ROXBURY — Deborah Ann Chin passed away Saturday, September 7, 2019 at the age of 67 at home, surrounded by family, after a short battle with cancer.

Debbie was born April 17, 1952, in Chelsea, Mass., the daughter of Robert and Lee (MacElhiney) Rocheleau. She earned her bachelor's degree from Lesley University and held two master’s degrees from Southern Connecticut State University in early childhood education and library media studies.

She worked as an educator for 40 years in Western Massachusetts, South Bristol, Maine, and finally New Milford, where she taught for more than 34 of those years.

She was married to William Chin, a kind stranger on a motorcycle whom she met at a campground in Colorado while she was on a cross country trip in a VW Rabbit. After dating for two years, they were married on July 30, 1982 in Danvers, Mass., and they raised two children, Dr. Andrew Chin and Emily Chin.

Debbie loved reading and writing and had aspirations to become a children's author. She loved baking for family and friends and her cookies were often in high demand throughout the community.

Her musical tastes were formed in the 60s and early 70s where she frequented concerts by bands such as the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Queen, The Who and The Beatles. Perhaps her favorite pastime, however, was playing with and spoiling her granddaughter, Harper Chin.

She was preceded in death by her father, Robert, and mother-in-law, Mimi.

Besides her husband, William, she leaves her mother, Lee; her father-in-law, Don; her daughter, Emily; her son, Andrew and his wife, Dr. Kelly Palchik, and their daughter, Harper; her sister, Robin (Richard) Sternal; and her brothers, Jeffrey (Betty) Rocheleau, Dennis (Maria) Rocheleau, Richard (Terri) Rocheleau and John (Kathy) Rocheleau. With her in-laws' family combined, she had 29 nieces and nephews whom she loved very much.

The family would like to extend a special thanks to the doctors, nurses, CNAs, physical and occupational therapists and all others who provided care to Debbie over the past month with dignity and grace.

Funeral services will take place at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, September 14, at the Roxbury Congregational Church, 24 Church St., Roxbury.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Roxbury Scholarship Foundation, P.O. Box 106, Roxbury 06783, earmarked for the Deborah Chin Memorial Scholarship. Donations can also be made via the Roxbury Scholarship Foundation website at

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