Debra Hanks, 61, of Auburn, passed away peacefully on the morning on Sunday, March 21, 2021 at UMASS Memorial Hospital. After a long battle with liver disease, Debbie spent her final hours in comfort with her family holding her hand by her side.
Debbie was born in Worcester and raised in Auburn. She was the youngest of three children born to the late Raymond L. Sarasin and Shirley (Lundquist) Sarasin. She graduated from Grafton Memorial High School and is survived by her sisters Linda Therrien and family of Willsboro, NY, and Cheryl Maiorana and family of Milford, MA.
A devoted wife and mother, she leaves her beloved husband of 42 years, Robert Hanks. High school sweethearts, they knew each other 50 years and were dating or married for 45. She leaves her son, Keith Hanks of Marietta, GA, a daughter-in-law Inna and family. A proud mother, Debbie was always active volunteering as a room mom, and cheering at every sports game over the years.
Over her life she built a home of kindness. Her sense of humor was legendary. Among her friends and coworkers, she was known for her high integrity. Officially retired in 2020, Debbie worked for 25 years at Sears & Roebuck, where she held positions in almost every department and had the opportunity to manage several teams. She was always proud when she was able to hire a young person for their first job. Upon retiring from Sears, she worked part-time as a Teller at Bank of America, and later as a Customer Service Rep at Market Basket. She cherished the relationships she developed with her coworkers.
Debbie had a fun style, appreciated by many, and unique to her. She loved anything smiley face, and was proud to mention the smiley face was invented in her hometown when she was a young girl. Her favorite color was red, and she was always looking for the next perfect item to add to her red apple-themed kitchen. Her love of red extended to lobsters, whether giving a step-by-step tutorial of how to perfectly prepare, or finding the latest lobster item to remind her of the beach. She loved the ocean, traveling to Cape Cod to go camping each summer with her family as a child, extending to Perkins Cove, ME with her husband for day trips and weekends when they were starting out, and combining the two whenever possible as a family once their son was born. Their last great trip as family was last summer to Cape Cod. In her final weeks, she had hope and optimism that she would be returning again to both Cape Cod and Maine later this year, and she spent hours planning each trip to ensure the best experience for those she planned to share these trips with.
Gone too soon, she created a legacy that will be cherished and celebrated. Each time you see a smiley face, think of Debbie, because Debbie is thinking of you.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Debbie’s family between 10:30 AM and 12:00 PM on Thursday, March 25, 2021 at the BRITTON-WALLACE FUNERAL HOME, 91 Central Street, Auburn, where masks and social distancing will be required. For those attending, please dress in “dressy casual red” as Debbie would like it, or accessorize with red.
Services and burial will be held privately for the family.