Ottawa's alternative full service funeral choice

Palmer, Deborah

PALMER, Deborah

1952 - 2021

Deborah Palmer 

1952-2021

Deborah Palmer passed away on January 11, 2021 at the Bess and Moe Greenburg Family Hillel Lodge. Beloved wife of Joseph Ostrowski and mother of Lucas Ostrowski (Elana Finestone), Deborah was a warm, generous and loving person, with a wonderful sense of humour and a creative spirit. She earned a degree in developmental psychology and worked with young families before traveling the world with her husband Joseph, living in Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong. Upon returning to Canada and settling in small town Georgetown Ontario, she cultivated deep friendships with a community of similarly kind and generous people, and created "A Movable Feast" cooking school. Deborah was a fabulous and inventive cook, drawing from culinary experiences of her travels, as well as her own inventiveness and intuition. She ultimately moved to Ottawa, where she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Despite her devasting decline, she continued to touch people with her warmth.

A green burial and graveside service will take place in the coming months. The family thanks the staff at Hillel Lodge and her dedicated caregivers for the care and kindness extended to Deborah.

Donations to the the Dementia or Alzheimer's Society or to the Bess and Moe Greenburg Family Hillel Lodge would be gratefully acknowledged.

Write your sympathies or tribute

Your message will be published.

12 messages received

Joseph

My heart goes out to you, Joseph. You and Deborah both deserve peace...and you each have earned a rest. Take care, my friend.

Glenn Higgins, January 16, 2021

Joseph

From the moment I first met Deborah 40 years ago, my first impression remains with me today. I thought, "This gal has 'spark' ". It radiated with everything. Travel, adventure, humour and love all were aspects that made her glow. In time we were bonded by virtue of being people who married into the Ostrowski clan, making Deborah and I family members and a bit like sister and brother. Family gatherings had special moments when the two of us could sneak away and share stories. There I learned that you never had to wonder about her opinions on matters. You would get the news without any frills - often blended with a wry sense of humour I came to love. Even during more trying times later in life, when you had to look a bit deeper, that spark was always there. It never left. And it never will. When I look up a starry night in the future and see a twinkle, I'll be thinking, "There you are!"

Richard Bolus, January 17, 2021

Joseph and Lucas

Deborah Palmer, sister-in-law who became my sister; our sons karmic twins. Caring and compassionate, quick to laughter, she never hesitated to tell you what she was thinking. I knew Deborah as sister, a loving support and anchor for Joe and Lucas who loved and supported her in return.

Deborah’s life was a feast for the senses; colour, texture, sound, taste and smell. She loved and indulged in it all. Life was a dance to her own melody. Some of us were fortunate to be brought into her world.

Her home was filled with the exotic, transporting me to another place and time. Wind chimes and bells, artwork, figurines, memorabilia from her travels with Joe and Lucas. Lucas grew up in a menagerie, a home filled with all manner of feathered and furry creatures, from anoles to bunnies to bald parrots, all were welcome and cared for. Deborah was a veritable Dr. Doolittle; her care was without boundaries. Hummingbirds and fireflies always brought her joy. She never lost her child-like sense of wonder, such a beautiful trait.

Her laughter, her smile, her openness, her delight in food, nature, friends, family, sharing her experiences and her joy in watching Lucas grow up are all things that make Deborah special to me.

A special person who holds a special place in my heart. Forever loved.

Lily Ostrowski Bolus, January 18, 2021

Joe and Lucas

My deepest condolences go out to Uncle Joe and cousin Lucas. I will always remember aunt Deborah for her kind, loving nature. I remember visits with her from when I was very young, and always felt her warmth was unwavering. I remember being in awe with her baking creations, and especially looked forward to her signature chocolate cake, baked with love!

In the more recent years, when things were more difficult, I had the privilege of visiting Ottawa a couple of times and got to see her. She felt joy in the simple pleasures of life- like picking out beads for a necklace. Her smile was always infectious, and there was a purity to her that never left. I think we can all learn from her by staying connected to what is truly important in life and taking in the beauty that surrounds us in various forms every day.

With lots of love,

Lara

Lara Ostrowski, January 18, 2021

Deborah Palmer

Joe and Lucas:

First of all, we send you our love and healing thoughts.

When I think of Deborah, I remember a warm, caring woman who quickly became a dear and close friend. I met Deborah through Keith who told me what an amazing cook she was. After enjoying some of her meals, I definitely agreed with him. She could seemingly make something out of nothing and make it taste incredibly wonderful. She was a culinary magician who had an innate ability of just knowing what flavours went together.

One particular memory that stands out is of Deborah and Joe’s wedding, where Keith and I were their witnesses. The ceremony was at a lovely small church in Ball’s Falls. After the ceremony and the ringing of the bells we drove to Toronto to have lunch at the Le Trou Normand, all the time Deborah wearing her wedding dress, looking like a real princess with her dress flowing behind her and flowers in her hair. She was glowing with happiness, smiling and laughing. After lunch it was off to the King Edward Hotel to enjoy a bit of rest in our rooms. Deborah called me on the phone so thrilled about her special day. That evening, Deborah had changed into my “happy hippie” friend, wearing her funky clothes , beads and all as we were off to a Grateful Dead concert where we sang and danced the night away.

Deborah was a true free spirit, a warm, kind and gentle soul, a very special person and friend who will be missed by all who knew her but she will always live in our lives and hearts. We love her and always will.

Doreen and Keith, January 18, 2021

Joseph And Lucas

Joseph and I fist met in Saudi Arabia when both of us were working for the same company. And, although from different backgrounds, a friendship was formed that was later revived when out paths crossed again in Hong Kong.

