Deborah Annette McGonnell (née Bishop) passed away unexpectedly in her sleep on July 28, 2022, one day shy of her 63rd birthday.
Deb was born in Centre, Alabama on July 29, 1959, to James and Sarah Bishop. She was a lifelong caregiver, first with her five younger siblings, then her own children, and then with her grandchildren. She also touched the hearts of countless people in her long career of caring for adults with developmental disabilities. Selfless to a fault, it was common for Deb to go into work early, stay late, and then spend nearly all her free time educating, entertaining, and loving her grandkids. She gave the very best hugs.
A longtime vegetarian, Deb loved animals and the environment. She regularly volunteered and donated to all types of causes throughout her life, and gave care and shelter to many stray or injured animals. She was an avid reader and a lover of learning with an unmatched curiosity, traits that she happily shared with her family in the form of zoo and museum memberships. She was especially excited by the clarity of the first images from the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope, with the prospect of witnessing the birth of our universe a near reality.
Grandma Debbie treasured time spent with family above all else. Holidays and vacations were her favorite occasions, but no occasion was too small. Late nights around the campfire at Stony Brook or in her backyard, early morning YMCA classes with her grandchildren, and local concerts and festivals, she would take (or invent) any chance she could to be with her loved ones.
Deb will be dearly missed by her loving husband of 43 years, Robert; children Aaron (Pauline), Jeremy (Nelle), and Hannah (Alex); cherished grandchildren Damien, Ally, Rory, and Ryan; and siblings Tim, Marie, Deana, and Danny.
Deborah was predeceased by her father James, mother Sarah, and sister Delia.
Opening words will be at 11am will at New Comer Funeral Home at 6 Empire Blvd, Rochester, NY on Saturday, August 13, followed by a visitation from 11am-2pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Verona Street Animal Society at www.vsas.org.Click to view Deborah's service