Debra Ellen Noto

Durango resident Debra E. Noto died of ovarian cancer Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, in Durango. She was 58.

Mrs. Noto was born Oct. 29, 1954, to Keith and Dorothy Hartzell in Piqua, Ohio. She grew up and attended schools in Piqua, but moved to Albuquerque in 1976. There, she met her future husband, Steven Noto. They were married in 1981 in Bernalillo, N.M. The Notos lived in Rio Rancho until 2000, when they moved to Durango.

Mrs. Noto was an excellent mother, raising her children at home, her family said. She had an intense work ethic, and she truly took the steps to be Earth-friendly before it was popular, they said.

Mrs. Noto worked at Liquor World and Francisco’s Restaurant y Cantina in Durango. She enjoyed her work and helped and loved others passionately. She also frequently went to Trimble Hot Springs and was known as a “Trimble Turtle.”

While in the Albuquerque area, she was a member of the All Saints of North America Russian Orthodox Church. Her husband, Steve, remembers her as “truly life living.”

“She was strong-willed and passionate and was friendly to all,” he said. Mrs. Noto was also passionate and knowledgeable about music, especially rock ’n’ roll, as evidenced by her donation for a memorial brick at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.

When she found out she had cancer, she took on the fight forcefully.

“As she fought ovarian cancer, she became very knowledgeable and desired to help others as they fought the disease,” her family said.

Mrs. Noto’s mantra for cancer pre-screening was adopted from the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance: “Please, Take Action Early and Live!”

“Debra’s piece of advice for life is ‘live it,’” her family said.

Mrs. Noto is survived by her husband, Steven Noto of Durango; daughters Alexx Gallegos and Nicole Gould, both of Albuquerque, and Stephanie Noto of Rio Rancho, N.M.; sons Nick Noto of Durango and Anthony Noto of Louisville; sisters Brenda Hartzell and Cheryl Hartzell, both of Troy, Ohio; and four grandchildren.

Services are planned for a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, 901 E. St. NW, Suite 405, Washington, D.C. 20004.