Debbie, in her 70th year, passed away peacefully at home from type 1 diabetes and chronic kidney disease with her husband and daughter at her side.
She was born in Glendale, Calif., and grew up in La Cañada Flintridge, the daughter of longtime residents Bonnie and Ralph Lipscomb. In high school, her first job was as a proofreader at the Valley Sun, and while in college she worked at the Valley Sun typesetting on their first electronic typesetter.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Occidental College, she majored in linguistics and Russian. She worked as a graphic designer and typesetter, and started her own business, RighType & Graphics, in Van Nuys, California. After she chose her husband, Denham, she moved with him and their daughter, Hannah, to Rochester, N.Y. There she worked in the Pittsford schools as a special education aide.
In 2011, Denham and Debbie retired to Bowdoinham, Maine, to the house and land that had been in Denham’s family since 1840. There they enjoyed the close community of friends and family. A highlight was when Hannah married Sam Elliot in 2018 under the ancient oak tree in the yard. Debbie enjoyed photography, dogs, and travel, and had many fond memories of trips with family all over the world, particularly a year’s sabbatical in the Netherlands in 2001, and a wonderful trip to Antarctica in 2015.
She is survived by her husband of 44 years, Denham S. Ward, M.D., Ph.D.; her daughter Hannah Ward, M.D. and son-in-law Sam Elliot; her niece Rebecca Henning and husband Matt Henning; and dear friends across the country.
A private celebration of her life will be held in the spring. Donations in Debbie’s name can be made to the Debra Lipscomb and Denham Ward Scholarship fund at the University of Maine Foundation.