Deb Manyin

Deb Manyin Boston Cremation

Some special people are just born to give and share their love.  Deb Manyin arrived to do just that on July 22, 1953 in Portland, Maine.  She passed peacefully with her family at her side on Monday, January 30, 2023 in Quincy, Massachusetts after a valiant struggle with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

At a very young age Deb knew she wanted to become a teacher.  She graduated from the University of Southern Maine and received her master’s degree at Antioch University.  In her unpretentious manner she would rarely disclose that she graduated from both universities with honors.

She was able to achieve her lifelong goal of becoming a teacher in her mid-30s after dedicating her life to her two children, Johnny and Katie.  Deb’s passion for the French language led her to begin her career teaching French and Spanish at Mastrocola Middle School in Merrimack, NH and McKelvie Middle School in Bedford, NH.  After moving to South Carolina, she taught the same subjects at Beaufort Middle School and Beaufort Elementary School where she was selected as Teacher of the Year at both.  She was also a semi-finalist as a National Teacher of the Year.  She affectionately called her students “her children”; they and her colleagues will miss her big heart and ever-present smile.

Deb met her soulmate Ron when they were both Delegation Leaders for Student Ambassadors in Moscow, Russia in 1993.  In the year 2000 they married on the observation deck of the Empire State Building with 10 of their closest family and friends.  Deb and Ron were together for nearly 30 beautiful years.  For 21 of those years, they lived on their beloved Fripp Island, a barrier Island in South Carolina, where Deb was proud of becoming a lover of nature enchanted with shore birds, deer, sea otters, and even the alligators.  Her diverse interests included spending quality time with friends and families, being an avid reader, walking (especially on the beach), and visiting over 20 countries and as many states.

We have all lost a loving friend.  In her love of French, her raison d’ etre can be characterized by a favored French expression by Pascal, “Le coeur a ses raisons que le raison ne connaît pas” (The heart has its reasons that reason does not know).

Deb is survived by her loving husband Ron; her devoted daughter Katie Nelson and her husband Kristoff; her loving son Johnny; her beloved stepchildren Mark Manyin (and his wife Karen Philipps) and Keith Manyin; her step granddaughters Katie and Julia Manyin; her nieces Krissy Greenier, Danielle Vigus, and Jenyse Rickman; and her best friend Dolly Cavallaro.  Deb was predeceased by her mother, Georgia Ross, and her brother, Gary Greenier.

Although we will miss her immensely, Deb would not want us to grieve too long.  Rather, she would want us to take her exuberance and her compassionate heart and pass it forward.  She was a kind and generous person who modeled for us the meaning of true love and gratitude.  She touched our hearts and souls.  She was a fierce force in protecting those she cared for.  We will gain comfort knowing she is our guardian angel looking down at us with her Grampy, her Yorkie Peanut, and her Lab Dusty at her side, taking care of us.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in her honor to Compassionate Care ALS (, an organization dedicated to compassionate care for families stricken with ALS.  We are so grateful to CCALS for its support during Deb’s illness.


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13 Condolences

  1. Jessica Jordan on February 21, 2023 at 6:12 pm

    My deepest sympathy to Ron, Katie & Johnny. Deb was one of the kindest, warmest people people I’ve ever been blessed to know. My heart goes out to you all. Praying you find comfort and peace in your lasting memories.

  2. Sarah H Vacca on February 22, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    My heart breaks for all of you! I loved Deb dearly. We called each other our “Forever Friends” . She was the most loving and loyal friend anyone could ask for. I was overjoyed when she married Ron as I know how much she loved him and he loved her in return! I will mourn this beautiful loss but know she will grace wherever she now has landed!

  3. Donna Manyin on February 22, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    There are two things I will remember most about my sister-in-law Deb. The first happened when my husband Richard (Ron’s twin) and I were visiting Ron and Deb in their new home on Fripp Island. They had recently married and, always the perfect hosts, were showing us the area. One day we went to Charleston, and, as we were walking and seeing the sights, Ron and Richard were walking ahead of Deb and I. We were discussing how much alike our twin brother husbands were, and yet how different they were. All of a sudden, Deb stopped and reached over and hugged me, proclaiming “I never had a sister before!”

    When my husband passed away from covid in November 2020, Deb really helped me get through the pain and grief. She texted me at least once a day for several months, just to see how I was. She told me about the books she was reading and the tv shows she and Ron were watching. Just sharing her everyday life with me made so much difference in my life.

