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Debbie Tomba, aged 72, passed away on December 8th 2020 with her 3 daughters by her side.

A Self Described “Good Witch”, she was born on October 31st in Bellefontaine, Ohio to

Paul and Mary Jane Holderman. She was a dedicated and loving daughter who inherited her

Mother’s good sense of humor and her father’s gumption. She was a graduate of St. Elizabeth’s

Nursing School in Dayton, OH and later Baldwin Wallace. After a 20 years as and RN at

The Cleveland Clinic and Hilcrest Hospitals, Debbie then worked at Medical Mutual for 20 years, retiring in 2010.

Debbie’s true legacy though is the impact she made on her family and friends. She was a joyful sparkly presence

with an easy laugh, huge smile and well-timed snark. She dedicated her personal and professional life to helping people.

Debbie is survived by the love of her life and husband of 48 years, Joe, whom she cared for with so much love and patience

throughout his battle with Alzheimer’s. Debbie and Joe built a beautiful life together filled with love, laughter and

forced family fun, that eventually became less forced. From their newlywed days in Euclid to their final days together and

the “Tomba Compound” in University Heights, they truly enjoyed each other’s company and spent their time, traveling

(by car and train) dancing in the kitchen, laughing at each other’s jokes, taking walks on the beach, drinking wine,

visiting museums, seeing shows and spending time with friends. The best description of Debbie recently came from Joe,

whose Alzheimer’s induced word mix ups, led him to describe her as “Funderful” which is truly inspired.

Her girls, Abbie, Cassie Pryor (Rob) and Amanda won the jackpot to receive her as a mother. They have so many memories

of silly morning wake ups (singing stuffed animals and promises of teen crushes making breakfast), ice cream birthday cakes

with themed decorations, perfectly popped popcorn, cocoa and toast, Dunkin Donuts after one of her nursing night shifts,

endless life and medical advice, phone conversations while driving home, and selfless encouragement and support of whatever

dream they had. She was the family travel director, always set on picking the perfect Beach House

and designing the most magical Walt Disney World Trip.

Known as “Grammie” to her three precious Grandchildren Olivia, Luke and Ethan McConville, she was maker of pancakes,

host of movie marathons and Christmas miracle maker. She went to every concert, soccer game, football game, and events

that she could. Grammie and Papa’s house was the central hub of all family fun and requests to sleepover were nearly constant.

The memorable trips to the Henry Ford Museum, including the time she fell with pie are favorites.

Debbie is also survived by her much loved siblings; Bob (Sharon) Holderman, Sandy Hodges, Roxanne Tackett (John)

and Colleen Ray whom she treasured. Some of her only regrets were that she was unable to see her brother, or take a

final trip with her sisters. She was a dedicated sister who was always willing to help her family. When she married Joe in 1972

she gained new family in her in-laws Mary Olack and Tim Tomba (Gail), whom she loved dearly. The last year of her life was

spent living downstairs at Tim and Gail’s with many shared dinners, laughs and wine. To her extended family of nieces and nephews,

she was a loving aunt and the Martha Stewart of family Christmases, gathering the ever growing extended family for delicious food,

Christmas cocktails and many laughs. She brought joy and laughter to any celebration. In addition to be being loved by family

she was a cherished friend to her “PSP Nursing School Sisters” and the “Seminarian” friends and wives who were all examples of

lifelong friends who became family. Debbie was dedicated to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s after watching the affects it had on Joe

and experiencing first hand the difficulty of caregiving. In lieu of flowers she asked for donations to be made to the

Alzheimer’s Association or the charity of your choice. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

14 Replies to “DEBBIE TOMBA”

  1. Sharon Koivuniemi Hall says:

    Sounds like a lovely lady and we loved. I’m proud of her nursing accomplishments. RIP DEAR DEBBIE. I AM PROUD TO BE your cousin!

  2. Marcia Schneider says:

    Dear Amanda, Cassie, Abbie,
    Our daughter Cara messaged us that your Mom had passed away. We send our deepest sympathy to you and your family. We were neighbors for a short time on Hampton Hills Court in Concord. However knowing your Mom and Dad were part of our best memories living there. You are a special family and your Mom and Dad created that for you. You are truly blessed.
    Your loss is heartbreaking. We hope the outpouring of caring and love you receive from family and friends will help sustain you through this sad and difficult time. We will keep you in our prayers. Peace be with you. Marcia and Bob Schneider

  3. Janet Walsh says:

    A beautiful tribute for our “Good Witch”. Debbie always laughed at Brian’s jokes and he said he’ll miss that. In true Debbie style, I promised him I’d laugh at his jokes. She’s in our hearts forever. Love, Janet and Brian

  4. Pam Segur says:

    I agree your mother was a very special woman. I worked in the Toledo MMO office. She was a good friend. I was shocked to hear of her passing. My mother passed on 12/22/2008. My prayers are with all the family.

  5. Marilyn Osborne says:

    Dear mother of my daughter-in-law Cassie, Debbie created many happy memories during the few years I knew her. My husband Lonnie and I will always remember the many happy moments we shared with Debbie, especially the time she invited us over for her “life changing” lasagna (as described by her grandchildren). That entire meal sang! She brought positivity, wit, and love to every gathering. Lonnie and I will always remember her with joy in our hearts as she asked us to do.

  6. Donna Morris says:

    What a wonderful story and thanks for sharing. Worked at MMO with Debbie for many years and she was my “go to” when I needed help which was always graciously provided, as well as a person I considered a friend. My sincere condolences to your family. We’ve lost an angel on earth!!

  7. Ellen Rossi says:

    Amanda, Your family is such an exemplary model of love. Thinking of your parents always makes me smile and reminds me of how much fun family can be! Your mother’s strength and loving support (and tremendous sense of humor) are imprinted on you and make you an amazing friend. My prayers are with you and your family.
    Love, Ellen Rossi

  8. Teresa Sager says:

    Just when I thought my Aunt couldn’t be more perfect I now learn she FELL WITH PIE. God how I wish I could have seen it! I love her so much and she will be missed.

  9. The Richner’s says:

    Amanda Cassie and Abby
    My heart aches for u
    Your mom and dad —very very special people

  10. Shannon Vitale says:

    You would be hard pressed to find a more loving, open- hearted, non-judgemental, hilarious, kind and all around amazing human than Debbie. She impacted my life in ways I could never express my thanks for. Truly a miraculous woman I will always honor and hold close in my heart.

  11. Jill Charske says:

    This is perfectly stated about your Mom. Being neighbors in Euclid will always be a nice memory. Your Mom will be missed. I was excited that we had recently caught up with each other on facebook. All of you are in our thoughts and prayers. May Debbie rest in peace and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ as a new Christmas Angel. Love Mrs. Jill Potter Charske as well as Bill & Cory Charske & Janet Charske Gliha

  12. Pierrette Toulouse says:

    Beautiful tribute . My prayers are with you and family .

  13. Kathy Reilley says:

    Debbie hired me at Medical Mutual. She was a smart, professional and natural leader. Her team not only admired her but truly loved her. Kathy

    Debbie hired me at Medical Medical. She was smart, professional and a natural leader. She was not only admired by her team but truly loved. My deepest sympathy to her family.

  14. Dan and Pam Wensing says:

    Dear Abbie, Cassie, and Amanda, So sorry to learn of your beloved Mother’s death. She was one happy lady, who loved her husband and children so much. She brightened a room, when she was there. She and your Dad were such a great pair, and always laughing. She adored her Girls. Prayers for you all.

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