Deborah Pigeon


Deborah Pigeon, 67, of West Tisbury, died unexpectedly at home on Feb. 27, 2016, of complications following a recent surgery. She was born in Greenfield on Dec. 11, 1948, to Wells T. Seller and Ruth Pigeon Seller, both deceased, and the family summered in the seaside community of Menauhant in East Falmouth for many years before relocating there for good in the 1970s. She attended St. Mary’s-in-the-Mountains (White Mountain School) in New Hampshire, and Pine Manor College in Newton, graduating in 1968. A lifelong learner, she went on to become an LPN, to study holistic medicine, and finally to get a master’s degree in counseling.

Debba, as she was affectionately known for most of her life, married and had two children in East Falmouth before jumping the Sound in the 1980s and settling as a single mom on Martha’s Vineyard, where she and her kids put down strong roots and thrived. Debba was a woman of strong convictions and a stronger work ethic, dedicating her career to social and community services. She began as a nurse and a midwife, held positions in drug and alcohol counseling, and hit her stride on the Vineyard as a psychotherapist. She was proud of having started the first drug- and alcohol-counseling program in the Vineyard schools. She also served for many years on the Martha’s Vineyard Commission.

When not working, she embraced the many outdoor activities her adopted Island home had to offer: She was a passionate sailor, owning several different boats over the years, and she loved to kayak, swim, ride motorcycles, and take long walks with her dogs. She was a skier, a food enthusiast, a conversationalist, and an adventurous spirit, traveling widely in her later years to places as far-flung as South America, Italy, and Vietnam. Above all else, Debba was a devoted mom and a loyal friend to many, always ready with an easy smile, a grounded piece of advice, a smart quip, or a hug.

She is survived by her son Eben Armer, her daughter Hallie Armer, her daughter-in-law Elizabeth Cecil, and her brother James T. Seller, all of West Tisbury; and also by her sister Jane Smith, of The Villages, Fla.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 5, at 11 am at the Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury. A light potluck reception will follow the service. The family will hold a second service to celebrate Debba’s life in the spring in Menauhant in East Falmouth.