- Debbie (Rush) Irish of Crystal, Maine, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, June 17, 2017, at the age of 66. She was born on January 14, 1951, the daughter of George and Mary Rush of Benedicta.
Gentle, quiet, and kind, she held a tremendous gift for giving. She has touched the lives of many people and has left this world a better place because of who she was. In 1989 she began her life's work as a steadfast and unconditionally loving foster parent to 84 children. She spent countless hours sewing and crocheting thousands of quilts, afghans, pajamas, hats, mittens, and other items that she donated to organizations that distributed them to children in need. She volunteered with Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine in addition to running support groups for other foster parents in her area. Her legacy is that she gave what she could give to fill the lives of children with a little more love.
She enjoyed spending time with her family, in her gardens, picking berries and fiddleheads, cooking, baking, and making candy. She and her husband always grew an abundance of vegetables that they would generously share with family and friends (particularly with one niece who was known to raid the pea patch, frequently.)
Debbie will be truly missed by her husband Gene Irish; her children, Gene and his wife, Debbie, Sarah, Becky, Jenny, Jake and his wife, Deseray, Chris and his wife, Elizabeth, and Devon; grandchildren, Cameron, Sierra, Jacob, Brady, Cheyenne, Piper, Nolan and Wesley; great-granddaughter, Melonie. Also missing Debbie are her remaining siblings, Reni and her husband, Peter Qualey, Betty and her partner, Mickey Cleaves, and Matthew and his wife, LeAnn. Finally, she is survived by her nieces, nephews and extended family. She is predeceased by her parents; her sister, Shirlie; and her brothers, Raphael and Billy.
A celebration of her life will take place on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 11:00 at St. Benedict's Parish Hall in Benedicta, Maine. All are welcome. For an online memory book and to leave condolences, please visit www.bowersfuneral.com.
Published on  June 20, 2017