Debra Mann Morton
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Debra Mann Morton, 59, of Riverside, RI passed peacefully on January 31, 2019, surrounded by love. She was blessed to be the cherished wife of Donald Morton for twenty-four years and the beloved mother of her precious sons, Joshua and Benjamin. She was the loving daughter of Beverly Mann Paris of Warwick and the late Jerry Mann. She also leaves behind her brother and sister in law Gary and Debra Mann and nephew Cory, of Northport, New York and her brother Ron Mann of Cranston. Debra graduated with honors from Berklee College of Music, Boston and for the past forty years, has developed into one of the premier jazz artists in New England. She has performed extensively as a solo artist, as well as with many other notable jazz musicians. Debra was a passionate jazz educator as a Teaching Associate at Brown University and as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music in Performance at Wheaton College. She also taught many private piano students over the past twenty years. She loved her students, as they loved her. Her heart was as big as her voice. Debra had a bright light shining in her that made her music and life joyful and inspiring. A celebration of life will take place at the Squantum Association 947 Veterans Memorial Parkway Riverside, RI 02915 Tuesday February 5th, at 10:00am. Shiva will be observed at the home of Beverly Mann Paris Wednesday February 6th 7-9 p.m. Online condolences may be shared at

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Published in The Providence Journal on Feb. 3, 2019.
Celebration of Life
10:00 AM
07:00 - 09:00 PM
the home of Beverly Mann Paris
Memories & Condolences
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30 entries
January 29, 2021
On this anniversary of Deb's passing, my memory returns to meeting her, nearly 50 years ago, when we were 14 years old - 9th graders, in Cranston, RI.
I was spending the night at her home on Auburn Street, near the homes of my two aunts, and we were listening to WBRU, the Brown Universary radio station, airing Neil Young's "After The Gold Rush" album, in its entirety. I played guitar, Deb favored keyboards, and we both sang in strong voices that we did not yet know would take us somewhere unknown and good. We said that someday, if we ever had sons, we would both name them Joshua.
"This music is so beautiful," she said, swooning.
As young and informed as we were I knew she would make music of her own, of beauty and honesty, one day. She was that talented. And so she did.
Another memory comes to me now: It is 3 years later, and it is Deb in an early-summer June twilight, her golden wavy waist-length hair flowing in slow-motion up and around her like a mermaid, walking up the drive, a honey-toned acoustic guitar in her hand, smiling up to me as I greeted her from a second-story Juliet balcony, coming to a jam session at the Victorian mansion rental we had in south Elmwood. We taught each other to play in the obscure tunings of Joni Mitchell - whose influence on Deb's music was pivotal, and a natural generational progression.
Later that year, I gave birth to a son and named him Joshua. Many years later Deb would do the same.
I'm still heartbroken, because her passing seems unreal and I can only hear her voice when I play her CDs. She would not like that, I guess. With love, Pattie Henry
Pattie Henry
March 25, 2019
Debbie and I were cousins. The exact same age. As teenagers, we were a bit wild, we had a lot of fun together. Over the years we would lose touch for a while and then reconnect on social media. It always felt like we picked up where we left off. Deb was beautiful in so many ways, I felt loved and content in her presence, even if it wasn't physical presence.

I remember attending a preformence in downtown Boston way back in the late 90's. I always knew Debbie was talented. I remember being blown away by who she had become. I have always s been so proud of her.

Deb and I hadn't connected in a few years and when my oldest brother Steve (Klaper) told me she had passed a few weeks ago, I honestly thought it was some kind of joke. How could my cousin debbie be gone... How does a light that bright, a heart so pure be extinguished far to soon... I'm still in shock and wishing we had stayed in touch over the last few years.

To Don and the boys, my thoughts, prayers and love are with you, of course. Your pain, inimaginable. I am so sorry.
Phyllis Miller (Klaper)
March 4, 2019
Truly, something about Debra has stayed with me throughout all the years since I have seen her.
I seem to have maintained an awareness of her authenticity and love.
As I remember, we also shared a genuine admiration and love for our animal brethren.
My condolences to the entire family, and peace.
Mariah Almonte
March 2, 2019
Dear Don and family: I am shocked and very sad to hear of Debra's passing. She was a woman of enormous talent and heart and my childhood friend. I'm so sorry for her loss and hope you'll find peace in the days to come.
Pattie Henry
February 15, 2019
I met Deb a long time ago in a women's music group and saw her throughout the years playing at different venues. She also played at my Mom & Dad's 50th anniversary party many years ago. She was a talented musician, and a very spiritual, peaceful and loving person. I was shocked and saddened to hear that she had passed.

