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Ogdensburg Rescue Squad dedicates garden in memory of Debbie Abel

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The late Deborah J. Abel was remembered Thursday as someone good of heart who never stopped thinking of and caring about others.

The Debbie Abel Memorial Garden at the Ogdensburg Volunteer Rescue Squad was dedicated Thursday. Mrs. Abel, wife of squad member Charles F. Abel III, died of cancer in March 2012. She was 55.

Mr. Abel sat in the squad kitchen before the mid-morning dedication ceremony and remembered.

“This is nice,” he said. “This is going to be a pretty good day.”

The memorial, located outside the squad’s 1223 Pickering St. headquarters, is a bench set in a small brick courtyard. One hundred and fifty-four of the bricks are engraved with the names of donors to the squad’s ongoing fundraiser to help pay for the newly opened building.

The squad was just one of her beloved pet causes, said her brother, Keith R. Kuca of Morristown.

“It was Debbie who gave her time and energy,” Mr. Kuca said. “To the Step-By-Step people, the (Ogdensburg Zonta Club) Zontians, the Boys and Girls Club, the Neighborhood Center, the Seaway Festival, to our families.”

Squad emergency medical technician Colin Sayer remembered a good friend who reached out to support and sit with other cancer sufferers - including his wife.

“She was quite an inspiration to all of us,” he said.

That inspiration, Mr. Kuca remembered wistfully, washed all over the family.

“I know Debbie never forgot my birthday and I, with my wife Jill, we have seven children and never once did she not send a birthday card to them,” he said. “I wonder if Mom and Dad adopted Debbie from the Hallmarks.”

Charlie Abel got up from the table in the squad kitchen. The dedication ceremony was about to begin at his wife’s memorial garden.

On this pretty good day.

“This is something that is going to last,” Mr. Abel said.

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