Debbie Wolinksy

Debra S. Wolinsky

Indianapolis - Debra S. Wolinsky, 66, of Indianapolis, passed away on Monday, May 18, 2020.

Born on April 22, 1954 in Ithaca, NY, Debbie graduated from West Lafayette High School in 1972, earned a B.S. from Indiana University in Education in 1976 and a M.S. from Butler University in 1978.

Throughout her lifetime, Debbie established herself as a true champion of underserved youth and causes that impact communities.  She served Indianapolist Public Schools (IPS) as an award winning teacher for more than 40 years, teaching mathematics and special education.   A portion of her career was spent at Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis, teaching children who were hospitalized for long term care.  She was instrumental in the development of numerous fundraising programs to support a wide range of charitable interests.

Debbie was responsible for launching the Riley Children's Hospital Holiday Cards sales program. She also helped start Extinguish the Need, a program which set up a warehouse of materials for families to replace items lost in house fires.

One of Debbie's greatest joys was her engagement as founding Key Club advisor at Broad Ripple High School. There, she started a volunteer program from scratch, building one of the most dynamic groups in metropolitan school history, receiving global acclaim.

Debbie orchestrated the Bracelets for the Cure which generated over $250,000 for Indiana University to begin the Breast Cancer Tissue Bank which is now called the Komen Tissue Bank. The Tissue Bank was the first of its kind in the world and contributed significantly to research in the prevention, treatment and cure of breast cancer.

Under her mentorship, students learned the value of giving of their time, treasures and talents to make their communities a better place in which to live. She donated countless hours of her time to the numerous projects that her students were involved in as she taught them the meaning of service.

For her efforts, Debbie earned a Daily Point of Light honor for her work in supporting the Broad Ripple High School Key Club and then she received the Key of Honor award from Key Club International for her numerous contributions to the organization.

Debbie's greatest passions included her family, world travel, Indiana University sports, active participation for more than 30 years in a local book club that created lasting memories and friendships and Geocaching in which she utilized the activity as both an experiential and educational tool. She was a beloved daughter, sister, niece, aunt, cousin, and friend.

Debbie is preceded in death by her niece Brittney Wolinsky. Surviving along with her parents Sheila and Joseph Wolinsky, West Lafayette, IN are her siblings Kharry Wolinsky, Arlington, VA; Becca Galante (Gus), Munster, IN; Michael Wolinsky, Indianapolis, IN; Julie Wolinsky (Homi Arabshahi), Arlington, VA; and six nephews and nieces; Alex Galante, Sara Galante, Eric Galante, Garon Wolinsky, Danny Arabshahi and Andy Arabshahi.

Due to restrictions, a private graveside service will be held at Sons of Abraham Cemetery in Lafayette.

Memorial contributions may be made to Indy Reads at or by check to Indy Reads, 40 East Saint Clair Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204 or to The Village of Merici, 5707 Lawton Loop East Drive Box 22, Indianapolis, IN 46216 or to a .Published in the Journal & Courier from May 20 to May 21, 2020

Her classmate Peter Bray - stated:  I was impressed by her contributions to the community.


Just as my friend Peggy Arnett recently lost her brother, we lost our oldest sister, Debbie some time Monday, May 18.

It's hard to believe that she has left us, but it was her time and she left behind a life's work of helping, teaching and inspiring kids that sometimes lived on the margins of our community.

Debbie was humble, yet was recognized for her accomplishments many times. She was proud of the people she touched and treated them as if they were family.

We certainly had our differences.   She preached politically from the left and I normally found myself coming from the right.

But we knew that we would be there for each other when it was necessary.

And, we both cared deeply about human beings, regardless of race, religion or ethnic origin.   As Debbie passed, I thought of losing my friend Dennis Kasey not too far back  as well.

They both were kind, committed people who cared deeply about people.

@Dennis Kasey and my sister Debbie Wolinsky left this world as truly "wealthy" human beings.

** Mike Wolinsky **

I am very saddened to hear of the death of Debbie Wolinsky.   We were in Hebrew School together in West Lafayette, Indiana for several years along with her older sister.   I had a crush on her (never revealed - inappropriate due to our age difference) in those years.   She was a very nice girl - back then.

I know little of her adult life, though her parents told me of her recently.  I gather that she taught at Broad Ripple High School in Indianapolis.

Debbie's parents are wonderful people!   They already had to deal a few years ago with the loss of a granddaughter.   This obviously is a huge shock for them!

The Wolinsky family has always been most kind to my family and I appreciate them a lot.   Sheila,  Debbie's mother, was a good friend of my father's.   After Sheila had a severely broken leg, which totally incapacitated her, my father visited her.   When my father was very ill before his death, Sheila strongly supported my father.

I am shocked and saddened!   I can only wish the best for those who loved and cared for Debbie and her family.  -  George Marx

May 21, 2020 - I found the funeral both very moving and I cried a lot.   Each family member that spoke was very strong and clear in their message.   Getting to know the Wolinsky Family a little better was very easy to do.  It was so clear that they have a lot of strength, passion, and a great caring for each other and others beyond their immediate family.   In the talking after the ceremony Julie Wolinsky was an able, caring facilitator.

It was wonderful to see and hear some of the Broad Ripple community so caring and so appreciative of Debbie and her family.

I am filled with feelings - words fail me.   - George - 


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