In Memory of




Obituary for Deborah J. Martin

Deborah J. Martin

October 28, 1949 – November 7, 2023

Silver Lake: November 7, 2023. Deborah is predeceased by parents, George P. Ackerman, Doris M. Dugar; stepfather Gilbert J. Marthage, brother-in-law Thomas E. Martin Jr. and sister-in-law Joann Ackerman. She is survived by her husband Robert; children Amie (Chris Bishop) Starr, Suzanne (George) Ayres, Jacob (Brittney) Starr. Six grandchildren; Jillian, George, Brady, Ava, Emmalie and Lillyenne; brother Richard Ackerman; half-sisters Suzanne (Robert) Eastman, Janet (Kevin) Ghyzel and Ada Ann Coffey; half-brothers Ronald Ackerman and Allen Ackerman; brother-in-law David E. Martin and many nieces and nephews including Jason (Melissa) Ghyzel, Justin (Alexa) Ghyzel and Jordan Ghyzel.

Deborah graduated from Avon High School in 1968 then immediately pursued her educational goals by attended St. James School of Nursing in Hornell, NY until 1971. In 1972 she began her career with the University of Rochester Medical Center (Strong Memorial) as a Staff Nurse in the Emergency Department. Deborah was a member of the original mercy flight medical crew where she earned the very fitting nick name “fearless leader.” Through several promotions she became a Clinician (1986), Nurse Manager of OBGYN (1991), then in 1996 made the jump into risk management as the Workers’ Compensation Claims Manager. While working full time she continued schooling and achieved a Master of Science (1999) from St. John Fisher College. In 2002 she found her home within the Human Resources Department where she became the Return-to-Work Program Manager. Her knowledge and experience were key in developing what is now called Leave Administration. Deborah became a speaker at national conferences on Return-to-Work and was hand selected by the Governor of New York State to be part of the Governor’s Advisory Committee developing worker compensation reforms. She was recognized for her exceptional accomplishments, leadership, and dedication to the University in 2010 when she earned the Human Resources Outstanding Achievement Award and again in 2013 earning the Witmer Award for distinguished service. Despite the professional, all business appearance, Deborah had a fun, adventurous side and checked an item off her bucket list when she served as Mitsy, the mascot for The Rochester Red Wings.

After 48 fulfilling years at The University of Rochester, Deborah retired in 2018 and resided in the beautiful Silver Lake home that her and husband Bob (and family) built together. She loved to garden and enjoyed boat rides around the lake. Deborah took up quilting as her main hobby and continued to learn through trial and error, You Tube instructional videos, road trips with her sister Jan, and her devoted husband reading her directions when her eyes were tired. She took great pride in her home, decorating for the holidays and spending time with family. She was always full of energy, encouragement and an absolute joy to be around. A loving wife, daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, godmother, friend, mascot and much more. A force all her own, she left a lasting impression on everyone she encountered. May you all find peace in the memories you share together.

Family and Friends may call Monday, November 13, 2023 from 3-7 PM at Stephenson-Dougherty Funeral Home Inc. 350 Genesee St. Avon, 14414. Her Funeral Service will be held Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at 10:30 AM at St. Andrews Episcopal Church. 175 North St. Caledonia 14423. In Lieu of flowers memorials may be made to St. Andrews Church.