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Deborah T. Ashley

Deborah T. Ashley Obituary
Deborah T. Ashley

Salisbury - After a valiant fight against cancer, Deborah T. Ashley of Salisbury, MD — much loved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and nurse — passed away from cardiac complications arising from late stage renal cell cancer on October 26th at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.

She is survived by her husband Owen Ashley; daughter Vicki Bennett, residing with her husband Tom and children Grace and Clarke in Clarendon Hills, Illinois; and daughter Suzanne Ashley, residing with her husband Nicolas Jafarieh and children Luke, Beck and Anya in Wilmington, Delaware. She also is survived by her sister Judith Jones and husband William of Dover, DE, and brother David Tarburton and wife Linda of Luray, VA.

The daughter of George and Thelma Tarburton of Camden-Wyoming, Delaware, Debbie graduated from Caesar Rodney High School in 1963 and Peninsula General Hospital's registered nursing degree program in 1966. She worked first as a registered nurse on a medical surgery rotation at Peninsula General and later spent nearly 40 years specializing in geriatric care, including over 30 years at Wicomico Nursing Home in Salisbury where she touched the lives of so many residents and families with her kindness and compassion.

Debbie's husband, Owen, recalls falling in love with her bright smile and shining eyes the very first time he met her in 1967. They later married in their church, Bethesda United Methodist in Salisbury MD, on May 3, 1969.

A loving mother, Debbie modeled a quiet strength for her daughters and achieved a rare balance of fulfilling work and family priorities that inspired them both. She encouraged and supported her daughters throughout every phase of their lives, sharing her often-repeated advice to "remember who you are" when facing a challenge.

Debbie was an engaged and devoted grandmother to her five grandchildren. Grace, Clarke, Luke, Beck and Anya will always remember the endless pages of Dr. Seuss books she read, rounds of board games she played, drawings she sketched, and special pancake breakfasts she made with them at each visit.

Debbie's devotion to her faith and to her church community at Bethesda United Methodist carried through in her many volunteer projects through Bethesda's United Methodist Women. She also served for many years as the chairperson of the United Methodist Women's Circle Ruth, and she and Owen were active participants in Bethesda's Kindred Group. She was much loved by a wide circle of friends, including her church family, to whom she was most grateful for the support and encouragement during her battle with cancer.

Funeral services to honor Debbie's life will be held Sunday, November 3, 2019 at Bethesda United Methodist Church in Salisbury, MD with a viewing from 1:30-3:00 PM and funeral service to follow at 3:00 PM. Internment to follow at Parsons Cemetery in Salisbury. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center to support cancer research.
Published in The Daily Times from Oct. 29 to Oct. 30, 2019
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