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Debra Sharkey
December 23, 1954 - March 2, 2017
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<div itemprop="description">Sharkey, Debra Ann - A gentle soul has soared away from us. It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Debra Ann Sharkey, age 62, on March 2nd at the Halifax Infirmary. During her short illness, she was cared for by a dedicated and exceptionally compassionate team of doctors and nurses in ICU 5.2 - Halifax Infirmary. We extend our profound respect to medical personnel who fought so hard for Debra. Debra was born, in Halifax, on December 23, 1954 and has been a resident of Lower Sackville her entire life. Her early life was spent at home with her parents, brothers and sisters. At age nine Debra was enrolled at the Nova Scotia Youth Training Center in Truro where, for the next nine years, she developed the skills and talents that would be the foundation her future was built on. After graduation, Debra found her calling at Anchor Industries/ Building Futures Employment Center where she became a valued member of the Center for the next 42 years. Debra continued to live with her parents until she ultimately moved to Rose Villa with her two new 'special sisters'. Over the last 21 years Debra has enjoyed the constant companionship of Teresa and Pam who will certainly miss her presence in their lives. <br> <br>Debra's life has always been filled with family, travel, hobbies and sports. She excelled in Special Olympics (swimming, bowling and baseball and floor hockey) where her greatest achievement was winning both gold and bronze medals for swimming in the 1990 Canadian Special Olympics Summer Games in Vancouver. All told she accumulated over 70 gold, silver and bronze medals in her Special Olympics career. Debra's passion for crocheting has left many of her family with treasured blankets to keep them comforted on cold nights. Travelling to see close friends and family in Shediac, NB (Melinda & Irma), Kensington, PEI (Dorothy), Chance Harbour, Pictou (Betty & Olding) and Ingonish, Cape Breton (the Donovan clan) along with the excitement of finally getting to visit Disney World in 2011, were special moments for Debra. Time spent on word search books, using her 'puter' (computer) and phoning her favorite people were an essential part of her daily routine. For those of us lucky enough to get a nightly call, we will certainly feel the loss. Debra’s Wednesday afternoons at Friends Gathering, Friday evenings at the Sackville Legion (RCL Calais Branch 162) and frequent ‘Timmies’ stops were all part of the weekly agenda. <br> <br>Debra was predeceased by her father William (Bill) Alphonsus Sharkey, mother Marguerite Jean (Peggy) (Fitzgerald) Sharkey and brother Owen Francis Sharkey. Debra will be forever missed by sister Jeri (Ron) Beairsto, Upper Kingsburg; sister Pam (Ron) Verge, Fall River; brother Billy (Dana) Sharkey, Tantallon; brother-in-law Dwight Hennigar, Bedford; nephew Kevin (Jill) Sharkey, Tantallon; nephew OJ (Taylor) Hennigar, West Northfield; niece Alyssa (Carolyn) Hennigar, Fort McMurray AB; niece Kayla (Joey) Sharkey, Glen Margaret; niece Michelle Verge, Victoria BC; nephew Samuel Beairsto, Lunenburg; nephew Iain Beairsto, Bolzano Italy; great nephews Treysyn Pelley and JC Sharkey; great niece Avery May Hennigar; special sisters Teresa Boyd and Pam Publicover, Rose Villa; aunt Pauline (Mike) Kelly, Timberlea; uncle Kenneth (Dorothy) Fitzgerald, Halifax; aunt Carolyn (Buzzy) Goodwin, <br>Timberlea; aunt Donna (Wayne) Tupper, Ottawa; Maureen Carpenter, Timberlea; many cousins, friends and all the staff at Rose Villa and Building Futures. <br> <br>Debra has faced many challenges over the past 41 years, she always came out smiling and willing to face whatever came next - we have all gained so much from her presence in our lives! <br> <br>Special thanks is extended to the many medical professionals that have helped Debra on her life’s journey, notably the staff of 5.2 Halifax Infirmary on March 1st, Dr. Leverman at the Cobequid Community Health Centre, Dr. Trevor Topp, Dr. Hussein Beydoun and Dr. Jabeen Shaifta amongst others. <br> <br>Visitation will be held at Atlantic Funeral Home, Lower Sackville on Tuesday March 7, 2017, 2-4pm and 7-9pm. A celebration of Debra's life will be held at Atlantic Funeral Home Wednesday, March 8, 2017, at 11am, reception to follow. Interment will be at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Lower Sackville. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Building Futures Employment Society or Nova Scotia Special Olympics</div>