Sylvia Mary (Proto) Debney, 70, Barrington


Sylvia Mary (Proto) Debney, age 70 of Barrington and formerly of Bristol, passed peacefully away on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, surrounded by her loving family.

She was a registered nurse and had retired from the Rhode Island Department of Health after working for 25 years as a nursing care evaluator.  She had earned her bachelor of science degree from Salve Regina University, graduating with high honors.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Beatrice (Moran) Proto.

She is survived by three children, Donna Abenante and her partner Benjamin Miller, Kelly Debney and Kim Debney; one much beloved grandson, Jacob Andrew Abenante; and seven sisters, Noreen Bonsanti and her husband Daniel, Bernice Pezzullo and her husband Vincent, Lois Proto, Patricia Ernst and her late husband Vincent, Joann Collins and her husband Charles, and Anne Marie Orefice and her husband Peter.  She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

She loved photography, to read, to laugh, to travel and could always be heard cheering at her grandson's hockey games.  She will be missed greatly by all that had the honor of knowing her.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 25 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 141 State St., Bristol.

Visiting hours will preceed the Mass Friday afternoon at 2 in the Sansone Funeral Home, 192 Wood St., Bristol.

Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Home and Hospice Care of RI, 1085 North Main Street, Providence, RI  02904 or online at or to the Alzheimer's Association, 245 Waterman St., Suite 306, Providence, RI  02906 or online at   For online condolences, shared memories, information and directions go to


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