As residents of Northwest Ohio go through their day to day lives many things can happen to change the path and direction of their journey. Such as was the case for Deborah Merrifield on Wednesday January 28th of this year which also happens to be her daughter’s birthday.
Deborah was in her upstairs apartment taking a nap when she was awakened by the smell of smoke. She searched throughout her home and found nothing amiss.
Thus she thought she better go down and check on her brother. When she opened the door smoke poured out and into her face. Immediately she ran inside and found her brother sound to sleep in his bedroom. After awakening him, they both escaped the building.
If Deborah would not have awakened when she did, both of them could have easily perished.
Absolutely everything was lost in the fire; personal mementos, photos, etc., along with all of her clothes, other belongings and furniture. She says “My whole life was in there”.
Unless one truly experiences such a loss, they can’t imagine what it is like to one minute have everything you need and the next minute it is all gone.
All of our lives differ from one another and everyone has a story to tell. Deborah was born in California where she and her three siblings were raised in foster care. Deborah says there was a lot of history in her birth parents relationship, including a homicide which she has researched but not been able to find all the answers to. She also feels very blessed by the fact that all of the kids were accepted and raised in the same home.
Over the years Deborah has tried to locate her birth mother with no success.
Deborah is now 52 years of age and has three grown children of her own and 7 grandchildren. She moved to Montpelier in 2012 and presently works at the local Dollar Store. In the past she has been in sales, done accounting work, driven a truck and has a degree in Medical Assistance.
Deborah presently lives across the street from the scene of the fire at 329 south Jonesville Street with her daughter and 5 granddaughters.
When asked what would be of assistance right now she listed the following. Number one would be a place to live. She has applied for subsidized housing, but the waiting list is extremely long. Also, any financial assistance would be appreciated. She is in need of all household items such as furniture, bedding, etc. Clothes for both her and one of her granddaughters that lives with her would be greatly appreciated. Deborah wears size 18-20 with a size 8 ½ to 9 shoe. Her granddaughter who is 5 wears 6/7 clothes with a size 11 child’s shoe.
Many lessons can be learned in this journey of life and such is the case with Deborah Merrifield.
She states the following, “I have been a survivor all of my life. One thing I have learned is the greatest gift we have to share with one another is love. As tough as it is, I have come to realize material things are not important in the overall scheme of life, but memories are irreplaceable!”
“I would also like to thank everyone who has helped me up to this point. After going through several difficult years, it has given me a renewed understanding that there are still many, many good hearted people around in this community and world”.
Your help and support would be greatly appreciated.
Deborah’s personal phone number is 419.551.5378 and a donation container is on display at the Dollar Store where she works.
John may be reached at