Mrs. Debra “Debbie” or “GMA” Louise Novo passed away peacefully on February 22, 2022 with family by her side.
Debra Novo was born in Salinas, California on a farm to parents Gilbert Paul Anderson and Laney Jane Anderson (Anness), on October 3rd, 1952. She grew up in Salinas, California, and helped her older sister Oleta to raise her 5 younger brothers before later attending Hartnell Junior College in order to follow her dream of becoming a teacher. She met her husband Joseph Michael Novo and married him September 6th, 1972. Joseph joined the Air Force, and they built a life together all over the world; living in Guam, Tokyo, Okinawa, and finally settling down in Clovis, NM in 1992.
Debbie worked as an associate at Wal-Mart in the fabrics and crafts department for a number of years, and spent time as a leader in the Girl Scouts. She also worked for over 20 years as a Teacher's Assistant at Zia Elementary and other elementary schools in Clovis, before she retired in order to care for her grandchildren in 2010. Debbie loved all of her students and would love to tell stories about them from over the years. She unofficially adopted well over a dozen kids, and officially adopted 3 of her grandchildren and raised them their entire lives. Debbie volunteered for her grandchildren's extracurriculars and all their friends called her GMA, because she was everyone's grandma. Her husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were truly the lights of her life, and having them running around was the best part of her days. If there was ever anyone, human or animal, that needed help Debbie or “GMA” was there for them, no questions asked. There was no way someone would go hungry or be cold if she had anything to do with it! Debbie also loved music, baking and cooking, word puzzles, mahjong, and was an avid knitter and a genius with crochet hooks.
Debra is preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Edward John Anderson, Robin Michael Anderson, and Paul Richard Anderson, her sister Oleta Taylor, and her eldest daughter, Elizabeth Hidinger (Novo). She is survived by her brothers, Gilbert “Bim” Franklin Anderson and Gregory Carl Anderson, her beloved husband of 49 years Joseph Michael Novo, daughter Andrea Gargano, and son Michael Novo. She had 5 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren: Granddaughter Katherine Anne Garcia and her husband Cherokee Garcia, and great-grandchildren Angel Rose Garcia, Zoe Faith Serenity Garcia, and Alexander Nathaniel Garcia; grandaughters Silvia Cassandra Rose Hidinger-Novo; Marissa Caldera and her husband Jacob Caldera and great-grandchildren Eve Faith Caldera, Gabrielle Hope Caldera, Abigail Love Caldera, and Eliot Peace Caldera; and her grandsons Markus Anthony Lane Novo-Hidinger and Francesco “Frankie” James Gargano.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in her memory, please visit the floral store for Steed-Todd.