In memory: Debbie Roman

Katie Buchanan

Debra J. Roman, age 55, passed away Feb. 14. Better known to those around her as Debbie, Roman worked in the chemistry stockroom for 24 years setting up labs, keeping the chemistry stockroom well organized and running efficiently, maintaining large instruments, and sometimes aiding faculty members as a research assistant.
In her free time, Debbie enjoyed gardening, woodworking, golf, travel and wilderness camping. According to David Hall, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, she was “always willing to give a helping hand. We’ve been barely getting along without her.”
Debbie was diagnosed with breast cancer early last year and underwent two different surgeries while continuing to run the stockroom.
While initial treatment was successful, “it was the radiation form treatment that caused another cancer,” said Hall.
Debbie “was always willing to help students with a problem during lab,” said Professor of Chemistry Jerrold Lokensgard. “She was a good resource for students.”
Debbie was also highly involved with social activities between students, faculty and staff.
“She had as much contact with the students as the faculty,” said Lokensgard, and “she would arrange the chemistry picnics and take pictures. It’s going to be difficult to keep things going without her.”
“She was a giving and open person and a great friend. We’re going to miss her,” said Hall.
“Debbie was upbeat and fun to have around. She played a big role in the department,” said Lokensgard.
“The entire community feels a sense of sadness for someone who has passed away well before her time,” said David Burrows, Dean of Faculty. “We need to go on in her memory and continue the work she did.”
A small memorial fund is being set up in Debbie’s name to be used “as a small scholarship to a chemistry student that shows some of Debbie’s qualities,” said Hall.
All friends, family, students and colleagues are welcome to gather for Debbie’s memorial celebration in the Lawrence University Memorial Chapel on Sunday, March 4 at 6 p.m.
A reception will follow.