Deborah Slish Willis, age 62. of Rome passed away at her home on Saturday, September 26, 2020 following a two year battle with ovarian cancer. Mrs. Willis was born in Detroit, Michigan, daughter of the late Michael Slish and Constance Patrick. She graduated in 1976 from Richmond High School, Richmond, Indiana. After graduation from Berry College in 1981 with a music degree, she decided to embark in a teaching career here in Rome as she devoted a great affinity for the area. She spent one year teaching at Garden Lakes Elementary, then the next 17 years at Coosa Middle School. While at Coosa Middle School, she started from scratch teaching Tinikling, established an excellent team who performed at the Georgia Governor's mansion and even at Carnegie Hall in New York City. At the same time, Debbie worked with students to help them make All State Chorus. In 2001, she moved to Woodland Middle School in Bartow County. She focused on developing students' singing talents which led to a record number of Students making All State Chorus. After retiring in 2015, she turned her attention to caretaking her mother. She was a Regional Northwest All-State Chorus director for many years, organizing the Northwest region all-state auditions for 5000 to 7000 students and was an active member of Georgia Educators Association. Deborah not only taught students to sing, she nurtured and guided thousands of students with important life lessons. Her impact upon the community is immeasurable. She is preceded in death by her father, Michael Slish. She is survived by her husband, Joseph Willis of Rome, her mother, Connie Patrick of Rome, a sister, Kathryn Sleeman of Ann Arbor, Michigan, two nephews and a grand-niece, all of Michigan and many cousins living across the country. Memorial services are pending for a future date. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that donations be made to Cancer Research organizations of your choice.

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