Grzywacz — Debra, January 21, 2012, of Roslindale died much as she lived, with love and courage. Her loving and large family and community of friends miss her so. We draw inspiration and strength from her example. Her partner of 26 years, Jodie Shapiro, their daughter, Naomi G. Shapiro, her mother, Margarette Grzywacz, her “little brother”, Jimmy Demers, her in-laws, Irwin and Lila Shapiro, and “sister”, Freda, share their grief with all who mourn her. We remember her late father, Fred Grzywacz, in this time of sorrow. She worked thirty-three years at the Department of Developmental Services and there became Assistant Deputy Commissioner. Deb was humble, funny, direct, devoted, and always grammatically correct. She lived a truly wonderful life
Relatives and Friends are kindly invited. Visiting hours in the Robert J. Lawler and Crosby Funeral Home 1803 Centre St. West Roxbury on Monday, Jan. 23rdh from 4:00 – 8:00pm. A celebration of Deb’s life will be held in the Forsyth Chapel at Forest Hill Cemetery 95 forest Hills Ave., Jamaica Plain on Tuesday Jan 24th at 11:00am. Interment to follow.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Deb’s name to Dana-Faber Cancer Institute www.dana-faber.org 10 Brookline Place West, 6th floor, Brookline, MA 02445
Deb was a loving mother, spouse, friend, and daughter. She and her spouse of 26 years, Jodie shared a wonderful life with their daughter, Naomi, and their two standard poodles, Monty and Desi. She was also a hometown girl from Ware, MA, devoted to her parents, Margaret and Freddie Grzywacz, and embraced by her large extended family. Special mention to the Slattery, McDonough, and Demers families. Her in-laws, Irwin and Lila Shapiro, loved her as a daughter. Her sister-in-law, Freda Shapiro, loved her as a “sistah”.
Deb had many friends who adored her and she them. Phil Saviano, Amanda Chalmers, Mary Fratto, Joan Callahan, Diane Iaguli, Connie Lehr, Susan Dale, Carol Colburn, Emily Barkin, and Susan Woods had a very special place in her heart.
Deb loved to travel, camp, and laugh. She waited every year for summer corn and tomatoes. She was quick to rescue animals in distress or who were caught crossing the Jamaica Way at the wrong time. She shooed many squirrels and geese to safety. She was an avid Red Sox and the Patriots’ fan. She read like a fiend and wrote with precision and eloquence.
Deb spent thirty-three years with the Department of Developmental Services and became an Assistant Deputy Commissioner. Her proudest accomplishment came in her later years with the department when she oversaw the transitioning of individuals out of nursing homes and into homes in the community. She had a reputation for high standards, detail, fairness, and humility. She had a clear and ever present moral compass. She earned four Pride in Performance Awards and earlier this year received a Governor’s Proclamation for her excellence at work. She will be missed by many DDS employees across the State.
Deb was an extraordinary woman, a one of a kind. Although cancer took her life on 01/21/12, her illness never defined her. It was an interference and detour she tolerated with grace, grit, and sheer determination. She was an inspiration to all who knew her. Her family thanks Deb’s oncology team for their dedication and their superb medical care over the last eleven years. In particular, we thank: Dr. Stacey Gore, Dr. Dan DeAngelo, Joan Sully, RN, Pam Smith, RN, and Susan Buchanan, PA.