Debra (Breitbach) Carney

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Debra (Breitbach) Carney, 58, of Cedar Rapids, passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by her loved ones on Saturday, Feb. 11. 


Deb was born on March 21, 1958, in McGregor, to Norbert and N. Jean Breitbach. She graduated from MarMac High School in 1976. She then moved to Cedar Rapids to attend Kirkwood Community College. It was there that she started a family and dedicated the rest of her life to inspiring her daughters to become strong, independent women. Deb worked extremely hard her entire life and just recently retired from the Iowa Eye Center, a position that she held for the past 17 years. 


Deb will be remembered for her quick wit, humor, no nonsense personality and impressive sarcasm. She faced all challenges in her life head on with bravery, never letting any one challenge define her. She set a wonderful example for her children and grandchildren and she loved them fiercely; there was nothing she would not have done for them. She has taught each of them many great life lessons that they will never forget, likely because it was delivered with a great deal of honesty and a healthy dose of humor and sarcasm. While no one’s life is ever perfect, Deb has left a legacy of strength, unconditional love, honesty, determination and the ability to find humor in any situation. Those of us who have been lucky enough to know her will never forget this legacy and will treasure it always. 


Deb is survived by her sister Diane Blum, of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; her brother Jerry Breitbach, of McGregor; her three daughters, all of Cedar Rapids, Katie Fitzpatrick, Abbie Fitzpatrick, and Elizabeth Bush; and five grandchildren all of Cedar Rapids, Alexis Fleetwood, Aiden Fleetwood, Aniela Montgomery, A.J. Miller, and Olivia Bush; as well as her two beloved cats, Sammy and Marley, who were both at her side until the end.


Deb was preceded in death by her parents, Norbert & N. Jean Breitbach; her brother Neil Breitbach; her brother-in-law Robert Blum; and her grandson Daxton Montgomery.


The family will hold a Celebration of Life open house to remember Deb in the best way they know. Please stop by for food, drink and entertainment on Saturday, March 11, from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Flamingo located at 1211 Ellis Blvd. NW Cedar Rapids, IA 52405.


The family would like to extend a tremendous amount of gratitude to Dr. Ghosh, Mindy Martin, ARNP, and the entire staff (past and present) at the Ghosh Center for loving and caring for Deb just as if she were their very own family member. They all went above and beyond each and every time and allowed Deb the dignity to be in charge of her own destiny at all times. The family also expresses gratitude to Hospice of Mercy for their assistance with a peaceful transition. 


Memorial donations may be made to the APG Foundation which provides financial assistance for treatments to cancer patients in need or to the Blesie Tree, a pay it forward organization, that provides assistance to cancer patients for non-medical wants or needs while they are receiving treatment.

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