Deborah "Debbie" Marie Betts

April 28, 1963October 12, 2018
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BETTS, Deborah Marie “Debbie” (BASHc)

After a brief illness fought with courage, Debbie passed away on Friday, October 12, 2018, at the age of 55, surrounded by the love of her family.

Debbie Betts, beloved daughter of Carol Ann (Carol) Betts of Cambridge, cherished sister of Jamie Mercer of Bowmanville. Proud “Aunt Pepper” of Chyna Mercer and Mathew Mercer, also of Bowmanville. Debbie loved musical theatre, scrapbooking, was a lover of knowledge and fanatical NASCAR fan. She was an avid reader, passionate about books – her part-time job at Book Express in the Cambridge Centre was her relaxation and a source of joy. Debbie loved music of all kinds, especially theatrical show tunes, with the soundtrack from White Christmas being a favorite.

Friends will be received at the T. Little Funeral Home (223 Main St., Cambridge) on Friday, Oct. 19 from 7 - 9 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 20 from 12 - 1 p.m. A memorial service celebrating Debbie’s life will be held at 1 p.m. in the funeral home chapel.

For those who wish, memorial donations may be made to the Cambridge Humane Society, the Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank or to Anselma House and can be arranged by contacting the funeral home (519) 623-1290.


  • Memorial Visitation Friday, October 19, 2018
  • Memorial Visitation Saturday, October 20, 2018
  • Celebration of Life Service Saturday, October 20, 2018

Deborah "Debbie" Marie Betts

have a memory or condolence to add?

Pat Singleton

October 21, 2018

My sincere sympathy, please know you are in the thoughts and prayers of many.
Sincerely, Pat Singleton

Angela Nikoloau

October 17, 2018

Every Christmas Eve or New Years Debbie would come down for her Chinese food at Georges I had the pleasure serving her over many years and she was always a pleasure to see. She would always ask me how was my day going. She would always have a smile walking in and always made my day seeing her. My deepest condolence to the family and friends I am so sorry for your loss

Daniela Calle

October 17, 2018

Debbie you will forever be missed. I had the pleasure to meet you at arvato where we were in the same training class also we sat together and always talked about everything! I can't believe you’re gone it’s surreal to me but I truly hope you rest in peace and are driving that race car all the way up to the big guy. Till we meet again friend ❤️




Deb.....what can you say about Deb. She was a daughter. She was a sister. She was an Aunt but most importantly she was a friend. Sometimes you loved her and sometimes you could strangle her. Some people would think that Deb could be gruff but for those of us that knew her we knew that this was the passion within her. Whatever Deb was passionate about she gave her whole heart and soul to. No one could change her mind and she wouldn’t let any harm come to those things she held near and dear to her.

Deb was passionate about so many things. Whether it was watching Nascar on Sunday and watching her and Grandma cheer and or boo for the good guys and bad guys. Or the meticulous time and effort she put into scrapbooking for her niece and nephew. Or her love of torturing us by watching hour upon hour of every sporting event under the sun including Tour de France or Olympics or whatever else may be on at the time.

Deb’s passion for her family was immeasurable. Her niece and nephew were a huge source of joy and pride. Deb’s joy of torturing and teasing Chyna and Mathew brought her endless hours of fun and satisfaction. Aunt Deb was very happy when Chyna brought her boyfriend George into the mix because that just gave her one more person to tease and torment. Deb had a wonderful, and some people would laugh and say, wicked, sense of humour.

Deb and Jamie could not have been closer when they were growing up as kids. This not only applied to their waking hours, but their sleeping hours too. If you popped your head into their room while they were sleeping you could find them arguing with each other even when they were sleeping.

Deb also had a love for baking. She was always being invited to every potluck under the sun because people were always asking her to make brownies, or rice krispy squares, or some other little tasty tidbit she had made. The only problem with Deb and her love for baking was Deb and her love for not doing dishes. Her hatred for doing dishes was right up there with her hatred for gardening or shoveling snow.
While Deb loved doing things for her friends she also loved doing this for others. Whenever anyone asked for help, Deb was the first one to step up and say let me help you. Whether it was driving friends different places they needed to go or volunteering over 500 hours candy striping, Deb was always there to lend a hand. One of Deb’s great joys was her part-time job she had at the book store in the mall. She used to call it her stress reliever. The book store fulfilled her love of books but John actually paid her to do the other thing she loved which was to talk. Deb could talk to anyone. When out with Deb you were forever having to stop and wait while she talked to some total stranger about anything and everything.

However, saying that Deb could also be the number one procrastinator in the world! If it was something Deb wasn’t too excited by it was like pulling teeth to get her to help. We may have called her stubborn on more than one occasion.

Deb, we are going to miss you every day. The joy and love you brought to us can never be replaced. We are blessed to have had you in our lives as long as we did and the memories we have will be our source of strength during difficult times.

We love you Deb.

When Deborah Marie Betts walked into the room, those in her company felt energy, an enthusiastic spontaneity. This was just one example of who Debbie was and how she impacted those around her. Debbie was a clever and gregarious person who always sought out the finest attributes in other people. It was as if Debbie wanted to share all of their experiences, revel in their lives and celebrate their discoveries. Debbie was tireless and had boundless enthusiasm that would serve her well throughout her life.

      Debbie was born on April 28, 1963 at Galt Memorial Hospital in Galt, Ontario. She was the daughter of Robert "Bob" Brill and Carol Ann (nee Lee) Brill. Debbie was raised in Preston, Ontario. Always at the ready with a good joke, she grew up to be quite a humorous person. While some who knew Debbie might describe her as an idealist, her friends and family understood well that Debbie was always in pursuit of life’s endless possibilities and opportunities available to her.

