Deb­o­rah MacDon­nell

The Day - - OBITUARIES -

East Lyme — Deb­o­rah (Purvis) MacDon­nell of Niantic passed away Sun­day, Nov. 4, 2018, in the arms of the fam­ily she loved so much and wasn’t quite ready to leave be­hind.

Deb was born July 14, 1964, to San­dra and Richard Purvis. She grew up in Madi­son with her big brother, Danny, and a close-knit group of fam­ily friends known for their epic block par­ties. A 1982 grad­u­ate of Daniel Hand High School, she stud­ied jour­nal­ism at the Univer­sity of Rhode Is­land, where she served as an ed­i­tor of the stu­dent news­pa­per. She grad­u­ated from URI in 1986.

On Sept. 11, 1993, she mar­ried the love of her life, Bob MacDon­nell of Niantic. She and Bob were blessed with two beau­ti­ful chil­dren, Made­line and Kyle, her pride and joy.

She be­gan her ca­reer as a cub re­porter at Shore­line News­pa­pers be­fore mov­ing into cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions at Na­tional Rein­sur­ance Cor­po­ra­tion, Peo­ple’s Bank and Sul­li­van & LeShane Pub­lic Re­la­tions. In 2006, she was hired as a se­nior writer at Con­necti­cut Col­lege. She was pro­moted to di­rec­tor of pub­lic re­la­tions in June of 2007, and ex­pertly served as a li­ai­son be­tween the col­lege and the com­mu­nity for nearly 12 years.

Deb was well-known for her com­mu­nity ser­vice through­out south­east­ern Con­necti­cut. She joined the Ro­tary Club of New London in 2013, serv­ing most re­cently as vice pres­i­dent be­fore be­ing named pres­i­dent-elect in June. She en­joyed all Ro­tary ac­tiv­i­ties, but was par­tic­u­larly fond of pour­ing beer at the an­nual Brewfest at the Beach. This past summer, she was hon­ored with the Ro­tary’s Paul Har­ris Fel­low­ship. She served on the board of directors of the South­east­ern Con­necti­cut Cul­tural Coali­tion, vol­un­teered reg­u­larly at the New London Com­mu­nity Meal Cen­ter and taught Sun­day school at St. John’s Epis­co­pal Church.

She loved spend­ing time on the beach and vis­it­ing with rel­a­tives. Deb was an avid reader, so books played a role in both her per­sonal and her pro­fes­sional life. She loved her reg­u­lar get-to­geth­ers with the “book club ladies,” and was in­stru­men­tal in build­ing a part­ner­ship be­tween Con­necti­cut Col­lege and the One Book One Re­gion ini­tia­tive, which in­creased par­tic­i­pa­tion in and fos­tered lo­cal con­ver­sa­tions about some of lit­er­a­ture’s mod­ern mas­ter­pieces.

Deb’s fa­vorite role in life was mother to her two chil­dren. An East Lyme Vik­ings su­per­fan, she was al­ways on the side­lines cheer­ing on Maddy and Kyle, and served as the time­keeper for Kyle’s ju­nior and se­nior lacrosse sea­sons. Most re­cently, she could be found cheer­ing on Kyle at Drew Univer­sity and cel­e­brat­ing Maddy’s re­cent grad­u­a­tion from North­east­ern Univer­sity.

In ad­di­tion to her beloved hus­band and chil­dren, she is sur­vived by her fa­ther, Richard Purvis of Naples, Fla.; her brother, Daniel Purvis of Wil­ton, his wife, Beth and their chil­dren, Me­gan, Sean and Ali­son; her mother-in-law, As­pasea Hart of Old Lyme, and her hus­band, Joe; her broth­erin-law, Ge­orge MacDon­nell of Lon­don­derry, N.H., his wife, Jade and their chil­dren, Owen and Olivia; her sis­ter-in-law, Amy Hart of Old Lyme; step­mother-in-law, Anita MacDon­nell of North At­tle­boro, Mass.; and nu­mer­ous aunts, un­cles, cousins and dear friends.

She was pre­ceded in death by her mother, San­dra Purvis.

A me­mo­rial Holy Eucharist and cel­e­bra­tion of life will be held at 11 a.m. Satur­day, Nov. 17, at St. John’s Epis­co­pal Church in Niantic.

In lieu of flow­ers, please con­sider a do­na­tion to the Ro­tary Club of New London or the Cen­ter for Hos­pice Care South­east Con­necti­cut.

Con­do­lences may be shared on Deb­o­rah’s me­mo­rial page at www.neilan­fu­ner­al­home. com.

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