Debbie (Gillett) Hermansen - HGHS 1990|
It is with a heavy heart that I share the news of Debbie's death after a seven year battle with breast cancer. She was the bravest person I have ever met.
Debbie Gillett Hermansen, age 40, died peacefully on Monday, August 15, 2011 surrounded by her family in her favorite place, Deer Isle, Maine. She was born May 21, 1971 in Mount Kisco, N.Y., the daughter of Ken and Sally Gillett. Debbie was raised in Chappaqua, N.Y. She graduated from Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, and Connecticut College as a member of the Class of 1994. She married her high school sweetheart Eric William Hermansen on April 27, 1996 in Elmsford, N.Y. For the past thirteen years they have been residents of Bethel, and have spent their summers on Deer Isle. Her love, kindness, and energy were amazing and boundless. In addition to being a devoted wife and mother, she was a role model to all. Her passion was her family, followed closely by her wonderful friends. She inspired all who knew her with her spirit, strength, and courage, especially during her valiant battles with cancer, both as a child and over the last seven years. Debbie lived her life to the fullest and always reached out to others. Before having children of her own, she taught preschool and kindergarten in Chappaqua. She then volunteered in her children's classrooms and parent-teacher organizations. She was never far from a child and always had their best interests at heart. She loved sharing her talents and creativity with those around her by teaching both children and adults alike how to make her original crafts, such as jewelry and note cards. Debbie was a dedicated member of many clubs and organizations. She was an active member of The First Congregational Church of Bethel, and The Sunset Congregational Church on Deer Isle. She was never happier than when participating with her family in activities at the Island Country Club and the Deer Isle Yacht Club. A founding member of the "Pink Ladies" Relay for Life Team of Bethel, she helped raise record-breaking funds for the American Cancer Society. In recognition of her perseverance and courage, she was once named the Honorary Chairman of the Relay. Words cannot express how much she will be missed by her close-knit family, extended family and friends, and the communities in which she lived. She is survived by her husband, Eric, and her three beloved children, Timothy William, Allison Elizabeth, and Amy Caffee Hermansen. She is also survived by her devoted parents, Ken and Sally Gillett of Newtown, and Deer Isle, ME, as well as her sisters, Patty Gillett Elliott of Columbus, OH and Jean Gillett Gresham of Guilford, as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Two memorial services are planned to honor Debbie's life. The first one was Friday, August 19, at the Sunset Congregational Church on Deer Isle, Maine, and the second will be at the First Congregational Church of Bethel in Bethel on Saturday, August 27, 2011. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent in her name to Ann's Place Cancer Support Center, 39 Old Ridgebury Road #17, Danbury, CT 06819; The SCOTTY Fund, PO Box 1080, Bethel, CT 06801; or The First Congregational Church of Bethel, 46 Main Street Bethel, CT 06801.
Published in News Times on August 19, 2011