In Memory of Deborah (Debbie) Lynn Bratt

Adoring wife, loving daughter and sister, overachieving employee, and outstanding poker player

12/14/60 – 9/21/10

Debbie Bratt was a force of nature – infectiously optimistic, enthusiastic, generous, caring, open and hardworking.

Debbie’s life ended unexpectedly on Tuesday, September 21. This loss has shaken the foundation of her family, loved ones, coworkers and friends.

Debbie and her husband, John Bratt, were ecstatically intertwined by a love that perfectly balanced devotion, independence, humor, respect, playfulness and responsibility. They met in a virtual poker room – she, in Ohio and he, in California – where John always sought her out because he liked her style. After several weeks at the PokerStars tables, John realized that “Darvay” was a woman, and the two immediately began their offline relationship. Soon after their first face-to-face, they made a gamble on love and, in 2005, Debbie moved to Visalia, CA to be with John. Less than two years later, they were married in Laughlin, NV.

In addition to John, Debbie is survived by her son, John L. Bratt, Jr., daughter-in-law, Cindy Bratt and granddaughter, Nicole Bratt; her father, Milton Arvay, and his companion, Rena Eagles, of Venice, FL; her sister, Linda Jaqua, and brother-in-law, John Jaqua, of Apex, NC; and her grandmother Mary Flemming of Miamisburg, OH. Debbie has a large extended family who will also miss her dearly.

Debbie loved the outdoors. She and her husband set up a seasonal camp outside Shaver every fall where they enjoyed hunting quail, deer and bear. She was an avid huntress who equally enjoyed the stake-out, the chase, and the glory of a post-hunt case of beer by the campfire with her beloved husband and her devoted dog, Obi Wan.

Filling a room with laughter was just one of her many skills. Debbie had an extraordinary ability to turn negative situations into positive ones. She also had a gift for instantaneously divining the best solution to just about any problem or conflict that arose. It’s a good thing she was right most of the time, because it was pretty hard to be on the winning side of a debate with Debbie. She took on the weight of the world and smiled all the while, saying, “Give me more. I have broad shoulders, I can handle it.”

Debbie’s approach to life was refreshing, inspiring and intoxicating (in more ways than one!) Her presence on this planet truly inspired a positive spin. In her honor, those who were fortunate to have known her must accept the responsibility to help fill the void of optimism left in this world with her departure. Debbie, you will be missed by all those you touched.

As a tribute to her generous spirit, the famous climbing sycamore tree at Kaweah Oaks Preserve will bear a plaque with her name on it. The majestic tree’s invitingly outstretched limbs will forever symbolize her embracement of life, beauty and love.

A private celebration of life will be held at the Kaweah Oaks Preserve on Saturday, October 2 at 2:00pm.

In lieu of flowers please make a donation to Sequoia Riverlands Trust by calling 559-738-0211, ext. 108, or donate directly online, in Debbie’s honor, at http://www.sequoiariverlands.org.
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