DEBORAH Armenti and I worked in the same data processing unit at USF&G;, both of us as technical writers.
I met her early in 1988, not long after I had started working at USF&G; and only shortly after my first daughter, Anna, was born.
One of my concerns at that time had been finding a reliable day care provider. My wife had recently gone back to work after 12 weeks of maternity leave, and we were not able to find somebody we could trust to care for the baby while we were at our jobs. After two distressing situations with sitters who lasted only a few weeks each, Deborah told me of a lady in her neighborhood with whom she left her own children -- then 3 and 6 years old -- and provided an introduction for us.
Deborah was a good friend and an interesting conversationalist. Both of us majored in philosophy as undergraduates, and it was fun to talk to somebody about such arcane topics as Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason" or Bertrand Russell's influence on Ludwig Wittgenstein. She took it further than I, doing graduate work in the subject, and I found her insights intriguing and stimulating, her knowledge broad and deep.
During her last year of life I was intermittently in touch with her and Bob; we offered our modest support, aware that she was in a great deal of pain, aware of the hardships for the whole family as cancer spread through her body. We will miss Deborah, but we are grateful for the friendship we shared with her.