Debra Smith

Obituary of Debra Lee Smith

It is with a very heavy heart that we share Debra Lee Smith, 67, of Danielson, CT passed away in the early morning of February 14, 2024 in the comfort of her home after a cancer diagnosis in March of 2023. She was born December 29, 1956 in Putnam, CT daughter of the late Julien Savoie and Mildred Savoie. 

Deb is also predeceased by her sister, Joan Thole, her nephews, Keith Brady and Ryan Lefevre, and her niece Michelle Pettigrew.  

Deb leaves behind her husband, the love of her life, Jim Smith; her son Jason Verraneault his wife Lindsey with their children, Lilly, Colby, Bretton, and Maddox; her son Kenny Clancy his husband Derian with their children, Cameron, Nicholas, and Jordan; her son, Julien Clancy; her stepsons, Jamie and Jesse Smith.  She is also survived by her sisters Carol Franzese, Elaine Senecal (Robert), Janet (Richard) Goloski, Donna (Gary) Savoie, and her brother Leander (Deb) Savoie along with her many loving nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and close friends.  Lastly, we know she leaves behind her entire local community. 

Deb was a loving wife to Jim Smith. They made each other laugh constantly and they loved one other unconditionally. It was obvious that they were meant to find each other.  They had a mutual love for dancing and had no problem getting down on the dance floor together.   She loved her children, grandchildren, and extended family tremendously.  She spoiled everyone with her love, affection, and gifts.  She never left anyone doubting how she felt about them.

Deb owned and managed four local restaurants throughout the years.  Her restaurants were all staples in the community and the place to go for breakfast.  She was passionate about her work, her people, and her customers.  Deb’s place was more than a restaurant.  It was comfort food and great company – a home away from home for everyone.  She was a great boss who always made all her employees’ part of her family. Deb always had a smile on her face as she served her loyal customers and always made time to chat it up with them no matter what she had going on. She had the ability to make a stranger feel loved.

Deb loved to entertain guests whether at her restaurants or at her house.  She was always ready for a celebration or a fire, and always prepared or ordered enough food for ten times the amount coming.

Deb also loved her time and the friends she met working at the local banks.  Deb was passionate about her community and the people within it.  She was always very active with the Killingly Business Association, sitting on and heading many committees along the way.  She couldn’t be prouder that her community legacy lives on with her eldest son, Jason.

In her private life, one of Deb’s favorite activities was going to the beach, she could never get enough! Family vacations had to be near the ocean shore. She had a passion for sunrises, sunsets, collecting sea-shells with her grandchildren, walks on the beach, and crashing waves.  She loved her family holiday traditions and made sure to keep them all alive. Christmas was her favorite with Santa visits at the Savoie Family Christmas Party, and her lotto tree on Christmas morning for her children.

She was a huge Patriots fan, but an even bigger fan of Tom Brady. She would watch the game every Sunday with Jim, while yelling at the TV for any mistake that the team made.

Deb was one of the most uplifting, positive, loving, motivated and family-oriented people that had the ability to draw everyone near even closer. She always went out of her way to help people and never expected anything in return. Deb was a great mentor to many as she was able to bring the most out of people. 

No words can explain what Deb meant to the people she loved, her community, and those that loved her.  No words can ever give justice to her name and legacy. Breakfast will never be the same in Danielson, CT.    Deb was full of life, energy, love, and stubbornness, and she carried that all right through the very end.  She always did it her way and that never changed.  Deb was a one-in-a million.

Calling hours will be Wednesday, February 28th from 4:00 to 7:00 PM at Gagnon and Costello Funeral Home, 33 Reynolds Street, Danielson, CT.  A Mass will be held on Thursday, February 29th at 10:00 AM at St. James Church, 12 Franklin Street, Danielson, CT.   In lieu of flowers, donations in Deb’s memory may be made to: St Jude Children’s Hospital, PO Box 1000, Memphis, TN 38101-9908: Donate in Deb's Honor . A time of memorial will take place at Golden Greek Restaurant in Dayville following the MASS. Share a memory at


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