Debra "Debbie" Watts Ward


October 8, 1959 ~ April 21, 2021

Born in: Lawton, OK
Resided in: Candler, NC

On Wednesday, April 21, 2021 we lost the glue to our family. Most well known as “Mom”, “Gigi”, “Aunt Deb” and to many, “Best Friend”, Debbie Ward went home to be with the Lord, while surrounded by her loved ones.

Debbie was born in Lawton, Oklahoma, but was raised and made her life in Asheville, NC. Known for her beautiful voice and contagious laugh, she was the kindest, happiest, most courageous woman you could know. She fought a long, hard battle and is now free from this earth to watch over us all.

She will be dearly missed by her life-long friends, the many friends she made teaching at Sand-Hill Venable, her church and mostly by her family. She leaves behind the love of her life and husband of 37 years, Larry Ward; her children, Hunter Ward (Nicole) and Brittany Meehan (Jake) and grandchildren, Peyton and Cooper Meehan; her mother, Judy Watts; sister, Janet Marin (Allen) and Isabella and Jackson Marin; sister and brother-in-law, Mike and Donna Kellis (Lauren and Megan); along with many cousins, aunts and uncles that were dear to her. She is preceded in death by her father, Buster Watts and brother Oliver Watts Jr.

No more suffering, no more tears, we will hold our heads high knowing she is still near.

For all those who loved her and were touched by her beautiful soul, there will be a celebration of life on Friday, April 23rd at 4:00 p.m. at West Asheville Baptist Church (926 Haywood Rd).

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition ( or locally, Hope Women’s Cancer Center (


Celebration of Life: April 23, 2021 4:00 pm

West Asheville Baptist Church
926 Haywood Road
Asheville, NC 28806


Funeral Home Assisting The Family:

Groce Funeral Home - Patton Ave.
1401 Patton Ave.
Asheville, NC 28806


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Memories Timeline


  1. I was saddened to hear of your loss she was a wonderful kind person to everyone and you could tell she lived her life for the lord and now she is with him watching over all of us god bless

  2. Please accept our deepest sympathy. We are so sorry for your loss. We will always remember her beautiful smile in church. She is with our Lord and Savior with no more pain or sorrow. God bless and comfort the family.

  3. We are so heartbroken for the loss of Debbie, who was such a sweet person. Please know the family is in our thoughts and prayers.

  4. Judy, Larry, Janet and every precious member of Debbies family we send our deepest condolences to all of you. There is no question Debbie is with our Lord and Savior at peace and rest. We are lifting all of you up in prayer. God bless.

  5. Janet, Judy and Debbie’s family,
    When I think of Debbie I will always see her beautiful smile, hear her sweet voice and her pride when I asked about each of you. May God wrap his loving arms around you all and may you feel his peace and comfort. Prayers for all of you, especially in these coming days as you say your earthly goodbyes.

  6. Dear Friends, our hearts are saddened, but there will always be love, and sweet memories there for a wonderful lady named Debbie!
    We love you, and are here for you!
    In Psalm 30:5 it says, “Weeping may endure for a night , but Joy comes in the morning!”

  7. Judy, Larry, Janet and every dear member of Debbies family you have our deepest condolences in the passing of Debbie. She is safely with our precious Lord and Savior. Know that we are lifting each of you up in prayers.

  8. Thinking of you and praying for you during this difficult time. The Lord will be near you to comfort. His embrace is complete and His love eternal. What a precious smile and sweet disposition Debbie shared with everyone. She will be missed. Praise the Lord we will all be reunited for all eternity through Jesus Christ. May God’s promises bring comfort to your hearts.
    Jesus said…
    “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in Me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.” JOHN 11:25-26

    And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain… REVELATION 21:4

    With deepest sympathy.

  9. Larry, And all the family. Bill and I are so saddened to hear of Debbie’s passing. We are praying for peace and comfort for all of you in the days ahead. Bill and Pat.

  10. Debbie was a huge influence in my childhood at church and I think of her with warm memories. She had style and grace and such a kind heart. Many prayers to you and all her family.

  11. Heaven has surely gained an awesome angel. I am so sorry for your loss. Keep the memories and happy moments close. Praying for all who loved her especially her dear family.

  12. God has a special new flower in Heaven today. Debbie was such a lovely Christian lady in so many ways. Just like her Mom Judy. She will always be remembered and loved. God bless each of you.

  13. Martha and I are so incredibly sad to learn of Debbie’s passing. Wish we could be with you on Friday. Your family has always been a blessing to us, and we are praying peace that passes all understanding for each one of you.

  14. Larry, Judy, Brittany & Hunter, I don’t have the words of how sorry I am to hear of Debbies passing. She was such a beautiful lady and I was proud to call her my friend. I love each of you and will pray for comfort. Please call if y’all need anything.

