Deborah Joy Marmolejo Ghirardi, our beloved and cherished Wife, Mom, GiGi, Aunt Debby, Sister-in-law and best friend, succumbed to her brief and abrupt battle with cancer at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans at age 69 on February 27, 2021, with her devoted husband and loving son at her bedside.
Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Debby graduated from Trinity University with a Bachelor’s degree in Child Psychology and a passion for mathematics. She met the love of her life, Peter Kirkland Ghirardi, in 1970 while standing in the wedding of their best friends, and they settled in Morgan City, Louisiana for 45 blissful years of marriage.
Debby is survived by her husband Pete, her son Anthony Peter Ghirardi, Sr. (Michelle), her grandchildren Anthony “A.J.” Peter Ghirardi, Jr. and Rosalena “Rosie” Louise Ghirardi, her brothers Gilbert Allen Marmolejo (Judith) and John Christopher Marmolejo (Suzie), her brother-in-law Ronnie Ghirardi (Nettie), her sister-in-law Glenda Clements, and many beloved aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents, Gilberto Christopher Marmolejo and Rhoda Mae Dopson Marmolejo, her father and mother-in-law, Steve Albert Ghirardi and Velda Lou Kirkland Ghirardi, and her brother-in-law Brent Clements.
Debby’s faith and trust in our heavenly Father were unwavering. She had a generous heart and a welcoming smile. Regardless of the task or obstacle at hand, her meticulous nature and resolute work ethic ensured her complete devotion to everything she applied herself to. She had a heartwarming love for animals and would gladly take in any stray within arm’s reach. Debby’s nurturing manner was also expressed by her love for gardening, and her green thumb made her the envy of the neighborhood – a badge of honor that she wore with pride. The many coworkers Debby encountered at her various workplaces inevitably became lifelong friends. A talented cook, every year during the holidays, the wonderful and delicious smells wafting from the kitchen throughout her home delighted the family with comfort and tradition of years past. Her personal paradise was sitting on the beach under an umbrella on a warm summer day enjoying a cold one. Surpassing all other pleasures in life, Debby felt most fulfilled by enjoying quality time with her cherished family – especially sitting on the beach with grandson A.J. building (and destroying) sandcastles. Her renowned intuition was confirmed with the announcement that her second grandbaby was a girl. The time that she was granted to enjoy baby Rosie, however short it may have been, was made exceptionally sweet by the hours spent lulling her to sleep the only way Gigi’s loving touch could.
The family wishes to extend special thanks to Ochsner’s ICU medical team, along with family members and Debby’s extensive network of close friends who have offered their support during this incredibly difficult time.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 27th, from 10 AM to 2 PM at Hargrave Funeral Home, 1031 Victor II Blvd. in Morgan City.