Cover photo for Debra Serns-Sumrow's Obituary
Debra Serns-Sumrow Profile Photo
1954 Debra 2016

Debra Serns-Sumrow

January 29, 1954 — May 3, 2016

Debra Ann Serns-Sumrow, age 62, of Roswell, passed away Tuesday, May 3, 2016.

Debra was born to Charles Stuart Serns and Beverly Ann Serns on January 29, 1954 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was a graduate of Highland High School and many of her friends fully believed she would someday become a doctor. But her heart took her in a different direction, to a different sort of caring profession-that of special education. Debbie and a friend worked their way through the University of New Mexico as employees of the ASUNM Popular Entertainment Committee. The two became known as the "ticket ladies". Debbie worked with New Mexico concert promoters and was involved in the production of almost 150 concerts. She was also as a co-manager with the ASUNM Coffee House and a rabid UNM Lobo basketball fan. She acquired her Master's Degree in Special Education and began her teaching career in 1977 in Winslow, Arizona. In 1978, Debbie moved back to Albuquerque and taught at McCollum Elementary School. She began working at the Los Lunas Training School from 1981 until 1985 when she moved to Roswell where she taught at both Valley View and Military Heights Elementary Schools until she retired. She married the love of her life James "Jim" Franklin Sumrow in 1995 and made their home here.

As a young adult Debbie loved to travel; she especially loved the sea. Debbie was an unwavering friend, she remained connected to old friends from her youth for more than 50 years. Debbie was strong whenever anyone she knew and loved needed strength. She had a gentle loving spirit, was kind, tolerant, and virtually impossible to anger. But she would fight relentlessly for those she cared about. Her gentle demeanor made her as well-loved by animals as she was by people. She surrounded herself with every sort of pet throughout her life, especially rabbits. It is no wonder to the many of us that Debbie's untimely exit from this world was attributed to a heart issue, she gave and gave until she must have used up all the heart she had to give. She was very active with the Roswell CASA Program, Down Syndrome Foundation of Eastern New Mexico, and other charities in Roswell.

We are all the better for having had her in our lives. Rest in peace dearest Debbie.

She is preceded in death by her parents.

She is survived by her husband James "Jim" F. Sumrow of the home; daughters Anna Marie Serns and Leah Ann Serns both of Roswell, NM; and brother Charles Stuart Serns of Albuquerque, NM.

At Debbie's request in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the following agencies:

Chaves County Casa at casakids.org
Down Syndrome Foundation of Southeastern New Mexico at dsfsenmu.org
The Humane Society of Roswell at roswellhumane.org
Salvation Army, Roswell, New Mexico at 612 W College Blvd (575) 622-8700

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Debra Serns-Sumrow, please visit our flower store.

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