Debra Matthews

Obituary of Debra Susan Matthews

Debra Matthews (March 26, 1953 – April 18, 2023)

“She believed she could, so she did.”


Defined by her bold and unwavering kindness towards friends and family in life, our gutsy girl went peacefully to join her Lord on April 18, 2023, after a 15-year battle with cancer.


Debbi exuded positivity and sunshine everywhere she went and embodied the phrase, “a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet”. Her ability to empathize with anyone usually led to exchanging life stories on the spot, and quite often, friendships sprouted from that point on. Debbi had a love of trivia and a mind for remembering birthdates that would rival any smartphone calendar app. While she dreamt of becoming a teacher, Debbi instead volunteered her time to helping young people through elementary school book fairs, after-school computer programs, Vacation Bible School, and numerous church events at Central United Church in Port Colborne throughout the 90s. Debbi dedicated most of her working years as the first smile someone would see when visiting Paramed Home Health Care in St. Catharines, or a compassionate voice helping to coordinate care for those in need.


Debbi meant many things to many people: the firstborn daughter of Marilyn and Cy (Carol), a loyal sister to Jane and Rob (Gillian), a proud mother to her miracle baby Rebecca (Jonathan), a loving companion to Steve, as well as a Nana, aunt, great-aunt, stepsister, cousin, niece, bowling buddy, coworker, freelance therapist, dear friend, pal, and a confidante.


Debbi is predeceased by her brother Billy (1997), stepfather Jim (2012), chosen sisters Gaye (2006) and Sandy (2022), and her faithful dog Holly (2022).


Cremation has taken place. A Celebration of Life for friends and family will be held on Saturday May 6th from 2-4pm at Tallman Funeral Home Fireside Room at 3277 King Street in Vineland. A private inurnment will take place at a later date at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Jordan Station. 


The family would like to thank Dr. Dooler, Terry, Jennifer, Debb, Lesa, Heather, Brittany and all the palliative PSWs who shared laughs and cared for Debbi, as well as Aaron and the nursing staff at Welland Hospital for assuring her care continued until her final moments. In lieu of flowers, donations in Debbi’s memory to Hospice Niagara or the Canadian Cancer Society are appreciated.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Debra
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Tallman Funeral Homes - Vineland
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