March 21, 1956 – July 24, 2018
Debbie was born in Neepawa, Manitoba, the youngest of four. Her early childhood years were humble, first spent in the hamlet of Justice north of Brandon, and then in the even smaller hamlet of Franklin, where the family crammed into a railway switcher’s shack.
It was in 1962 that the Curles came to Nelson, and in 1965, they found their home in Kimberley when Grandpa went to work for Cominco. Inside an old cabin in Morrison Subdivision, Debbie grew into an active, bright, feisty, defiant young woman. A multi-sport athlete, Debbie always lived life to the fullest, never letting having a good time get in the way of school and work – or vice versa!
Debbie graduated from Selkirk Secondary at the ripe old age of 16 and went into the field of nursing, a vocation perfectly suited to her caring nature and her determination to bring comfort to those around her.
After short stops in Cranbrook and back in Brandon, in 1978 Debbie took a posting at Arrow Lakes Hospital in Nakusp. It was a job she would carry out faithfully for the next 39 years, bringing light, hope, and joy to thousands of patients across the Arrow Lakes and Slocan valleys.
In 1998 at Selkirk College (and again in 2005 at Athabasca University), she would go back to school, upgrading her nursing degree and taking on the position of outpost nurse at her beloved Edgewood Health Centre. For the rest of her working life, she would alternate between Nakusp and Edgewood, where she touched so many lives – and they touched her life back.
Ever the raconteur, life with Debbie was a never-ending trip full of love, family, music, and food (oh, the food!). She was there for every school field trip, every sporting event, every family gathering. She was always the “cool mom” in the neighbourhood the other kids loved to hang around.
She was an expert gambler with luck that could be consider uncanny (or, if you were anyone else in the family, unfair!). Her memory and recall were impeccable and her quest for knowledge insatiable; within her head seemingly resided the entire history of every family in the valley.
Debbie’s valiant battle against cancer ended early on the morning of July 24, 2018 at Arrow Lakes Hospital with her family at her bedside. Debbie was predeceased by sister Dianne in 1999, mother Norma in 2007, and father Norman in 2008. She is survived by her partner of 40 years, Kenton Kusch; son Kyle Kusch of Nakusp; daughter Kyra Kusch (Tyler Farquharson) of West Kelowna; daughter Kelsy Kusch of Kelowna; sister Darlene Oberg-Jacobson (Arnold) of Forestburg, Alberta; brother David Curle (Ardy) of Kimberley; and the light of her life, granddaughter Macy Anne Farquharson.
We thank all of the friends, family, and businesses who have offered their love and support over the past 14 months. Special thanks to the wonderful people at Arrow Lakes Hospital and Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital who helped give us this final year with Debbie.
A public memorial service for Debbie will be held at the Nakusp Arena Auditorium on August 11th, 2018 at 1 pm. Donations in Debbie’s name may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society and the Arrow Lakes Health Care Auxiliary.