Debbie Smith Malone (a/k/a Momma Debbie, a/k/a The Mouth of the South), age 60 of Leesburg, Florida passed away on Thursday, April 6, 2017, surrounded by her family and loved ones.
She was born August 29, 1956 in Coral Gables, Florida. Even though she was born in Florida, she was raised in Georgia and was a true Southerner. She loved the outdoors, and in her younger years enjoyed horseback riding, skiing, and hiking. Those things did not necessarily love her back though. Her horse Sandy Boy nearly killed her once, while skiing she ran into a dock and a metal rod went through her leg, and she fell 50 feet from Stone Mountain while hiking and spent nearly a year recovering. And that is where the saying “If we didn’t have bad luck, we wouldn’t have any luck at all” started! Regardless, she never let anything keep her down and from enjoying life!
She met her husband in Georgia while interviewing for the same airline company. Although she declined his initial offer of marriage, he eventually won her over. She kept him well fed for over 38 years. Their son has taken over that role, as he can’t possibly live on scrambled eggs and toast. She was a master cook, but did not pass down her culinary skills to her two daughters, telling them “I kept you girls out of the kitchen so a man would cook for you!” It worked, and her daughters thank her for that! She was extremely ambitious and became one of the only employees of IBM to become a Systems Engineer without a four year college degree. After retiring early from IBM, she opened up two retirement homes in Griffin, GA which she owned for five years before the family decided to relocate to Florida. The family is still not sure what they were thinking. However, her avid love of the outdoors and gardening made Florida a great new home. Her husband was thankful he didn’t have to dig holes in the Georgia red clay anymore for her plants. Although, she did learn that here in Florida you can’t just pull over on the side of the road and dig up any ol’ plants that you wanted. Luckily that officer, as most people did, got a kick out of her and let her off with a warning. She loved the ocean and Sundays at New Smyrna Beach became a weekly ritual. The $2.00 Bloody Mary’s had nothing to do with it. She was a beloved USPS driver in Seminole County and gained numerous friends during her years working there. Bees, wasps and Sand Hill Cranes were not among them! Her postal vehicle doubled as an off-road firewood gatherer for the nightly bonfires at the Malone household. It didn’t matter if it was in the 40s or the 80s, there was always a fire going! And Momma Debbie was not going to pay for firewood when she could simply go find it, whether it be on her property or not!
All joking aside, she was truly larger than life. She never met a stranger, and would go above and beyond to make you feel welcome and part of her family. She did everything for her family and selflessly worked three jobs at one point so her children could have the things they loved. A true caretaker, she was a dedicated and loving wife, mother, sister and daughter. She was a beloved friend to many and would give you the shirt off her back if you asked. She was genuine, kind, honest, hilarious and greatly admired. Her personality was one of a kind and she will be missed dearly by all.
She was predeceased by her parents, William and Vera Mea Smith and her brother, Charles Smith. She leaves behind her husband of 38 years, Ralph W. Malone, III, her son Ralph W. Malone, IV, her daughters and their fiancés; Brittany Malone and Steven Evering and Ryann Malone and Matt Champion, her brother and sister-in-law Ricky and Brenda Smith, her sister Sandra Smith, her grandsons Ralph W. Malone, V and Colin Blake Evering, her granddaughters Ashlie Jennell and Hope Reagan Malone, her cat Ashley, her granddaughter”dog” Ruby, grandson”cat” Colt, numerous cousins, nieces nephews, and countless friends.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 6:30 PM at Tavares Pavilion on the Lake, 200 S Disston Ave, Tavares, FL 32778. Services entrusted to Baldwin Brothers, Tavares, FL (352) 508-9501.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Cornerstone Hospice, 2445 Lane Park Rd, Tavares, FL 32778. The family would like to thank the countless efforts by all the doctors, nurses and other staff at Waterman Hospital in Tavares, FL, and Promise Hospital in Oxford, FL. They would also like to thank the nurses and staff at Cornerstone Hospice for their warm hospitality and diligent effort in making sure she made her final trip to Heaven in comfort and peace.
“Don’t grieve for me, for now I am free.”