Debra Ann Frick
- March 5, 2023
Debra Ann Frick
Debra “Deb” Ann Frick (Sawyer), 67, of Williamsburg, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family on Feb. 25, 2023. She was born in Creston, Iowa, on May 3, 1955, daughter to Dale and B. Barbara (Moffitt) Sawyer.
Deb graduated from Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, class of 1973. She continued her schooling at St. Luke’s School of Nursing, earning her RN credentials in 1976. On Valentine’s Day in 1974, Deb met Dean Frick, who would become her inseparable companion. Deb and Dean were married in Cedar Rapids on Aug. 7, 1976. They lived in Iowa City for a short time while Dean finished his schooling then headed to Michigan.
Together, Deb and Dean raised their family in the Flint area, predominately Grand Blanc. Deb’s professional career blossomed as she immersed herself in treating cancer patients at Hurley Medical Center and the Genesis-Hurley Cancer Institute. While working and caring for her family, she obtained her BSN in 1983.
In 2008, Deb was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. With her strong will and determination, she used her diagnosis as motivation to raise awareness, and help treat and research these types of cancers. She was a board member and helped found the Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance (MIOCA). Her devotion to the field reached beyond her retirement from Hurley Medical center in 2012; she developed support groups for fellow ovarian cancer survivors in Flint and Northern Michigan.
Apart from her career, Deb was a wonderful and loving wife, mother and friend. She immersed herself in her community, volunteering as a running group leader for the Bobby Crim Ten Mile Road Race and at Traverse City Cherry Festivals. She also coordinated several “Turn the Town Teal” events to bring awareness to Ovarian Cancer. Deb had a trained eye for a bargain even if it meant slamming on the brakes, throwing the car in reverse and collecting a “treasure” alongside the road. She was a gifted artist and an endlessly creative DIYer, and her green thumb earned her a Master Gardener certification through Michigan State University.
In retirement, Deb and Dean built a beautiful home on property they bought in the area in 2003. They loved to host friends and family, and enjoyed being out on the water as much as possible. Deb put her gardening and crafting skills to good use in their landscaping and home décor.
The world will definitely not be the same without Deb and it is safe to say that it would be a better place with more people like her in it. All who knew her will miss her dearly but are thankful that she can be at peace now.
Deb is survived by her husband of 46 years, Dean Frick; children, Ben (Katie) Frick and Jennifer (Ben) Walker; grandchildren, Dexter and Griffin Frick and Noah Walker; father, Dale Sawyer; and brother, Steve (Diane) Sawyer.
Deb was preceded in death by her mother, Barb Sawyer.
A celebration of Deb’s amazing life will take place on Saturday, June 24, 2023, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the gardens at Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home. In the meantime, think of her fondly and maybe hunt for some rocks or beach glass.
Kindly direct memorial contributions in Deb’s honor to Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance (MIOCA), www.mioca.org/donate or to the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA), ocrahope.org.
Memories and condolences may be shared anytime on Deb’s tribute page, www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.