    I will miss my “sister” greatly, for she was one of the most unselfish people I’ve ever known. While I know her family is grieving her loss, I pray the the beautiful memories she left will comfort them.

  4. Kerry & Rick Friesen on February 22, 2023 at 4:31 pm

    Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
    We are so glad that she was in such good hands right to the end.
    She was amazing and I will always treasure our times together- especially walking the beach on Fripp Island.

  5. Sabine Scheumann on February 22, 2023 at 4:44 pm

    When my husband and I joined Fripp friends in 2017, Deb looked at us from 10 feet away at the kickoff mixer and then promptly sat down next to us, saying that we looked like her kind of people. It was destiny, and we spent many lovely evenings together with Deb and Ron, solving the problems of the world. When Deb and Ron hosted, she always made the best pre dinner cocktails. I tried to keep up when it was our turn, which was not easy. lol. She was always positive, caring and giving and was one of the most compassionate people we have ever met, and we will miss her dearly.

  6. Pat McNeill on February 22, 2023 at 9:00 pm

    Tom and I were so saddened to hear of Deb’s illness and subsequent passing. She was truly a ray of sunshine with such a kind heart. Our dogTabby, and their dog Dusty were a week apart in age and we all met on the Fripp beach one day. We loved spending time with Deb, Ron and Dusty when we were there. Deb seems to have never met a stranger, and will be deeply missed. Our condolences to Ron and all her family.
    Pat and Tom McNeill

  7. Pat McPhee on February 24, 2023 at 10:41 am

    Deb was like a bright star. She was such a wonderful friend, a caring person and an outstanding teacher. She left me with so many beautiful and happy memories. I will miss her so much.

  8. Pat McPhee on February 24, 2023 at 10:46 am

    Deb was like a bright star. She was such a wonderful friend, a caring person and an outstanding teacher. I feel blessed that she has left me with so many happy memories. I will miss her so much.

  9. Page Miller on February 24, 2023 at 11:26 am

    Charlie and I were blessed to have Ron and Deb as neighbors for 20 years. We have such fond memories of our times together. Deb was one of the most positive, kind, and generous friends I have had. Her bright smile and expressions of concern will be sorely missed. I am greatly pained that she, and Ron as the caregiver, had to go through this terrible disease.

  10. Caroline Diamon on February 25, 2023 at 11:40 am

    My deepest sympathy to Katie, John & Ron. We all loved Deb so much. I first met Deb when we were students at King Jr High and then we were in a lot of the same classes at Portland High. Then after high school she married my older brother John. Whenever we were together Deb always had the most beautiful smile. She was so kind and thoughtful to all that knew her. Katie & John were her pride and joy. Whenever she would talk about them she would beam!! Later on when she married Ron I got to go visit them on Fripp Island with my daughter Jen. It was so much fun & Deb was so happy there. I have so many wonderful memories of Deb over the years and will treasure all of them. She was the most genuine kind loving woman and I will miss her. Sending love and prayers to all of you.

  11. Katherine Samples on February 25, 2023 at 3:53 pm

    Deb has been a cherished friend and she will always be in my thoughts. Having her as a nextdoor neighbor was such a wonderful experience with her kind and generous ways. I sometimes still listen for her to start her car in the morning to go teach some very lucky children, then I would turn over and go back to sleep knowing she had made such a big difference in those childrens lives. I am definalely one of the lucky ones to have had her as a friend.
    I know it was a teribble time for Ron and “My Katie” to experience this crule disease as they cared for Deb but she was in the best of hands and with all that love around her.
    My prayers are with all of the family and friends.

  12. Kat Malloy on March 15, 2023 at 1:10 pm

    I am heartbroken that Deb has passed away and that she had to endure such a cruel disease. I will always miss her and am honored that she was my friend.

    I have so many fond memories of the good times we had. She had the best laugh and always made those around her feel special. She was the kind of person who always wanted to leave the world a better place and she did especially in her children, Katie and Johnny. 💔

  13. Dora Ereifej on October 3, 2023 at 7:51 pm

    My deepest and heartfelt condolences. While I didn’t know Debbie, I knew Professor Ron. May the memories you shared give you comfort. It’s better that you have loved and lost than never to have loved. May she rest in eternal peace.

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