A Tribute to Debbie Smead
September 17th, 2006
Life-long Jefferson Township resident and community-spirited volunteer Deborah Norman Smead passed away unexpectedly in July of 2006 at the age of 57, and her friends and family along with community leaders wished to celebrate her life with a special commemorative event – Debbie’s Day. Coordinated by the Jefferson Arts Committee, this special event was held at the Jefferson Township Gazebo located in the Municipal Complex, 1033 Weldon Road at 2 PM on Sunday, September 17, 2006. It was only fitting that the event be held there, as a township gazebo where people could gather for concerts and cultural events was a dream that Debbie saw to fruition.
Following welcoming remarks and an invocation, Jefferson Township Mayor Russell Felter and representatives from several of the community organizations that Debbie was passionately involved in briefly spoke of her and her dedication to the township that she was born in, lived in, raised a family in, and died in. Among those many groups Debbie helped create, participated in, and/or served on their Executive Boards were the Jefferson Community Players, the Jefferson Township Community Band, the Jefferson Township Community Chorus, the Jefferson Township Gazebo Committee, and the Jefferson Arts Committee. Named the 2002 Citizen of the Year by Mayor Felter, Debbie was an outstanding example of a community service volunteer – she just didn’t talk about doing something – she did it!
Then following those commentaries, a concert was held where the Community Band and the Community Chorus each presented a special performance dedicated to Debbie’s memory. A ceremony followed dedicating a memorial tree, memorial garden, and memorial plaques honoring this very special woman who always gave of herself unselfishly, was a good friend to everyone, personally touched the lives of many people in so many ways, and dedicated her life to culturally improving the community she loved -- Jefferson Township.
Also remembered at the ceremony was Debbie’s husband Ben who was always at her side, always helping her in whatever she was involved in. Ben was remembered as a gentle man working quietly behind the scenes. Ben passed away almost two months to the day that his beloved wife died.
Following a benediction and closing comments, refreshments were served.
Debbie and Ben Smead will never be forgotten in Jefferson Township – separately and together they touched so many lives, leaving an irreplaceable legacy behind.