My condolences to her entire family on their loss.
Pat Haid
February 15, 2019
Aidens Graduation Party
Tiffany Nichols
February 10, 2019
I had the honor of working with Debra as her publicist/Whaling City Sound. My heart is heavy about her passing and my condolences are with her family at this sad time. Her celebration of life was as beautiful as her spirit and may memories bring you peace and reassure you that love endures forever. I will miss her kindness and I'm grateful for the comfort of her music.
With sympathy, Ginny Shea McCormick
Ginny Shea
February 8, 2019
Dear Don, Joshua, Benjamin, Beverly and family, Debra is such a beautiful soul and shining spirit. May her memory be for a blessing, and may your many cherished memories together sustain and uplift you. Peace and love, Jessica Schwartz
February 8, 2019
I had the pleasure of working briefly with Debra. I was taken with her sense of wonder and purpose. On more than one occasion I had the pleasure of hearing her perform and I must say, her passion, love for the music and her soul were always a powerful reminder of the beauty in the world. Don and sons, though my heart breaks for you, I want you to know, Debra was and always will be an amazing person in my mind.
Ed Drozda
February 7, 2019
Don thinking of you and your family, sending love and care at this tender time.
Ginnie Dunleavy
February 6, 2019
Don and family,
I was shocked when Chris told me about Debra's passing. I am so sorry for your loss. I had the pleasure of meeting her and listening to her beautiful voice when she came to Atria. The residents loved her. May she rest in peace.
Maryanne Rainey
February 5, 2019
Debra teaches me that I can chase my dream, develop my talents, and ambitiously achieve my goals, while at the same time remaining courteous, humble, respectful and considerate to those around me. Her example remains for all of us.
Neal Weiss
February 5, 2019
Dear Don

My deepest sympathy to you and your family

Debra was a great person!

She was a great teacher to each and everyone of her students and they all loved her

She will be greatly missed by everyone

Ed and Lisa Tomassi
Edward Tomassi
February 4, 2019
I was so shocked to hear of your death.
My childhood chun, who chased the ice cream truck with me, will remain forever young.
Deepest sympathy to your Mom, Beverly Mann Paris, your sons, Joshua and Benjamin, and your husband, Don Morton.
Your friend,
Cindy Chernick Halpern
Cindy Halpern
February 4, 2019
Dear Don, Josh and Ben,

Please know that our love, and the loving kindness of your closest friends and family will be here to support you as you absorb the loss of your beloved wife and mother.

Debra's light-filled presence will be sorely missed by everyone who knew and loved her.

We hope that you will find comfort in knowing that her beautiful voice and generosity of spirit will touch our hearts for eternity.

With deepest sympathy,
Julia, Ed and Kiana
February 4, 2019
Deborah thank you for sharing your beautiful voice with us and bringing such joy into the world. All my love to Don and the family.Colleen Farrissey
Colleen Farrissey McGowan
February 4, 2019
Dear Don, Joshua , and Benjamin, I am so sorry. for your loss. I had the honor of playing with her at many educational concerts. She always sounded amazing and the students loved her version of Over the Rainbow. She will be missed by many.
February 4, 2019
Don and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Kevin Forti
February 4, 2019
Don and family,
So sorry to hear this sad news. Your wife was a lovely woman ... my sincere sympathies.
Joanne Duval
February 4, 2019
Debra will be missed, along time ago I met her and Don at "Bread and Circus" on Waterman St. in Providence,(where I was employed) around 1992. I asked her to play in the store for one of our events and she agreed. What a great time everyone had. She was a dear soul with a open heart. I will never forget that. I was a fan since my ears first heard her music. Rest in peace ole friend may your music fill the air.
James Izzi
February 3, 2019
Dear Bev,
My heart goes out to you on the loss of your beautiful, talented and loving daughter. May you find comfort in the support of your friends and family, knowing that all of Debra s admirers (and I am one of them) along with her colleagues in the music world will keep her memory alive for a long
long time.
Lois Blazer
February 3, 2019
Our sincere condolences to Don, Joshua and Benjamin, and all family members, on the passing of this truly beautiful, shining soul. Her music was a gift to all and her work will keep her with us as we continue to hear what she created. She will be deeply missed. From Jeanie LoVetri and many members of the Somatic Voicework™ Community.
Jeanie LoVetri
February 3, 2019
Dear Beverly and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Tho I had not seen Deb in years I still remember our times on Burnside Street and in Dean Estates riding our bikes and running thru the leaves, and playing at Narragansett beach. I will always remember her smile...thoughts and prayers are with you all at this sad time. Love to you all
Cindy (Kaufman) Morrill
February 3, 2019
Farewell Too Soon Bouquet
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February 3, 2019
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
Francine & Michael Vinacco
February 3, 2019
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
February 3, 2019
Francine & Michael Vinacco
February 3, 2019
Bev I'm so very sorry to hear this . My condolences to your entire family. May her memory be for blessing.
Cheryl Abrevaya Weinstein
February 3, 2019
I am very sorry about Debra's passing. She truly was a beautiful person, and a legitimate entertainer. Her Jobim renditions were great. I will miss her and her wonderful voice, as I am sure many of her fans will also.
Alex Iovino
Alex Iovino
February 3, 2019

Dear Bev
Our deepest prayers are with you and your family at this most difficult time. The world has lost a talented, lovely, and brilliant musician.
Glenda and Lazar Labush
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