Deborah (Debbie) Smalley, 69, unexpectedly passed away on December 4, 2022, at the Grand Strand Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She was surrounded by her loving family after a sinus surgery two days earlier. On Sunday morning, Debbie awoke with some discomfort and went into the family room. Several minutes later, her grandson Austin awoke and sat down to share in a heartfelt conversation. After he returned to sleep, Dave heard Debbie fall to the floor. She fell unconscious in his arms before the EMT team arrived. She passed away the next day at Grand Strand Medical Center after receiving the best of medical care.
Debbie was born in Columbus, Ohio on December 26, 1952, to the late Charles and Patricia Clark and was the eldest of their four children. Debbie is survived by her husband of 45 years, David (Dave) Smalley; stepson, David (Wendy) Smalley; daughter, Deidre Smalley; grandson, Austin Smalley; and granddaughter, Aubrey Gioia. Debbie is also survived by her sisters: Cheryl (Terry) Brennan and Lori (Loren) Little, both of Wellston; brothers, and sisters-in-law: George (Chip) and Cathy Smalley, Sara and Tom Sollars, and Rebecca and Chuck Brown; and several cousins and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her sister, Pamula Clark.
Debbie was a member of Ekklesia Christian Church in Myrtle Beach, SC. She loved to travel with family and friends to historical and special nature sights. Debbie absolutely adored her two grandchildren. She was a dedicated Christian woman who loved to help, serve, give and minister to everyone she met. She was courageous in her stands for Biblical values yet was humble in encouraging the broken.
Debbie and Dave were inseparable for 45 years and they had a storybook love life and a marriage of devotion through every season of life. Debbie would say that she has lived a dream life traveling the world. She and Dave had just returned from a relaxing trip to Hawaii. She was asked: “Where do you want to go next?” Debbie’s reply was: “I have done and I have gone every place I could ever want or dream. I do not have one want that has not been fulfilled.” Debbie was a very special person who wanted to spread joy and the love of Christ to everyone.
Debbie’s desire was to have her body donated for medical research so she could continue to bless as many people as possible even beyond her earthly journey. There will be a celebration of life service in Myrtle Beach, SC and one in Lancaster, Ohio for family and friends in early 2023. Exact dates are to follow. The family is very grateful for the outpouring of love, prayer and faith during these difficult days.