Debora Simon

Obituary of Debora Simon

It is with great sadness that the family of Debora Lynn Simon (Cole), age 65, announce her unexpected passing after a short illness, on August 19, 2022, at the Halifax Infirmary. Debbie was born in Olean, New York, on February 13, 1957, the only child of the late Treva Genevieve Cole (Sanford) and James Edward Cole. The family moved to Nova Scotia in 1958 settling in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia where she attended school and met many people who became lifelong friends. Debbie always wanted to be a teacher and towards that goal attended St. Mary’s and Mount St. Vincent Universities graduating with her Bachelor of Education in 1979. She began her teaching career in Hebbville, Nova Scotia and then spent the next 34 years teaching primary grades in Bedford, retiring in 2015. ‘Mrs. Simon’ was described as a firm, but fair, teacher who was kind and caring making all children feel safe and accepted. Given her family’s experiences with Tourette Syndrome, for many years she provided school in-services on teaching strategies for those students living with the condition and mentored families managing similar diagnoses. Debbie met James Simon on a blind date arranged by their friends in 1978 and they were married in 1979 at Grace United Church in Dartmouth. They eventually settled in Lakeview, Nova Scotia in 1981 where they raised their three sons, Christopher, Gregory, and Alexander. Family and friends were important to Debbie, and she was always there to lend a helping hand. She loved to cook, and many knew of her baking skills. Traditional Christmas gatherings for family and neighbours were a staple. Debbie became an avid knitter, and her rug-hooked Christmas stockings are treasured family heirlooms. These were traits that she shared with her mother. Debbie loved hiking and camping with family and friends and spending time at the family cottage on Molega Lake. Her experience backpacking across Europe in 1978, instilled a lifelong love of travel for Debbie, leading her to explore much of Canada with her family. After retirement, trips to Greece and Italy with Jim were wonderful adventures that they had together. As a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, teacher and a friend, Debbie was always there to provide support and a helping hand. In one final act of selflessness, Debbie successfully donated her organs to give others a chance at life and happiness. She is survived by her husband Jim; her sons, Christopher (Ashley), Gregory, and Alexander (Julie); and three grandchildren, Eve, and Ben (Christopher) and Jasper (Alexander). Her grandchildren brought her immeasurable joy. Even with them living across the country, she played a pivotal role in their lives, sharing her love of learning by recording stories, mailing activities, and spending countless hours watching them grow on FaceTime. A service and celebration of life will be held at St. John’s United Church in Fall River on October 29th at 11:00 am with a reception to follow in the Church Hall. Later, a private internment ceremony will take place at the Heritage Oak Columbarium, Dartmouth. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for any donations in Debbie’s name be made to a charity or cause that evokes a personal memory of her. Suggestions include the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada or Indigo Love of Reading Foundation. They also encourage taking or refreshing CPR training in Debbie’s honour so that one day others may give someone a chance at life.
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