charm, compassion, generosity and for giving the gift of love to everyone with whom she connected. Her uncanny ability to see a silver lining and help others through the storm has left an indelible impression on her family, friends, former colleagues and thousands of students.
We ask that you remember Debra Joan by taking a walk in her moccasins, and inspiring someone in your life.
Debbie’s family would like to thank the Palliative Care Team and the staff from 6 East at UMASS University Campus for their love, empathy and compassion.
Debra’s Funeral Mass will be held at 11am on Thursday, May 28th at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 1290 Grafton Street, Worcester, MA 01604. For those who may not be able to join us, the family plans to live stream the service from Debbie’s account on Facebook.
In lieu of flowers, Debbie would be proud to know that her memory was preserved through your donation to the Worcester Educational Development Foundation (WEDF), Suite #224, 210 Park Avenue.