Deb died peacefully at home surrounded by family and friends. She met death with joyous expectation and peace.  At age 68 she had been living with breast cancer for the past almost 8 years.

Deb was born April 8, 1954, in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and grew up both there and in Sarnia, Ontario. Deb’s career was rich with wonderful experiences starting with her nursing education in Stratford Ontario. She then went on to study midwifery in Edinburgh, Scotland hoping to come back to Canada to work toward getting the profession of midwifery recognized here in Canada and BC. Deb worked in both Vancouver and finally in Victoria.

Deb was a highly respected Registered Nurse and then Registered Midwife. She was the co-founder of the Midwifery Demonstration Project at BC Women’s Hospital, culminating in the regulation of Midwifery in BC and a Clinical Assistant Professor with the UBC Faculty of Medicine. Deb began her midwifery practice in Victoria in 1998.  Deb has mentored nurses and midwives into Midwifery with profound wisdom, respect, and humour.

She is greatly loved by her family and a multitude of friends throughout the world. She will be deeply missed by those who were so fortunate to know her. She wanted it said that: “I died; not just passing on and not saying goodbye; rather to say that I will see you all down the road later when we can all be together again.”

Deb has many fabulous friends and relatives but most importantly she is survived by her husband Jim Havens, her son Jamie and his wife Alex and two adorable grand rascals Jack (7) and Oliver (5).  Deb loved you all so much and wished she could have reached out to many of you personally.

Condolences may be offered to family below.

McCall Gardens

  • Melissa

    Deb was there for the births of my three youngest children; Phoenix, Luca, and Charlie, and I am so grateful for her kind and calm loving presence.
    Thank you for everything Deb.

  • Janet Millican

    Dearest Deb,

    I thought I’d write some thoughts down. I wanted to share them with you while you are with us, not afterwards.

    You have been a powerful influence in my life from the day I met you. You have a legacy of love to leave here on earth, and there isn’t a greater legacy than that of love! You have blessed so many lives in all walks of your life—not only with Jim, and that in itself was pretty great, but with all of your family—and I feel enormously proud to count myself family—within your profession, in your friendships and other relationships, in your daily walk and talk. You are ever so thoughtful and kind, compassionate and caring, totally unselfish and of such a generous nature, you are! Your leadership—again in all walks of life; your integrity. You always had an incredible energy and enthusiasm for life. And talented… so many talents and shared freely.

    You provided a center and kept us all together. (Of fondest memories are the gatherings when we were treated to the Deb embrace.) And when I think about it, you leave so much good with us that we can never be without you. I know Bud will always have your loving embrace and presence, as will those of us who know you.

    Your journey, in a sense, is just beginning, continuing on to greater heights. We will always know you and meet up again, Yippee!!!

    When I think of you, Deb, it is a time to celebrate! You have taught us how to celebrate life, so we’ll Celebrate with you, yes we will!

    We will feel sadness and grief, I’m sure, but when we get past that, we will have the gift of you, wonderful you‼️

    THANK YOU for being part of my life, THANK YOU for so much—I can think of so many times and instances when you were there, where you just shared love and gifts and You in just the right way. …and your understanding of people, of what and how to give, of always helping to solve a problem, or a better way to do something. I have so many warm memories of you and the many kindnesses you shared, and how nice it was to be with you. I’m sitting here smiling, smiling at the thought of you♥️

    With all the sad moments we will feel and the thoughts of missing you, I know it will be replaced by so much more because of the gifts you leave with each of us. And knowing the best gift of all was You❣️

    THANK YOU sweet Deb! THANK YOU‼️♥️♥️♥️

    Love you so much,

    Janet and SeaniePooh

  • Vanessa Wood

    Deb will always hold a special place in our hearts. The love, guidance and knowledge that she shared with my husband and I through our 2 pregnancies in 2001 and then again in 2003 were a gift. We will hold her in our memories forever, may she now Rest In Peace.

  • Jeffrey

    So sad to hear this news. Deb was such a calming presence for both my wife and I during and after all four of our pregnancies. Can’t imagine what that period of time would have been like without her. She will always be in the memories of our family’s formative years and her smiling face remembered in the baby photographs of all our children.

