Debra A. Belcher, née Dalluge, 67, of New Fairfield, CT, passed away peacefully at home on April 13, 2021, after a long and very brave struggle with Primary Progressive Aphasia, a type of early onset dementia. Debra was born June 22, 1953, in Decatur, Illinois, to William and Nelda Dalluge and spent her childhood in Blue Mound, IL. She graduated from the Decatur and Macon County Hospital’s LPN Program in 1974 with honors and worked for many years as an LPN, a profession she excelled at. In 1981 she married the love of her life, Joe Belcher, and they moved to Jacksonville, FL. For the last eight years she made her home with her sister, Cheryl Reedy and niece Emily Reedy in New Fairfield, CT.
Debra leaves behind her mother Nelda Dalluge of Blue Mound, IL, beloved son Shawn Jenkins (Nicole) of Lady Lake, FL, stepsons, Barry (Debbie) and Bobby (Janie) Belcher of Lyman, South Carolina, grandchildren, Brittany (Mark Thigpen) Jenkins, Michael Jenkins and Abigayle Jenkins, great grandson Ambrose Thigpen, brother Thomas Dalluge (Martha) of Alpharetta, Georgia, sister Cheryl Reedy of New Fairfield, CT, nieces and nephews Jason and Emily Reedy, Brian (Susanna Miesel), Caroline and Matthew Dalluge, aunts and uncle Gladys True and Glen and Arlone Dalluge, cousins and friends. She was predeceased by her husband Joe B. Belcher, her father, William Dalluge, Jr., grandparents William and Clessie Dalluge and John and Carrie May, and her precious little dog Elbie.
Deb had a lifelong love of animals and helping other people. Ducks, cats, dogs, bunnies, worms, frogs, salamanders, horned toads and even a rat named Charlene were among her childhood pets. She and Joe were huge fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars football team, and she volunteered as a welcoming hostess when the Super Bowl was held in Jacksonville. Deb was talented at crochet, making dozens of crocheted, starched angels and wreaths to decorate her big Christmas tree every year. And she was a big fan of the Ball Pond Volunteer Fire Company in New Fairfield who welcomed her with open arms and included her as part of their family when she moved to Connecticut.
Her last few years were spent participating in more than a dozen clinical trials to move research forward to end the scourge of primary progressive aphasia and other neurodegenerative diseases and their devastating impacts on patients and families. In her final act of compassion for others, prior to her death she arranged for her brain to be donated to the ongoing research at the Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
Debra’s family would like to recognize and thank the invaluable assistance provided to them by Regional Hospice of Western CT and Debra’s care team of John, Colleen, Jennifer, Mary and Sam over the last few months.
A Celebration of Life Gathering will be held on Saturday April 17, 2021 at Danbury Memorial Funeral Home (117 South St, Danbury CT06810) from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., with a Prayer Service to begin at 11:15 a.m. The services will be abiding by necessary Covid-19 Precautions. A memorial service will be held for Debra in Blue Mound, IL at a later date.
In lieu of flowers Debra has requested that donations be made in her name to the Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease, information on how to donate can be found below the obituary.
To light a candle or leave a condolence in her memory, please visit www.DanburyMemorial.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Debra Ann Belcher, please visit our floral store.
Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Development & Alumni Relations, 420 E. Superior St., Arthur J. Rubloff Building, 9th Floor, Chicago IL 60611