Debby Ann Merritt peacefully passed away on May 4th surrounded by family after bravely battling dementia on her own terms. Never one to conform to expected norms, Debby took on the disease squarely and without remorse, heroically using her considerable intellect to make decisions that would make most shudder.

She was admired and loved by her children, grandchildren and close friends who know her as a caring gentle soul. She believed education was the bedrock of personal growth and enjoyed her formal education, earning both her Master of Social Work and undergraduate degrees from The Ohio State University (Columbus), of which she was immensely proud. Her son later followed her to her alma mater.

Debby held a variety of counseling and supervisory positions throughout her career and helped countless patients achieve higher functioning mental health. She took her role as a mentor seriously, helping to inspire and teach the next generation of servant leaders. Despite her already busy schedule, she found time to hold an adjunct faculty position at Ohio State. During this tenure she enjoyed amazing relationships with her students, along with rave reviews of her class. Additionally, she helped some members of the rugby team achieve readmission to Ohio State who later went on to successful careers.

Debby was born in Ft. Wayne Indiana, the daughter of Walter and Betty Frobe, along with her sister Patty.

She is survived by her children, Jim, Richard, Kim and Cathy; grandchildren, Ashley, Bobby, Jessica, Emilee, Renee, TJ and Andie. She loved the outdoors, rescuing animals, her beach home, her farm, traveling, composing music, pseudo-intellectual debates, her dog, and her family above all. She will be missed greatly everyday by those closest to her with whom she had shared values.

A small family memorial service will be held for Debby; in lieu of flowers the family would ask for donations to the Alzheimer’s Association, To leave an online condolence, or to send a message of sympathy to the family, please visit:

No posts to display