Deborah Ann Hubsmith
1969 - 2015
Deborah Ann Hubsmith It is with great sadness that we set free our wife, daughter, sister, and dear friend Deborah Ann "Deb" Hubsmith. Deb passed away at her home in Fairfax, California on August 18, 2015 after a courageous 22 month battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). She was 46 years old. Deb was born on June 5, 1969 in New York, NY, and was raised in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey. She was a graduate of Pascack Hills High School and Lehigh University, where she majored in Environmental Science and Resource Management. After college, Deb followed her dream and moved to California, falling in love with Marin County. She lived a beautiful life, loving deeply in all that she did. Deb was an innovator and visionary who fought passionately for what she believed in. She was pleased to play a prominent role as a national leader helping children and adults to safely walk and bicycle in their communities, providing environmental, safety and health benefits to individuals, schools and cities. Deb championed active transportation for two decades at local, regional, state and national levels. The cornerstone of her philosophy for social change included collaboration, empowerment of new leaders nationwide, striving for the future we want to create for later generations, as well as developing and maintaining partnerships with other non-profits, schools and government agencies. Deb started as a grassroots advocate and co-led the development of Marin County, California's award-winning Safe Routes pilot program, and participated in the development of the nation's first statewide Safe Routes to School program in California. She led the advocacy effort to pass the first Safe Routes to School legislation by the U.S. Congress, resulting in $1.1 billion for Safe Routes to School, serving more than 15,000 schools and creating a national movement that included all 50 states. She responded to the growing demand for creating walkable and bikeable environments for children by founding the Safe Routes to School National Partnership in 2005 and nurtured the group from an all-volunteer organization to a powerful and diverse national coalition including more than 750 partners, a $3 million annual budget and nearly 30 staff dispersed throughout the country. Deb loved yoga and was certified as an instructor in the summer of 2013, a few months before her diagnosis with AML. She was a certified Reiki Master and a tireless dancer. She loved to attend Ecstatic Dance, Open Floor, Sweat your Prayers and other dance events in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was a lover of nature and liked to hike, bicycle, swim and just bask in the sun. Deb had a true love for Kauai, where she felt deeply at home and where she traveled often with her husband Andy Peri. Deb is survived by her husband, Andy Peri of Fairfax, CA; her mother, Mary Lou Perry of West Chester, PA; her father, Jack Hubsmith and his wife Elly of Dingmans Ferry, PA; her sister Christine DeAngelo and her partner Patrick Bastian, her niece Carly DeAngelo, and her nephew Drew DeAngelo, all of West Chester, PA. Deb is also survived by her loving aunts, uncles and cousins, and her amazing community of close friends who, along with her Mom and husband, carried her through the deeply challenging times throughout her illness. Family, colleagues and friends are invited to attend funeral services for Deb, which will be held at Limantour Beach in West Marin on Friday, August 28 at 10 AM. Please carpool (or ride your bike) and park in the main parking lot; head left on the beach. A Celebration of Life for family, friends and the wider community is planned for Saturday, October 10 at the Mill Valley Community Center. We will celebrate Deb's life with music, multimedia, story sharing and lots of dancing. Please check out over the coming weeks for more information about this event. This event will be Deb's thanks to you for your love, prayers and the actions you take to make the world a better place. In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made in Deb's name to the Safe Routes to School National Partnership (; or The Leukemia And Lymphoma Society (
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Marin Independent Journal on Aug. 22, 2015.
Funeral service
Limantour Beach
, West Marin, CA
Celebration of Life
Mill Valley Community Center
, CA
Please consider a donation as requested by the family.
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11 Entries
Wow. I did not know Deb. A huge inspiration.
Geoffrey Smith
March 18, 2020
some rare human beings give love and positive enduring change, in all too short a time for those of us left much Love....
saskia achilles
September 1, 2015
Deborah may you rest in peace. Marilou we send our condolences to you and your family. Sincerely Dottie Lori and Rita-- your sister Betty's long time friends.
August 29, 2015
To Mary Lou, Jack and Family
With Deepest Heartfelt sympathy and prayers
Patty Conway Benducci from Campbell Ave
August 28, 2015
Ohio communities thank you for your dedication to SRTS and active transportation. My condolences to your family & friends.
Letty Schamp
August 25, 2015
Such a great human being. She made the world a better place. At my 66 yrs.old her life inspires me to be a better senior. I'll keep riding and my new touring bike will bear her name out of respect reminding me
she'll never be forgoten. Every morning when I think of my grandkids cycling to school, it will bring me memories of Ms. Deb Hubsmith.
Carlos Lasanta
August 24, 2015
I love you my sweet baby girl
August 23, 2015
As a member of the Sheboygan Non-motorized Pilot Program, our paths often crossed. Deb was an inspiration to those who worked to promote safe bike and pedestrian transportation throughout the country. She was always willing to help her bike/ped colleagues in the Midwest, even though she was very busy with her local programs. We salute this incredible woman with a rich legacy that benefits all of us.
Michael McFadzen Vice-chair Sheboygan NOMO
Michael McFadzen
August 23, 2015
Deb was a gentle warrior, more like a force of nature when presented with obstacles. She was a treasured friend of Congressman Jim Oberstar, who knew her focus and determination could ignite the Safe Routes to School national movement. Godspeed Deb - we'll not see the likes of you again
Gary Sjoquist
August 23, 2015
My deepest sympathies for your loss.
August 22, 2015
As a member of the Marin Bicycle Coalition and an an avid bike rider, I am profoundly saddened by the loss of such a wonderful and effective advocate for the walking and cycling community. Deb was one of a kind and will be missed by all of those who loved her, and by the millions who have benefited from her actions. I was so proud the day the Cal-Park Tunnel was opened and she told the story of how she went to one of the Marin County supervisors and asked for money for a new tunnel. The thousands asked for, turned into millions, and she was instrumental in acquiring much of that funding. I think of her every time I ride through the tunnel. It would be fitting to change the name of the tunnel to the Deb Hubsmith Tunnel.
Jane middleton
August 22, 2015
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