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In Memoriam of Debbie Waxman

Posted February 28, 2016

 Debbie Waxman

On February 5, 2014, Ridge Zeller Therapy lost an amazing member of our staff, Debbie Waxman, due to complications resulting from a heart attack.

We asked Noelle White, B.S., OTR/L, a long-time friend and colleague of Debbie's, as well as a member of our team, to share a little bit about their friendship. Thank you, Noelle, for this beautiful tribute to Debbie.

In memoriam of Debbie Waxman

It’s never possible to sum up in a few words how another person has touched so many lives, especially Debbie Waxman. 

The words I’m writing won’t even begin to touch on how Debbie has impacted just my life, but I’ll try. 

Debbie and I met when I started out as an OTR in the schools and I was assigned to supervise Debbie. 

We both had background in behavioral health and our therapeutic approaches meshed perfectly. 

As I “supervised the COTA” with far more experience, she “mentored” me as a new therapist. 

We had many a joke about that irony.

The mentoring expanded beyond work, as we became friends and she mentored me down the path of becoming an independent person, eventually a new mom, and then a mom of a child with special needs. 

I learned more than I can explain from observing her strength, her wisdom, her positive attitude and amazing outlook on life. 

She was always insightful in knowing what information needed to be shared and exactly how and when to share it. 

I am a better person, therapist and parent because I was blessed to have Debbie in my life for the last 20 years.

My last interaction with Debbie was 2 days before she had her heart attack. 

We talked on the phone as I signed us up for a conference online (to get the discounted group rate, of course). 

Most people might have ended the call with, “Great, looking forward to it!” 

But Debbie always went that extra mile to make sure others knew how she genuinely felt about them.  

She said “Noelle, I am SO EXCITED to get to see you and spend time with you in a few weeks! 

We just don’t have a chance to see each other often enough and I miss you!”  

I am so thankful for that last conversation! 

Debbie mentored everyone she touched – her family, her friends, her clients, her students – we all learned so much from her about how to give to others, to enable others to be the best they can be and to never forget to laugh at ourselves.  

We will miss you Debbie!   

Noelle White

Comments (2 Comments)

Debbie were my soulmate. A bright human. She´s on her way, to try again.

Posted by bo on November 13, 2015

Thank you Noelle for sharing this! Debbie was a friend, colleague and my son’s COTA so she was special to me and my family. My son has had OT for 4 years with several OTs and COTAs. He worked with Deb over the last two years and has made tremendous progress. I feel that his progress was in part due to the bond that he formed with Deb. She was so encouraging and positive, while being structured and stern. This is a balance that I strive for in my personal and professional life. Like all of us my son is very broken hearted about loosing Deb and wants to know why this happened. I wish I could answer that question, but I too am asking why she was taken from us.

We will never forget her laugh, beautiful smile, positive energy and light-hearted humor. To honor Deb, I am trying to be more positive and enjoy every moment.


Posted by Meghan Zeller on February 28, 2014

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