Daughter of Clara and James Dennis, Debbie grew up in Kent, Ohio. She moved to Port Townsend in the early 1980s where she raised her children Cori and Aaron Long and made a community of friends.
Debbie had the voice of an angel. She started singing and playing the guitar at the age of 12. In her 20s she could be found in Port Townsend’s pubs and taverns captivating audiences with covers of Joni Mitchell and Stevie Nicks songs. Music continued to be a large part of her life. In the late '80s bands Feast or Famine and Dr. Rhythm and the Heart Attacks headlined for Town’s largest audiences at local favorites like The Town Tavern and The Back Alley. In the peak of her music career, she and band mates opened for Taj Mahal when he played at Memorial Field.
Debbie had a heart of gold. She made friends wherever she went and her work crews always adored her. She managed the Upstairs at Waterfront Pizza for 20 years. She was a mother figure to many of her younger employees and a friend to all. Sunday dinners, holidays and barbeques at Debbie’s house were always a fun time filled with laughter, family, friends and tasty food. Italian meatballs, Irish chicken stew and BBQ ribs were a few of her specialties.
Debbie loved her friends, loved her family and had special bonds with her grandchildren, Tyson and Maya Long and Elan Taniguchi. Her smile brightened the room, her voice soothed the soul, and her hug warmed the heart. She will be missed and loved always.
A celebration of life will be held at the Fort Worden Kitchen Shelter from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 13, 2023.