      Debbie was raised with one sibling. She had a younger sister, Jamie. Debbie was very accepting and supportive of her family. She was perceived as the central person in her family in terms of keeping communication open between the family members. Whenever discord or tension arose within the home, Debbie was typically the member who brought about resolution and harmony. These traits served Debbie well in her adult life and, along with her wit, outgoing personality, and understanding of others, drew the admiration of many who knew her.

      As a young girl, Debbie was able to empathize and identify with a vast array of people and personality types. This quality drew her into a diverse group of friends and acquaintances. Debbie was intelligent and had little trouble getting along with her peers. She was a Brownie, a Girl Guide, and volunteered as a Candy Striper. In her spare time she liked reading, sewing, watching TV. Debbie's memorable achievements included 500 hours volunteering as a Candy Striper. Debbie had the ability to find amusement with almost any activity she and the many childhood friends she shared might discover.

      During her high school years, Debbie responded enthusiastically to any new project and was regularly in search of one adventure after another. She graduated from Preston High School in 1982. Debbie was a very good student, and generally did well in her courses. Debbie absorbed as much as she could from all of her teachers and was consistently able to tackle conceptual and abstract problems, using her imagination to master her assignments. For Debbie, school often became just an extension of playtime, thanks to her ability to turn just about anything into a game. Classmates considered Debbie a good listener, knowing that when necessary, they could go to her to discuss just about anything. Her favorite classes in high school were typing class and home ec. The teacher she enjoyed learning from the most was Mr. Rosinki. Deb had a love of the yearly musical production.

      Debbie did well in college, as a result of her comfort level with tackling new theories and her love of learning. She earned her Library Techniques Diploma from Seneca College in 1986 and Computer Programming and Analysis Diploma from Conestoga College in 1994. She also pursued further education, earning her BASHc from Conestoga College in 2010. Her favorite professor was Yuri Kagolovsky. Debbie was very adaptable, a quality that helped her make the transition from high school to college with little difficulty. As a result, Debbie's problem solving skills and thirst for new knowledge almost guaranteed that she enjoyed virtually every class she took. Debbie was always in quest of new things to learn and experience

       Assertive and outgoing, Debbie was easy to know and demonstrated a deep concern for others. She always seemed aware of what was going on with people around her and throughout her life she made many friends. While growing up, some of her best friends were Debbie McEwen and Tish Wilson. Later in life, she became friends with Sue Carr, Myrt (Myrtle) Arruda (nee Poore), Lynn Grant, Anne Gallant (nee Delbridge), Kelly, Amy and Nicole.

      Debbie was uplifted by new ideas and was excited by life’s possibilities, traits that made her an exceptional worker. Her primary occupation was in Customer Service. Debbie was enterprising, inventive and working against deadlines seemed to energize her. Debbie had the uncanny ability to identify a win/win solution to just about any problem, possibly because of her gift for insight. Debbie's fellow workers saw her as a supporter and a mentor. She was hired by Anne and John at Book Express in the Cambridge Centre on April 1, 2006, and still worked there part-time at the time of her passing. Working at Book Express satisfied Debbie's great love of interacting and conversing with people.

      Because Debbie loved to have a broad variety of activities in her life, she took advantage of the opportunity to pursue numerous hobbies. Her favorite pursuits were scrapbooking, baking, reading, cross-stitch, quilting, sewing, cake decorating. Debbie had a knack for being able to multi-task in order to create time for all of her favorite pastimes. However, Debbie's ever-present concern for others always took precedent.

       Debbie was also something of a sports fan and enjoyed watching her favorite events whenever she got the opportunity. Tops on her list were NASCAR, F1, Tour de France, Olympics, College Basketball, Figure Skating.

      Throughout her life, Debbie was actively involved in professional and community organizations. She was compassionate, accommodating and quick to move into action. Always able to build a consensus, Debbie seemed to be the person smack dab in the middle of things, working to get things done. Those who had the opportunity to work with Debbie usually agreed that when you were involved in an organization with her, it was as entertaining as anything you could imagine. In high school, Debbie was a member of the Drama Club. Throughout her later years, Debbie was an active member of the scrapbooking community.

      Though she never did anything solely for individual recognition, Debbie's ingenuity, resourcefulness, and selflessness, earned her accolades for her efforts. Some of her most prestigious awards included an award for 500 volunteer hours as a Candy Striper.

       Excited about seeing changing scenery and constantly looking for the enjoyment life could offer, Debbie took her vacations seriously, well, as seriously as she possibly could. Favorite vacations included trips to Michigan and Richmond, Virginia.

      Debbie was a lover of animals and cherished her pets. Romeo, TJ and Black Jack, her cats. Her family was rounded out by her Samoyed, Panda.

      Debbie Betts passed away on October 12, 2018 at Cambridge Memorial Hospital Cambridge, Ontario. Debbie fought a courageous battle against cancer. She is survived by her mother Carol Betts, her sister Jamie Mercer, her niece Chyna Mercer and her nephew Mathew Mercer. Services were held at T. Little Funeral Home and Cremation Centre. Debbie was cremated and her urn resides in a place of honour at home with her mother.

      There was always a certain style and inventiveness to Debbie. She was a dynamic, self-expressive person who was forever looking to celebrate the endless possibilities life had to offer. She had a knack for being clever, creative and witty, and for others, was a joy to be around. While she was often fiercely independent, it seemed as if many others looked to Debbie Betts for inspiration, leadership, wisdom and even courage. Debbie was always more than willing to share life’s experiences with her loved ones.