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Deborah Conner Ottavio

Deborah Conner Ottavio, age 58, took the journey to her eternal home on Sept. 20, 2012 in Raleigh, N.C. surrounded by family and close friends after a long, valiant battle with Primary Progressive Aphasia.    

Debbie was born on Feb. 5, 1954 in Danville to Kenneth and Doris Conner and grew up in Brookneal.  She attended Mary Baldwin College and graduated from Lynchburg College in 1976.  

After graduation she worked for First Virginia Bank in Brookneal before moving to Richmond where she became vice president of Signet Bank.  

After a successful banking career, Debbie became a realtor for Savage Realtors.   

In 2000, Debbie and her husband Ron moved to N.C. She was active at Hayes Barton Baptist Church in Raleigh where she was a leader with Urban Ministries and a member of the Koinonia Sunday School Class.   

Quick with a joke and quicker with a smile, Debbie never met a stranger and always was eager to help others.  She had a genuine love for animals but in particular her dogs, Mo, Aesop, and Billie Holiday, and most recently her golden retriever, Gracie.  

Debbie loved to go to her home at Smith Mountain Lake, take trips to the beach and attend Carolina Hurricanes games.  

Debbie is survived by her husband, Ron Ottavio, of Raleigh, N.C.; her brother and sister-in-law, Kenneth and Carol Conner, of Alton; her aunt, Sue Ann Holloway, of Richmond; a niece, Sarah Beth Bohanon, of Raleigh, N.C.; and nephews Ross Conner of Raleigh, N.C. and Greg Conner of Durham, N.C.  

Two great-nieces and one great-nephew plus cousins Betty Conner, Art Conner and Joe Conner of Richmond, also survive her.   

The family also would like to extend its sincere appreciation to Elaine Schaedel, a dear friend and caregiver for three and a half years; Rebecca Munoz, Cindy Brantley and Chelsi Rapaport from Perpetual Home Care; and the excellent care provided by Hospice of Wake County during her final weeks.

A visitation took place on Sunday, Sept. 23, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Mitchell Funeral Home, 7209 Glenwood Avenue.   Interment services will be private. 

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 24, at Hayes Barton Baptist Church at 1800 Glenwood Avenue (Five Points), Raleigh.  

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in memory of Debbie Ottavio to the Triangle Aphasia Unlimited, 191 High House Road, Cary, N.C. 27511; Diamonds in the Ruff Animal Rescue, P.O. Box 10033 Goldsboro, N.C. 27532 (; Hospice of Wake County, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, N.C. 27607 ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ); and the Hayes Barton Baptist Church TV Ministry, 1800 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, N.C. 27608. Condolences and fond memories can be shared at 

The family wishes to thank all who provided support, love and caring during her illness. 

“Celebrate, we will, for life is short but sweet for certain.”   - Dave Matthews Band