Deborah Lee Kitchen, 71, passed away suddenly but peacefully on Jan. 4, 2021, in her home in Bonita Springs, Fla.
Debbie was born on July 3, 1949, in Syracuse, N.Y., to Williard Richard Kitchen, Jr. and Jane Aylesworth Kitchen.
Debbie and her sisters, Bonnie Herget, Wendy Spruiell and Joan Belisari, lived in Ho-Ho-Kus and Ridgewood, N.J., and spent summers at Allegro Pines on Silver Lake, N.H.
Debbie attended college at Ohio Wesleyan before studying abroad in Madrid, Spain, where she fell in love with flamenco guitar music, Manchego cheese, and the spirit of the Spanish people.
Debbie earned a bachelor’s of arts degree in Spanish from Boston University. Debbie’s passion for helping others led her to Columbia School of Nursing where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in nursing and became a registered nurse.
Debbie moved to Mount Washington Valley in 1975 where she worked as a RN. She and her former spouse Kim Ficker raised their children, Harvest and Tate, on Back O’ the Mountain Farm in Denmark, Maine. Debbie adored her kids, horses, dogs, farm life, and adventure.
From riding her horse Majesty, dancing aerobics to Gloria Estefan, skiing with Mountain Mama friends at Mount Cranmore, fishing with friends off the shores of Martha’s Vineyard, and planning her next trip abroad, Debbie was a true lover of life.
In 2010, Debbie's passion for the southwest led her to Santa Fe, N.M., to work as an elementary school nurse and nursing instructor at Santa Fe Community College. Debbie moved to Bonita Springs in June 2020 with her three beloved dogs to enjoy the salt water, sandy beaches, and sunshine.
Survivors include her daughter Harvest Stephenson, her husband Phillip, and their children Alvaro and Alma of Hollis, N.H.; her son Tate Ficker, his wife, Devon, and their children, Brooke, Cooper and Madison, of Falmouth, Maine; her sister Wendy Spruiell, her husband, Graham, and their daughters, Lauren and Julia, of Mandeville, La.; and her sister Joan Belisari, her husband, Sandro, and their children, Ilaria and Gianluca of Rome, Italy.
She was preceded in death by her father Dick Kitchen in 2007 and her mother Jane Kitchen in 2019. Both lived in Silver Lake, N.H., and Naples, Fla.
A celebration of life will be held in summer 2021 in North Conway, N.H.
Details can be found at Hodges Funeral Home at Naples Memorial Gardens, www.hodgesnaplesmg.com.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Debbie’s honor to Maine State Society for Protection of Animals (MSSPA), P.O. Box 10, S. Windham, ME 04082, (msspa.org/give).