Dr. Deborah Jean Hellyer — born in Campbellton, N.B., on Oct. 22, 1952 — passed away peacefully surrounded by her family in Windsor, Ont., on Nov. 15, 2022, at the age of 70.
Loving mother to Gregory Petrakos and Jennifer Petrakos (Christopher); proud Nana to James; cherished sister to Dawn Ostler (John) and John Hellyer (Louise); predeceased by her parents, Vincent and Patricia. She will be missed by her many nieces and nephews.
Deborah graduated from Western University in 1978. After graduating, she practised as a respirologist and occupational health physician in Windsor Essex County.
Deborah had a long and illustrious career, she consistently demonstrated the utmost dedication to her patients for over 40 years. Deborah was fully committed to spreading awareness of preventative care and improving the health of the communities she lived and practised in.
Throughout her career, Deborah was involved in countless committees, councils, associations and boards. Most notably Deborah served on the Ontario Medical Association and Canadian Medical Association boards for many years. In 2000, Deborah became the first female president of the Essex County Medical Society. During her term, the strategy for the satellite medical school was developed as a long-term planning measure for physician recruitment. She was a co-chair of the Physician Assistant Implementation Advisory Committee that helped create the successful development, implementation and integration of physician assistants in Ontario. She was recognized by the American Academy of Physician Assistants as well as the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants for her dedication and valuable contributions. She was the medical director of the pulmonary rehabilitation program at Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital. During the last several years of her career, she enjoyed her time on CPSO council.
Outside of work, Deborah was a devoted mother, proud nana, English bulldog enthusiast and loved to travel. She cherished her friends and held a special place in her heart for the time spent catching up on a walk or going out for lunch. Above all else, she loved her family and always put her children first. There wasn't a soccer game or figure skating practice where you couldn't find her in the stands. Nothing brought her more joy than travelling with her family and looking for the next adventure.
The family wishes to thank the dedicated and caring staff at Windsor Regional Hospital — Metropolitan Campus, the cancer center and Hospice Windsor. Special thank you to Claudette, Rosemary and Dr. Andrew Petrakos, Nikki Brunelle, Dr. Fortuna, Dr. Kanjeekal, Fay Lawn, Debbie Westbury, Irene Vermey, and Gaynor and Catherine Chittle for all their support and going above and beyond.
Deborah a celebration of life for close family and friends will be held at a later date.