January 28, 1965 - November 12, 2023
We are devastated to announce the unexpected physical passing of our beautiful mother, Debra “Debby” (Gardner) Clancy, who was 58 years young, and an involved lifetime resident of Warwick, Rhode Island. She passed peacefully at home, lovingly surrounded by her two children and family, on Sunday, November 12, 2023, following a bravely fought battle with an abrupt terminal illness. Her awe-inspiring Spirit will live and rock on through us all eternally.
Our mother was undoubtedly an inspirational, one-of-a-kind and free-spirited woman, who left a lasting, meaningful and illuminating impact on all those who had the pleasure of knowing her or being within her presence. Her smile lit up the world, and she truly gave the best hugs, that will be greatly missed, but forever remembered and cherished.
She was a devoted and selfless mother, a “Nya-Nya” to her “pride and joy” only grandchild, an aunt, a niece, a cousin, a friend, a caregiver, a neighbor and an active community member of Warwick, who you could easily approach, connect with and confide in; an unconditionally loving, compassionate, nurturing, charitable, charismatic, loyal and witty person who, “always looked on the bright side of life”, even in the face of the many adversities she endured throughout her life.
She innately graced us all with incredibly wise and grounding nature, while also being the one to, “get the party started”. She was proudly patriotic for just reasons, and her unwavering love for her family, friends and humanity, coupled with her faith in God and, deeply rooted passion for music, were her driving forces.
Our mom was a hardworking, compassionate and empathetic nurse in the later part of her life, where she began working in nursing homes, then transitioned to providing care at a private family practice. She was well known throughout the community in always going above and beyond for her patients, as if they were her own family. She exceeded expectations of superior patient care.
Charity was at her core throughout her life, as you would find our mom behind the scenes humbly and passionately assembling, organizing and executing large scale events and galas, to raise funds and collect donations, for numerous charities and organizations throughout the city of Warwick. Notably, during the mid-1980’s throughout the 1990’s, she served as the PTA President at Holliman Elementary School in Warwick for the entirety of our elementary school educations, where she accomplished incredible positive changes, both on the school, and the district level. In particular, she initiated the great need for renovations and structural improvements within Holliman Elementary School, raised the needed funds successfully and, she personally oversaw that the improvements were executed, all of which is still in existence today. In addition, she had great involvement within “The House of Hope” in Warwick, where she served as the event chairwoman there throughout the 1990’s. Our mom was also a direct volunteer with our brave wounded veterans on behalf of the “Wounded Warrior Project”, as their mission was always so near and dear to her heart.
An inherently talented singer— you would find her at night rocking the stages for Rhode Island residents performing alongside her late husband, Gerry Clancy, as well as within various classic rock and blues bands throughout the 1990’s, and well into the 2010’s. Also, throughout the 1990’s, she had started and ran one of the very first Karaoke businesses in Rhode Island. Her bluesy powerhouse of a voice both soothed and inspired, paired with her fun-loving and passionate personality.
Our mother was preceded by her late beloved husband, and our amazing bonus dad— Gerard “Gerry” Clancy (2001), of Warwick, R.I., a fellow inherently multi-talented musician, with whom she is now eternally reunited with. She is also preceded by her late beloved mother— Lynne Gardner O’Neil (1992), of Port Saint Lucie, F.L.; her late beloved maternal grandmother “Nana”— Lillian (Thistle) Gardner (1996) & her late beloved maternal grandfather “Papa”— William “Bill” Gardner (1976), both of Warwick, R.I.; her big sister’s: Pamela Gardner Berard (2023), of Narragansett, R.I. & Gayle Gardner Morse (2016), of Warwick, R.I.; her big brother’s: William “Billy” Gardner (2018), of Juno Beach, F.L. & Paul Gardner (2007), of East Providence, R.I.
She is survived by many family members and friends, with whom she cherished each bond with so dearly and deeply.
Notably, she is survived by her daughter— Lyndsay Gardner (37) & husband— Nathaniel “Nat” (45), both of Warwick, R.I.; her son— Mark “MJ” Kuepker, Jr. (33) & partner— Brandon (30), both of Wickford, R.I.; her “light of her life” granddaughter— Ava Lynne Gardner (14), of Warwick, R.I., daughter of Lyndsay and Nat. As well as her first husband, our amazing father, grandfather “Papa” to Ava and our mom’s best friend of 43 years— Mark Kuepker, Sr. (59), of Warwick, R.I.; her big brother— Mark Gardner (66), of Johnston, R.I.; her big sister— Kathleen “Kathy” Lynch (67), of Warwick, R.I.; her mom-in-law— Miriam “Grammy” Clancy (97), of both Warwick and Greene, R.I.; her sisters-in-law— Miriam Clancy (64), of Massachusetts & Eileen Clancy (57), of New York; and her brothers-in-law— Paul Clancy (69), of Massachusetts & Mark Clancy (61), of Pennsylvania.
Our mother’s final earthly wishes were to not have a “traditional” wake and/or funeral service but rather, for her loved ones here on earth to get together and, “just have a good time”. In honor of her wishes, and to honor her incredible legacy, a “Celebration of Life” ceremony with her cremated remains will be held on a day during the warmer months of 2024 here in Rhode Island, with the date of the ceremony to be announced to all at a later time.
Her “Celebration of Life” ceremony details will also be published on her memorial website: https://everloved.com/life-of/debra-debby-gardner-clancy/ in which you may also donate to her memorial fund, post your memories you shared with Debby and, to stay up to date with everything.
Please consider going out to support local musicians in her honor, in which our mom was one, and avidly supported and promoted all her life.
We greatly appreciate the dedicated HopeHealth of Rhode Island hospice team for their compassionate services provided to our mom the four days she was home, as well as their ongoing grief support for our family during this extremely difficult time. We also greatly appreciate Barrett & Cotter Funeral Home in Warwick for their kindness and sincere services.
In closing, and as our mom instilled in us, “You can choose to be bitter or better; each new day opens up a brand-new way to be a kinder person to yourself and others. Become the peace that you wish to see within the world.”