It was there where Deborah and I first met and her face remains fondly in my memory to this day as the girl in the “raspberry beret”.

She had a dynamic and caring personality and was always the centre of attention at our get togethers. Her home making and cooking abilities were notorious and although Joan and I left Hong Kong thirty years ago, it was inevitable that she would continue to be the life of the party wherever she went! Sadly and only when recently contacted by Joseph did I learn that the later years of her life had not been kind!

Joseph is an unassuming person and I know he loved Deborah unconditionally and with all his being. The sad loss of her passing must be hard to accept but her time on this earth has to be measured by the fond memories she left us all!

Brian William Radley, January 24, 2021

Joseph And Lucas

Joseph and I fist met in Saudi Arabia when both of us were working for the same company. And, although from different backgrounds, a friendship was formed that was later revived when out paths crossed again in Hong Kong.

It was there where Deborah and I first met and her face remains fondly in my memory to this day as the girl in the “raspberry beret”.

She had a dynamic and caring personality and was always the centre of attention at our get togethers. Her home making and cooking abilities were notorious and although Joan and I left Hong Kong thirty years ago, it was inevitable that she would continue to be the life of the party wherever she went! Sadly and only when recently contacted by Joseph did I learn that the later years of her life had not been kind!

Joseph is an unassuming person and I know he loved Deborah unconditionally and with all his being. The sad loss of her passing must be hard to accept but her time on this earth has to be measured by the fond memories she left us all!

Brian William Radley, January 24, 2021

Joseph And Lucas

Joseph and I fist met in Saudi Arabia when both of us were working for the same company. And, although from different backgrounds, a friendship was formed that was later revived when out paths crossed again in Hong Kong.

It was there where Deborah and I first met and her face remains fondly in my memory to this day as the girl in the “raspberry beret”.

She had a dynamic and caring personality and was always the centre of attention at our get togethers. Her home making and cooking abilities were notorious and although Joan and I left Hong Kong thirty years ago, it was inevitable that she would continue to be the life of the party wherever she went! Sadly and only when recently contacted by Joseph did I learn that the later years of her life had not been kind!

Joseph is an unassuming person and I know he loved Deborah unconditionally and with all his being. The sad loss of her passing must be hard to accept but her time on this earth has to be measured by the fond memories she left us all!

Brian William Radley, January 24, 2021

Joe and Lucas

One's passing is never easy to accept and process.

We have been gradually grieving for years watching my sister-in-law
slowly fade away from the person we have known and loved. Everyone's account of her rings loud and clear - free spirited, loving, non-judgemental, kind and generous.

Deborah has always been so loving and caring of my wife and children, and always generous in every way. She was always interested in those around her, and wouldn't knowingly hurt a soul (human or otherwise).

Her best friends were clearly Joe and Lucas, and of course the dog -
Maple and Jake. All of them were always well fed!

Deborah's addition to our family allowed us to experience different and wonderful foods. Saffron was a hit, and our Mom still uses it on special occasions with her rice! The Christmas reindeer bread was enjoyed by all, and my daughters always looked forward to it - first to appreciate the design, and of course to enjoy it for dessert.

Walking along the Ottawa river with Deborah a few years ago was most memorable, as the sudden return of her personality and memory came out, along with an innocent and glorious smile!

Thank goodness for memories!

You will be forever loved, Deborah.

John Ostrowski, February 5, 2021

Joe and Lucas

I have known Deborah for a large part of my life – first meeting in Georgetown when I was a child, then working together at Foodstuffs, and finally when we both ended up living in Ottawa.

I got to know Deborah well during our time in Ottawa. I was fortunate to spend many evenings with her, keeping one another company. We would take Jake the dog for a walk around the neighbourhood, stopping to appreciate gardens and say hello to neighbours.

We had a great time making meals from her extensive pantry and well-equipped kitchen. We made and ate a lot of beans, salads from the garden, and chocolate cake. She always impressed me with her ability to cook without a recipe and improvise to create amazing flavours.

My favourite memories of Deborah are of her beaming in the kitchen as she held out a spoon to offer a taste, usually followed by her swaying along to jazz music or the Beatles.

When I think of Deborah I think of warmth, kindness, humour, and colour. I remember a woman who reveled in a good meal, lit up when she saw a child, and cared deeply for animals and people.

I will miss her contagious laughter, quick wit, and generous spirit. She was a pleasure to know and love.

Hillary, February 7, 2021

Joe

Deborah and I had a very special friendship during the last 3 years of her life. I can't count the number of hours we spent walking holding hands, colouring, dancing, hugging, laughing, and grooving intensely to Concert for George. Nor can I count the number of times she shot me her famous smirk or eye-roll. When I think of her now I hear this (excerpt from a) hymn by Gordon Light.

She comes sailing on the wind,
her wings flashing in the sun;
on a journey just begun,
she flies on.
And in the passage of her flight,
her song rings out through the night,
full of laughter, full of light,
she flies on.

Linda Gillies, February 9, 2021

Lucas and Joe

My sincere condolences on your loss.
Although passing is an inevitable fact of life, I know that it is never easy to accept. You can take solace in the knowledge that Deborah enriched the lives of all who were fortunate enough to know her.

A life too short. Perhaps some day we will understand why. A life filled with love and joy, shared with all. Deborah will forever be remembered as a dedicated wife and mother, gourmet cook and lover of all things natural. The heavens have gained a bright star.

george ostrowski and Mary ostrowski, February 15, 2021

Share this death notice