Deborah Michael, M.D.
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Deborah Michael M.D. , 71, a former resident of Calumet, Michigan passed away peacefully with her devoted sister, Martitia, and her loving cat, Mittens, by her side on Monday, April 15, 2019 in Scottsdale, AZ.
Deborah (Debi) was born on January 17, 1948 at Calumet Public Hospital. Following graduation from Calumet High School, she attended Michigan Technological University where she obtained her undergraduate degree in Technical Writing in 1970.
Debi moved to Chicago where she began her career at Underwriters Laboratories and thrived as a member of her extended Barsotti family in the city. Once Debi discovered her passion for medicine, nothing could stop her from becoming a physician. She worked her way through night school to obtain a degree in Medical Technology and became a medical technologist for the Cook County-Chicago hospital system. She was thrilled to be accepted by the University of Illinois College of Medicine – Chicago, graduating with her Doctor of Medicine degree in 1984. Debi completed a General Surgery Internship at the University of Illinois Chicago hospitals, followed by an Internal Medicine Residency at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois. She was certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and worked in private practice in the Chicago area.
Debi later moved to Phoenix, AZ where she joined a private group practice that became affiliated with the John C. Lincoln Health Network.
While in Phoenix, Debi’s prayers were answered with the arrival of her daughter, Nikiana (Niki), whom she loved with all her heart. Debi took pride in everything Niki did and was determined to always support Niki’s goals and dreams.
Deborah continued to work as a John C. Lincoln physician until illness forced her to stop practicing medicine. If not for Alzheimer’s disease, Debi would still be doing her absolute best for each patient that crossed her path. A patient could have no stronger advocate. Deborah would not take no for an answer from anyone if she believed something was in the best interest of her patient. She enjoyed making house calls to ensure her patients received the care they needed no matter the situation.
Her sister, Martitia, is eternally grateful to the many selfless people in Debi’s life that made sure she always felt love, joy, and security --- especially Elaine Waxman and husband Bob Segelbaum, Gene Schaeffer, and Dr. Jeff Cook. They never wavered in their support of Debi through the many years of her illness.
The professional and compassionate care of the Community of Helping Angels allowed Debi to remain in her home with her beloved Niki for a few years. One of her home care managers, Marilyn Hunt, became a trusted friend who continued to help Debi enjoy ordinary moments of life and friendship after she no longer resided in her house.
Debi spent the last three years of her life living in the Reminiscence neighborhood of Sunrise of Scottsdale --- an exceptional residence for anyone affected with dementia. There, her fierce independent spirit and desire to care for anyone she saw in need was respected and nurtured. Words cannot express enough gratitude to Faith Vaughn, Reminiscence Director, and her dedicated professional staff for their endless empathy, patience, and compassion. Every staff member, no matter their role, made sure that Debi’s moments were joyful and meaningful and that she knew she was valued and loved unconditionally. And, the staff from Reflections–Traditions Hospice never failed to quickly respond with kindness and work with the Reminiscence staff to gracefully address any concern that arose.
Deborah was proceeded in death by her loving and proud parents, Frances and Ercole Barsotti, and her adoring grandparents, Margaret and Anton Mesich. She was also preceded in death by all of her aunts and uncles --- Margaret (Marge) Gauthier, who twice welcomed Debi into her home to live with her family, George (Georgie) Zauhar, Anton (Tony) Mesich, Thomas (Tom) Mesich, and Mary (Mickey) LaBella.
Deborah is survived by her daughter Nikiana Medansky, brother E. Peter Barsotti, and sister Martitia (Marti) Barsotti and her husband Marcello DiMare. She is survived by her niece and nephews --- Domenico and Francesco DiMare, Jenny and John Barsotti --- as well as numerous cousins.
A Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at 11:00am at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Calumet, Michigan with Father Gracious Pulimoottil to officiate. Following mass, a burial service will be held in the Lake View Cemetery in Calumet.
The Erickson Crowley Peterson Funeral Home in Calumet, Michigan is assisting the family with the arrangements. Online condolences can be left for the family at www.ericksoncrowleypeteson.com