December 24, 1950 - March 25, 2010
Santa Barbara Independent
May She Rest In Peace
May She Rest In Peace
Deborah (Debi, or Deb to friends, family and colleagues), was the daughter of James and Betty Ivey, wife to Jim Dyer, mother to James and Stephanie Dyer, and grandmother to Jaime Dyer and Cole Preston She also mothered her children's friends, and her house was a welcoming one in Santa Barbara's Mission Canyon neighborhood for years.
Debi started her family young and became an exemplary homemaker while still in her early twenties. She was a beautiful woman, a good friend, a great cook, and soccer mom. Deb was a regular volunteer at the schools her children attended as well as enjoying the outdoors. She and Jim built their mountain home, literally by hand, and she was involved in all aspects of that in the design and construction of the house she would call home for more than thirty five years.
When her husband was injured and retired from the Santa Barbara Fire Department, Debi went back to work to support the family during his long recovery. Starting as a bookkeeper with the Community Housing Corporation of Santa Barbara, she rapidly rose to a prominent management position. CHC found out, as her children already knew, that if you wanted to get a difficult job done she was exactly the woman to put in charge.
After her children were grown Deb spent more than ten years sailing with her husband Jim, first aboard the Nereid along the Pacific Coast of California and Mexico. Several years later they acquired Mah Jong and sailed her throughout the east coast, Bahamas, and the Caribbean. As in most of Deb's endeavors, she was an accomplished helmswoman, and has a number of classic sailboat race wins to her credit; as well as many thousands of cruising miles to more than a dozen countries.
She was a voracious reader who taught her children to love books and learning. She could cook with the best of them, in her kitchen the galley, or over a campfire with equal grace and panache.
Debi died peacefully at Cottage Hospital early Thursday, March 25th 2010, after a brief illness. She is survived by her father, husband, two brothers, two children, two grandchildren, and a plethora of other relatives and friends. She will be sorely missed by all of us who loved her, and we only wish that she had been given more time with us before being called away.
Those wishing to honor her may do so by contributing to the cause closest to their heart.