Obituary of Debbie Dean
Local artist Debbie Dean departed planet Earth on May 31, 2016, headed for her next great adventure. Debbie Dean was born March 10th, 1951 in Macon, Tennessee, to Ali Baker Bobbitt and Mary Crafton. She was the oldest of four. In 1976 Debbie set out on her first great adventure, following her childhood dream of moving to California. She packed up her two kids and hit the road, found the San Juan Ridge, the Yuba River and an amazing community. From the moment she set foot in Nevada County, she knew she had found home. Debbie gave birth to three more children, built a cabin in the woods, grew beautiful gardens, raised her family and made art. For 40 years Debbie Dean called Nevada County home. She played music on her stages, danced on her floors, showed art in her galleries, swam in her rivers and hiked her trails. She marched in the parades and built the community. Debbie Dean became an iconic figure in this county, loved by all who knew her. Debbie was co-founder of Haute Trash and Troupe de Trash. She designed trash fashion and modeled, starting in 1989. She was also was one the original members of Coyote Women Howling, The North San Juan Ladies
Benevolence Society and the Absinth Social Club. She was an incredible inspiration, always supportive and encouraging. She was a mother to many and a friend to all. People trusted her and turned to her for advice and support. She was always there to help anyone in need. Especially for young people, Debbie was the first or only adult to accept them as they were and tell them to follow their dreams without judgment. Debbie acted as a mentor to others seeking knowledge of living gently on the Earth, gardening, herbal medicine, alternative health, music and so much more. She was one of the first people who came to Nevada County to live a “back to the land” lifestyle and grow marijuana. She
loved her lifestyle and held to her beliefs, treading lightly on the planet and giving back. Debbie was also an avid writer. If you were to drive down her bumpy dirt road, walk up her cobblestone path and peek around her bamboo garden, you would probably find her basking in the sunshine, drinking coffee, smoking a cigarette and writing in her journal. When she saw you she would call out and smile wide with open arms. She would make you coffee, guide you on a garden tour, telling you all about her exotic flowers and herbs, show you her latest body of work, fix you lunch, gift you something beautiful and listen to your story with an open heart.
It is a tragic loss that we will not find Debbie on her deck in the sunshine, but she has left us all with so much of her magic. We will see it in her prolific works of art hanging in homes far and wide, in the songs she sang, the children she raised, the community she fostered, the stories she told and the lessons she taught us. Before she moved on Debbie Dean told her children “I am as loved as Marilyn Monroe,” and that is so very true. Debbie Dean, you will be missed every single day for the rest of our lives and we hope to see you again. Debbie is proceeded in death by father Ali Baker Bobbit Sr., mother Mary BobbItt Jr., granddaughter Brittany W. Craig; and the fathers of her children, Tom Hudec and Bruce W. Craig Sr. She is survived by her siblings, Cindy (Ricky) Dennie, Harold (Lana) Bobbitt , dad Bobby Russell and loving children, Bruce (Rene) Craig; first born, favorite, best looking, Cricket (Aaron) Hoffman; the coolest by far, Daniel Boling; the artist, Belle (Jeremy) Star Hudec; the chosen one; and Maxx (Melyssa ), the baby and the smartest. Debbie is also survived by her grandchildren, Christian D. Craig, Christin Boyette, Brett Craig, Conner Burton Hudec, Daisy Bray Hudec, and a host of family and chosen family across the planet. Debbie Dean’s celebration of life will be held this Sunday June 5th, 2 to 7 p.m. with a circle at 4:20 at North Columbia Schoolhouse on the Ridge. Please bring offerings for potluck, special items for an alter to Debbie, instruments, songs and writing to share. Thank you.
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