Deborah Sue Ivey Dyer died peacefully early March 25, 2010, at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital after a brief illness.

Deborah Dyer

Deborah Dyer

Deborah — Debi to friends, family and colleagues — was born Dec. 24, 1950. She was the daughter of James and Betty Ivey, wife to Jim Dyer, mother to James and Stephanie Dyer, and grandmother to Jaime Dyer and Cole Preston. She also mothered her children’s friends, and her house was a welcoming one in Santa Barbara’s Mission Canyon neighborhood for years.

Debi started her family young and became an exemplary homemaker while still in her early 20s. She was a beautiful woman, a good friend, a great cook and a soccer mom. She was a regular volunteer at the schools her children attended, and she enjoyed the outdoors. She and Jim built their mountain home, literally by hand, and she was involved in all aspects of that in the design and construction of the house she would call home for more than 35 years.

When her husband was injured and retired from the Santa Barbara Fire Department, she went back to work to support the family during his long recovery. Starting as a bookkeeper with the Santa Barbara Community Housing Corp., she rapidly rose to a prominent management position. CHC found out, as her children already knew, that if you wanted to get a difficult job done, Debi was the woman to put in charge.

After her children were grown, she spent more than 10 years sailing with her husband, first aboard the Nereid along the Pacific Coast of California and Mexico. Several years later they acquired Mah Jong and sailed her throughout the East Coast, the Bahamas and the Caribbean. As in most of her endeavors, she was an accomplished helmswoman and had a number of classic sailboat race wins to her credit, as well as many thousands of cruising miles to more than a dozen countries.

She was a voracious reader who taught her children to love books and learning at a young age, and she loved photography. She could cook with the best of them — in her kitchen or the galley or over a campfire, with equal facility and grace.

She is survived by her father, husband, two brothers, two children, two grandchildren, and a plethora of other relatives and friends. She will be sorely missed by all of us who loved her, and we wish that she had been given more time here with us before being called away.

Those wishing to honor her may do so by contributing to the cause closest to their heart.

Arrangements entrusted to McDermott-Crockett Mortuary.