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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Deborah Lynn Gerlach of Emporium, PA

Deborah Lynn Gerlach

Deborah Lynn Gerlach of Emporium, PA, beloved daughter, sister, and friend was tragically taken from this life on October 26, 2016. She was 45 years old. She died in her home. The cause of death was homicide. A suspect is currently awaiting arraignment.

Born on May 16, 1971 in Grove City, PA to Robert James Gerlach and Cheryl McWilliams Mahmood, she graduated Grove City High School in 1988, and received her BA in Political Science and Literature at SUNY Purchase in NY. She lived and worked in Manhattan for several years before returning to her native Pennsylvania where she stayed for the remainder of her life.

Deborah struggled throughout most of her adult life from illness and addiction. She was a beautiful human being, beloved of God and her family, and deserved more than the indignity that was afforded her in her final moments. Her family wishes to assert that addiction needs to be treated as a public health issue and not a criminal or a moral issue. And we have every faith that Deborah will be received into the greater life that awaits in the arms of God who is love.

She is preceded in death by her father Robert of Kennerdale, PA who passed from this earthly life in 2012, and a daughter, Olivia Grace. She is survived by her mother Cheryl and step-father Malik (New York, NY), a brother Robert II (Pittsburgh, PA), a half-brother Karekin (San Francisco, CA), and former husband and father to her deceased daughter, Ted O'Donnell (New York, NY). She is also survived by several aunts, uncles, and cousins. She also leaves behind her beloved dog, Clio.

Deborah’s ashes will be scattered in a private ceremony at a time yet to be determined. No memorial or funeral service will be conducted in accordance with the deceased’s wishes.

Rest in peace, dear one. May flights of angels sing you to your rest.

7 comments :

Anonymous said...

So very sorry for your loss ❤️

Anonymous said...

God bless her, and her family! I have a Son that fights addiction. Everybody wants to judge, but no one knows what it is truly like unless you have a loved one that suffers from this. Once again, God bless you all !!!!

Anonymous said...

Prayers or her family, I just had a niece that passed from a drug overdose, I totally agree with you 2:30 pm, no one knows what these suffer through, they have no right to throw condemnation on them !

Anonymous said...

Sending prayers to your family.. i was deeply touched - very well written obituary..

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written obituary. So sorry for your loss. I know many who battle addiction, I pray they find the power thru God to win their battle.

Anonymous said...

Amen 8:29, God is the only one who can help & deliver them from their addiction,I do not feel they keep them in rehab long enough

Anonymous said...

Deborah didn't pass away due to an addiction folks. She was murdered by a local man who is now in McKean County Jail awaiting trial for 1st degree murder and multiple aggravated assault charges.