2014-05-09 / Obituaries

Deborah Kinney

Deborah Jean Kinney, 66, of Kennebunkport, passed away on April 28, 2014, in her home at Goose Rocks Beach after a courageous and hard fought three-year battle against cancer.

Debby was born to Lois and Asa Kinney on April 26, 1948, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A graduate of Belmont High School, Debby earned her bachelor’s degree from Russell Sage College in 1970 and later her master’s degree in nursing education from Boston University.

Debby had an amazing spirit and a compassionate heart. She committed her life to the care of people and animals. Her career in caring for people began at Boston Children’s Hospital, where Debby worked with terminally ill children.

The central lesson she learned from helping these children and their parents was to focus on living rather than dying. Debby carried this belief with her until the very end.

In 1980, Debby moved to Maine to be near her aging parents and continued her career at Maine Medical Center in Portland, where she joined the Nursing Staff Development Group. She was responsible for three nursing units and the float pool.

Deb loved to teach registered nurses and nursing students. Indeed, she helped design and implement the Maine Medical Center / Westbrook College Baccalaureate Nursing Program. She was deeply involved in development of the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program, which has prepared more than 1,000 CNAs.

While her expertise was with pediatric patients, she was also responsible for assisting the Safety Training Program, including CPR, for more than 2,000 nurses at Maine Medical Center. Debby was also willing to help out anyone at the Medical Center, including running the cash register in the cafeteria for an individual who wished to attend a family funeral.

Caring for her parents was soon augmented by caring for animals. Always a champion for the underdog, her home became a welcome haven for many unwanted and/or neglected dogs and cats – four cats and two dogs was nothing for her.

Debby loved Goose Rocks Beach. She spent every summer there as a child. In her college years, she even taught tennis at the Goose Rock Beach Association and in her adult years served on various town boards and committees.

She was always saying how fortunate she was to live near what she loved – the sea and the sand. Deb enjoyed all of the richness that life in Maine provides – walking on the beach in the early morning, planting her organic gardens (not weeding), picking blueberries and strawberries in season, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, kayaking, watching sunrises pop out of the ocean, enjoying and learning about all the song and shore birds, exercising regularly at the gym, shopping at the Farmers Market every Saturday, even laughing at encountering the occasional skunk while walking her dogs. This was Debby’s essence.

Debby’s generous nature and affection was evident with many, but especially her twin nephews, Jonathan and Jeffrey, and their families (they sure loved her, too!). She was a good and faithful friend, and had a wonderful social network of friends in both Portland and Kennebunkport, many of these warm and caring relationships lasting for well over 30 years.

Debby is survived by her sister Carolyn Sherman and her husband, Robert of Kennebunkport; nephews Jeffery Sherman and his wife Paige of Colleyville, Texas, and Jonathan Sherman and his wife Beth of Weatherford, Texas; aunt Geraldine Waterhouse, of Kennebunk; cousins Dr. Kristen Raines and her husband Gen. Steven Jones of Alexandria, Virginia, Merilee Raines and her husband, Dan Snow of Cape Elizabeth, Jan Worley Feise of Bainbridge Island, Washington, Lee Worley of Boulder, Colorado, and Paige Schroeder of Melbourne, Florida; grand niece Emily Sherman; grand nephews Joseph, Benjamin and Jacob Sherman.

At Debby’s request, a private family burial will be held at Hope Cemetery, where she will be laid to rest next to her parents.

The family is planning a celebration of Debby’s life this summer.

Should friends desire, donations in Debby’s memory may be made to the Animal Welfare Society, P.O. Box 43, West Kennebunk ME 04094 or to the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust, P.O. Box 7004, Cape Porpoise ME 04014.

Arrangements by Bibber Memorial Chapel, Kennebunk.

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