Deborah Ann Collins Krages, lovingly known as Debbie, 68, of Fellsmere, Florida, passed away at home on April 8th, 2021 in Fellsmere, Florida surrounded by her loving family.
Debbie was born on April 9th, 1952 to Maurice (Moe) and Ruth Collins in West Palm Beach, Florida. After graduating high school, she worked for Florida National Bank and started her family with her first husband Robert (Robbie) Hanson, raising together their daughters, Brooke & Michelle. In 1979, she moved north to Sebastian, Florida and by 1980, was hired as the City Clerk by the City of Sebastian. It was through her work with the City that she met, fell in love and married her second husband Newt Krages in 1982 to whom she remained married for 39 years. In 1985, she gave birth to her third daughter, Nicole and in 1986, briefly returned to the banking world with Barnett Bank in the Miracle Mile Plaza in Vero Beach, Florida. By 1988, she was offered and accepted the opportunity to become Fellsmere’s City Clerk.
During her 32 year tenure as Fellsmere’s City Clerk, she dedicated her career to building a prosperous city that would have the structures in place to allow it to continue to grow long after her retirement. As Clerk, Debbie was a force to be reckoned with. If you did any business with the City, you knew Debbie! She witnessed her beloved Fellsmere grow from a small 2,100 resident ‘town’ to a 5,700 resident full fledged ‘city.’ Debbie oversaw changes to the City’s charter that established a new City Council structure consisting of five members including the Mayor, all led by a City Manager. She was instrumental in helping to develop the foundation of the Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival. During the Festival and into the night, you would find her tucked away in the cold basement of the Old Fellsmere School building counting the profits and securing the finances of the event. Her friends and colleagues recall many of those late nights being filled with lots of laughs while snacking on all the fried foods that were being cooked around them. If you were to ask Debbie what her favorite part of being the City Clerk was, she would instantly reply, ‘overseeing our local elections.’ She was well known for her depth and breadth of knowledge as well as her innate ability to recall historical information. She was instrumental in creating procedures that ensured smooth transitions of elected officials within the City Chambers.
Debbie was a loving wife and mother. Her family is eternally grateful for all the memories and laughs they shared with her over the years. Many of her younger daughters’ friends called her ‘Mom’ which she wore as a badge of honor with a smile on her face. Debbie made it her life’s mission to improve the lives of others by supporting them in good times and in bad, encouraging their passions and being by their side during hardships.
Debbie was preceded in death by her loving parents Maurice (Moe) and Ruth Collins, and is survived by her husband Newt, her daughters Brooke (Patrick), Michelle (Dean) and Nicole (Chris), her 5 grandchildren; Sophia, Ethan, Ryleigh, Adam & Carter; her sister Lynn Carlton and nephews Bryan & Brent Yohe.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to VNA Hospice of Indian River (or your local VNA Hospice) or directly to The Boys & Girls Club of Fellsmere, Florida.
Debbie’s family would like to extend sincere thanks and appreciation for all the love and support that you’ve given her throughout the years and have also given them during their time of mourning. Online condolences may be left at www.millenniumcremationservice.com.
Our caring professionals are here to assist you and your family during this difficult time. We are available 24 hours, 7 days a week to assist in immediate arrangements or pre-arrangements.
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