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Published on February 16, 2023
Some special people are just born to give and share their love. Deb Manyin arrived to do just that on July 22, 1953 in Portland, Maine. She passed peacefully with her family at her side on Monday, January 30, 2023 in Quincy, Massachusetts after a valiant struggle with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
At a very young age Deb knew she wanted to become a teacher. She graduated from the University of Southern Maine and received her master’s degree at Antioch University. In her unpretentious manner she would rarely disclose that she graduated from both universities with honors.
She was able to achieve her lifelong goal of becoming a teacher in her mid-30s after dedicating her life to her two children, Johnny and Katie. Deb’s passion for the French language led her to begin her career teaching French and Spanish at Mastrocola Middle School in Merrimack, NH and McKelvie Middle School in Bedford, NH. After moving to South Carolina, she taught the same subjects at Beaufort Middle School and Beaufort Elementary School where she was selected as Teacher of the Year at both. She was also a semi-finalist as a National Teacher of the Year. She affectionately called her students “her children”; they and her colleagues will miss her big heart and ever-present smile.
Deb met her soulmate Ron when they were both Delegation Leaders for Student Ambassadors in Moscow, Russia in 1993. In the year 2000 they married on the observation deck of the Empire State Building with 10 of their closest family and friends. Deb and Ron were together for nearly 30 beautiful years. For 21 of those years, they lived on their beloved Fripp Island, a barrier Island in South Carolina, where Deb was proud of becoming a lover of nature enchanted with shore birds, deer, sea otters, and even the alligators. Her diverse interests included spending quality time with friends and families, being an avid reader, walking (especially on the beach), and visiting over 20 countries and as many states.
We have all lost a loving friend. In her love of French, her raison d’ etre can be characterized by a favored French expression by Pascal, “Le coeur a ses raisons que le raison ne connaît pas” (The heart has its reasons that reason does not know).
Deb is survived by her loving husband Ron; her devoted daughter Katie Nelson and her husband Kristoff; her loving son Johnny; her beloved stepchildren Mark Manyin (and his wife Karen Philipps) and Keith Manyin; her step granddaughters Katie and Julia Manyin; her nieces Krissy Greenier, Danielle Vigus, and Jenyse Rickman; and her best friend Dolly Cavallaro. Deb was predeceased by her mother, Georgia Ross, and her brother, Gary Greenier.
Although we will miss her immensely, Deb would not want us to grieve too long. Rather, she would want us to take her exuberance and her compassionate heart and pass it forward. She was a kind and generous person who modeled for us the meaning of true love and gratitude. She touched our hearts and souls. She was a fierce force in protecting those she cared for. We will gain comfort knowing she is our guardian angel looking down at us with her Grampy, her Yorkie Peanut, and her Lab Dusty at her side, taking care of us.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in her honor to Compassionate Care ALS (https://ccals.org), an organization dedicated to compassionate care for families stricken with ALS. We are so grateful to CCALS for its support during Deb’s illness.