    Love, Ken & Sonia

  15. Judy, Larry and Janet – We were so very sad to read about Debbie’s untimely passing. We remember all of you so fondly from Grace. May God be especially close to you as you deal with missing someone you love so much.
    Harold and Cathy Walsh

  16. Dear Larry and family, there just are no words at this time, I worked with Debbie for many years and felt so blessed to have her as a friend. What I remember most about Debbie is that whatever she did, she did it with every part of her being. She loved the students that she taught and she loved her friends but most of all she loved her family!! She was so proud of each and everyone of them!!! I will so miss her smile but I know that she is looking down and smiling at all of us with the knowledge that it will only be for a short time before we all will be together again. Please now that I will be keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

    Linda Clontz

  17. Larry, so very sorry to hear Debbie lost her hard-fought battle. You are in my thoughts and prayers. May God comfort you and be with you always.

  18. Debi was a very sweet person and I’m very blessed to have worked with her and she will be missed. Prayers for her family.

  19. Dear Judy, and Family… So saddened for your lost…Judy, I wanted you to know that I’m thinking of you.🙏

  20. Larry, Brittany, and Hunter – I met Debbie while working with her at the bank. She was excellent at her job. But what stood out to me then and has only been confirmed over time is how much she loved her family. She made no apologies for loving you all big. To her, the most important job was to be a wife and mother and she did that exceptionally well. She was elegant, beautiful, and kind. You have been in our hearts and prayers and will continue to be in the days ahead. All our love,
    Joel and LaRue Neilson

  21. Judy, we are so very sorry for the loss of your precious daughter. You and your family are in our prayers.

  22. I’m terribly sorry to hear about the loss of such a wonderful lady. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  23. Larry, Bobby and I were so saddened to hear about Debbie. We have been praying for her and the family. She was a beautiful person full of laughter and an incredible voice. We will cherish all the fun times we all had over the years at Grace Baptist Church. All of our love and prayers are with you and the family.

  24. Larry, Brittany & Hunter, I am so sorry for the loss of sweet, wonderful Debbie. She brought joy to all those around her and will never be forgotten. Her laughter and smile will forever live in my memories of her. She loved you all so very much and I know she will be watching over you. Debbie will be missed by everyone who knew and loved her, but she will live on forever in our hearts. I will continue to pray for your peace, comfort and strength for the next days, months and years before you. God Bless
    Jerri and Jesse Cordell

  25. Larry, Judy and family, I am so sorry for the loss of Debbie. I love your family and you are all in my prayers.

  26. Dear Larry and family, we are so saddened to hear of Debbie’s passing. She was a beautiful soul and was a blessing to all who met her and especially our daughter Bailey who dearly loved her at Sand Hill. She will be missed but thank the Lord she is healed. Love and prayers sent your way!

    God Bless,
    Steve, Marisa, Bailey and Emalyn-Claire

  27. Larry and family, We were so sorry to hear about Debbie. So many wonderful memories came flooding back remembering you all at Grace. May you keep those special memories close to your heart. May the love of God put His loving arms around you and keep you close. We are remembering you in our thoughts and prayers. Love, Mike and Gail Joyner

  28. Holding each of you in prayer while remembering the beautiful light that Debbie brought into my life.

  29. Larry, Brittany, Hunter, and the rest of the family, my heart goes out to you during this time. Debbie was an extraordinary woman who loved all of you so much as well as our Lord. I know that the sadness here is only temporary compared to the joy we will fell when we are all reunited in heaven.

  30. No words can ease the suffering and sense of loss you all are experiencing during this difficult time. Hopefully knowing how many lives she touched will bring some peace to you all. Debbie was one of the most influential women in my life. It was because of her’s and Larry’s kindness and love of the Lord that I became involved in the church and came to know the Lord. She and Larry forever changed my life in so many positive ways. She will forever be in my heart.

  31. Larry, we’re so sorry for your loss. May God comfort you and you’re family at this time My thoughts and prayers are with you.
    God bless

  32. Dear Larry and Family, We are so sorry to hear of Debbie’s passing. She was a beautiful and kind lady that dearly loved you all. She always had a smile and kind word for everyone. Please know you will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  33. Larry, our deepest condolences to you and the family. Our prayers are with each of you during this sad time.

  34. Larry, Brittany and Hunter. We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Ronnie and Kathy Rector.

  35. I was so sadden when I heard about Debbie. I have so much love and respect for the watts family. I can just imagine all the grief, sorrow and sad faces . But I can also see that big Heavenly smile on Busters face as he welcomes Debbie into her heavenly life with him. May God bless all of you.

  36. I am so sorry for your loss. Debbie will be remembered for the smile she always had, her sweet nature, her gentle soul and the way she touched so many in her life. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during these difficult days!

  37. Larry, Brittany and Hunter and family,
    We knew Debbie and her bright personality through the Oakley family. We send you our prayers for God’s strength, grace and mercy over the coming days. May the prayers of others help sustain you.

  38. Larry, I am in shock. I can’t tell you how sorry I am. I didn’t know Debbie well but she always had a smile and was so sweet. I am praying for you and your family. Mom also gives her love. God bless and keep you in his arms.

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