Debra Ann (Parsons) Withers, 53, wife of Andrew Withers of Gloucester, passed away very unexpectedly on Saturday, September 16, 2017 at her residence. She was born in Gloucester on January 1, 1964, daughter of Mary (Spanks) Parsons and the late Gardner “Boots” Parsons Jr.
Debra was a graduate of Gloucester High School class of 1981, where she was an Honors student and a Sawyer Medal award winner. Debra had a strong love of education and took classes at North Shore Community College. She was very proud that her children have and will obtain college degrees.
After high school, she moved to Boston and worked in the insurance and banking industries. She met her husband at the Bank of New England in 1987 and they married in 1992 and moved back to Gloucester. For the past 7 years she has worked as a bookkeeper at Fosters of Gloucester.
Debra was devoted to her family and took on many activities to support them. When her father became ill she joined the Cape Ann Flyers and began racing pigeons from her father’s loft, bringing him much enjoyment in his final years and helping to keep the pigeon club going.
Debra was a very active parent member of the GHS Docksiders jazz band and proudly watched her children play in the band. She was a leading member of the band parent group and served as Vice President of the group. She especially enjoyed going to the concerts at the elementary schools and dressing up as Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh to the delight of the students.
Debra loved her large family in the Gloucester area and looked forward to family get-togethers and celebrations. One of her favorite activities of the year was baking large amounts of Christmas cookies to deliver many cookie plates to her relatives and friends all over Gloucester.
Debra was full of artistic talent and her creative nature took many forms. She was an amateur painter and won awards for her paintings at the Topsfield Fair. Her creative nature also showed through in her decorations for Docksiders events, her knitting, her sewing, and in her gardens. It brought her much joy that her passion for art and her creative ability have been passed down to her children.
In recent years Debra became a certified Zumba instructor and taught classes at the Cape Ann YMCA. She especially loved her senior Aquatic Zumba class and teaching her little old ladies and gents the Zumba moves. She will be lovingly missed by her family and many friends.
Debra is survived by her husband of 25 years, Andrew Withers of Gloucester; her children, Daniel, Kathryn and Jaclyn Withers all of Gloucester; her mother, Mary Parsons of Gloucester; brother, Gardner “Bootsie” Parsons III; her mother-in-law, Martina Withers of CT; her godchild, Kristin Withers of MA; 4 brothers-in-law, Timothy Withers and his wife Katie of MA, Christopher Withers and his wife Michelle of NH, Larry Withers and Terry Withers both of CT; her aunts, Caroline MacDonald and her husband Bob of DE, Donna Colarusso and her husband John of FL, Marilyn Goodwin and her husband Bing of MA, Nancy Parisi and her husband Mike of Gloucester; uncles, John Spanks and his wife Patricia of Marblehead, Douglas Parsons and his wife Gloria of Gloucester; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. She was predeceased by her father, Gardner “Boots” Parsons Jr.; her father-in-law, William Withers and her godparents, Robert and Anna Spanks.
Her Funeral Service was held in the Gloucester United Methodist Church on September 21. The burial was private.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her name to American Diabetes Association, 10 Speen Street, 2nd Floor, Framingham, MA 01701 or to a charity of your choice. For online condolences, please visit www.greelyfuneralhome.com.