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Welcome to the memorial page for

Debra Lynn (Whiting) Abarca

May 12, 1965 ~ September 19, 2017 (age 52)

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Debbie passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 after a long battle with Metastatic Breast Cancer.  She was born to the late Russell Gary Whiting and Cheryl Ann Bidwell on May 12, 1965 in Palo Alto, CA.  In 1985, she married Hector J. Abarca and they became the parents of 9 beautiful children.  After years of being a full-time stay at home mom, she found her passion working as a Parent Partner with Aspiranet in Merced, supporting families in need.


Five years ago when Debbie first heard the words you have breast cancer, she never gave up hope and gave everything she had.  Cancer did not win this fight, she did!  Her strength and courage were admired by all who knew her.  Whether you knew her a lifetime or for just a moment - you could not help but be inspired by her positive attitude, faith and determination.

Debbie loved her family immensely.  Her children and grandchildren were everything to her.  She loved spending time with family and our family gatherings were something she looked forward to the most.  She enjoyed watching Lifetime movies, crafting and baking.   

Debbie is survived by her husband of 32 years Hector J. Abarca of Merced, CA; their children Joseph Abarca, Jessica Abarca, Andrea Ayala (William), Angela Rodriguez (Jesus), Alyssa Abarca (Johnny), Jason Abarca (Gabby), Jeremy Abarca (Seanna), and Angel Abarca; her 17 grandchildren - Jessica’s children Brenda, Roberto, Julian, Gabriel, Noah, Ruben, Dallas and Mary Isabel; Andrea’s children Desiree, WIlliam Jr., DeAngelo, Antonio and Romeo; Angela’s children Emilio and Xavier; Jason’s son Andrew and Jeremy’s son Xavior.  She is also survived by her mother Cheryl Bidwell of Sacramento, CA; her brother Gary Whiting (Jonathan) of Reno, NV, and sisters Lynda Kovalcheck (Keith) of Merced, CA and Marisa Bidwell-Davis (Tim), along with her nephews Michael, Craig and Scott Kovalcheck, nieces Naomi and Jasmine Davis and one great-niece Harper Kovalcheck.  

Debbie is preceded in death by her son Andrew Abarca, father Russell Whiting, step-father Michael Bidwell, brother Robert Bidwell and nephew Trevor Kovalcheck.

The family would like to thank Dr. Sidhu and the nurses of Mercy UC Davis Cancer Center for the care she received for the past 5 years, as well as Martha and Jill from Progressive Hospice.  A special thank you goes to Seanna Serna for singing “Dancing in the Sky” so beautifully at Debbie’s burial.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to support cancer research.

In a private service, Debbie was laid to rest with her son Andrew in God’s Acre of the Merced District Cemetery in Merced, California on September 23, 2017.  A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at Christian Life Center, 650 E. Olive Ave, Merced, CA, to celebrate the incredible woman who brought so much joy and kindness to every life she touched.

 Service Information

Celebration of Life
October 7, 2017

10:00 AM
Christian Life Center
650 E. Olive Avenue
Merced, CA 95340

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