As a grad student in Carl Wieman's group, I first met Debbie when she came to interview for the postdoc position at JILA. By the time I graduated, she and Brian DeMarco had fermi degenerate gasses of their own, and her astronomical rise had just begun. When I left for a postdoc with Christophe Salomon in the same area, John Bohn said, provocatively, "so, you are going to compete with Debbie..." "Surely not," I thought, "who could do that?". And indeed , when I gave invited talks on the subject, I often asked myself, "What would Debbie do?" She generously shared her results and explanations for those talks. I even sought inspiration in her clothing style, simple and elegant, knowing all along it took more than threads to give a talk like Debbie's, one that left the audience astounded with the subject's simplicity and compelling logic.
I was honored by her kindness to me last fall on my visit to Boulder, but had no idea it would be the last visit with her. I will miss her energy, her knowing smile that spoke volumes, her quick sense of humor. I am deeply saddened that she can no longer be present for her colleagues, friends, and students, and most of all for John and Jackie. I am grateful to have known her.