  • Maureen Heys

    Deb, you were always a pleasure to work with. Your dedication to midwifery was so admirable. I will always remember your sweet smile and kindness. My heartfelt condolences to your family.

  • Fran E. Martin

    My sincere condolences to Jim, her family and her many well loved friends.
    We shared many wonderful experiences and I have beautiful memories of a dear friend and colleague.

  • Terry/Sallie Cowgill

    Our sincere condolences to you Jim and to your family. We remember and think of Deb’s warm smile, easy laugh, and welcoming hug whenever we had the opportunity to visit with you both. We pray for God’s comfort and peace for you in the days ahead. Love, Terry and Sallie

  • Melanie Basso

    My heart is broken at the loss of a beloved colleague mentor and midwife for the birth of our sons. Deb was the epitome of confidence and knowledge in the care of birthing women. I learned so much from you and mourn your passing.

  • Beverley Buchinski

    So very saddened to hear of Deb’s passing. She was a terrific nurse and midwife. Deb was an inspirational mentor from the first time I met her in August 1982 as a newly graduated RN at BC Women’s Hospital in the labour and delivery unit.
    Sending condolences to her family and friends.
    Deb will be missed.

  • Rina Chase

    This is so hard to believe. I worked with you as a nurse for several years. You were always so positive and caring for all those moms. And you remained positive going through what you just did from all the comments I read. Yes one day we will meet again in a different place. God was waiting for your help in that other world. I feel for the family you had to leave but I know you taught them to accept and cope with whatever any day brings us. God bless you all. Rina

  • Elizabeth Ryan

    Dearest friend and colleague, you are now at peace. I will miss you terribly but I have many fond memories of our working together, traveling, and just hanging out. I will definitely miss the girl talks. I know Jim and family will miss you. Everytime I sip on a martini I know you will be having one also.
    Deb, you were a butterfly, we are the flowers, and you came to touch us all.

    With love, laughter and light Liz Ryan

  • Maggie Ramsey

    My sincere condolences to Deb’s family and all who loved her. She will be missed and remembered with great respect by those of us whose lives she touched. Kind Regards, Maggie Ramsey

  • Rhonda Nelson Mills

    My mother, Dorothea Derringer Nelson and I are so heartbroken to learn of Deb’s too soon passing. We shed some tears over her niece and my cousin as we discussed what a wonderful woman she was. We have so many special memories of Debbie as a child, teenager and adult. I was so happy when Debbie moved to Sarnia. It was fantastic having a cousin living in the same city and province as me. I felt like I had a big sister!
    The world has benefited from having her in the world and she truly will be missed. Our condolences to her loving husband , Jim and his family.

  • Erin O'Sullivan

    Deb was both a trusted colleague and, most memorably, my RM care provider during my pregnancy. I will always be grateful for the lessons and care she generously shared.

  • Alicia

    Deb was an incredible member of our maternity community both as a provider and in a leadership position. Working with her was a pleasure and an honor and my heartfelt condolences to her family.

  • Aisia Salo

    I learned so much from Deb throughout my fourth year of midwifery school and my first year of practice (2007). I still think of the things she taught me after all these years. She will be missed. Condolences to her family and friends.

  • Nicola Campbell

    Deb helped deliver my son Owen in September 2012 & I was just so incredibly grateful to have her there with us through that process. She brought such a calm, kind energy to the experience as well as a great sense of humour, she helped us smile even when things were hard. I felt so fortunate to have her wisdom & wealth of knowledge with us to help bring our son into the world. She was a remarkable woman who touched so many lives. My sincere condolences to all of her family & close friends.

  • Bev & Dave Ripley

    Dear Jim, we are saddened to hear this news. Deb was such a wonderful loving partner for you, and a wonderful role model for many. Lots of happy memories were made during her life for you and your family, and for others fortunate to have known her.
    Sending much love, Hugs, Bev and Dave.

  • Nell and Morgan

    Dear Deb, you will always be fondly remembered for your clear and compassionate presence. Rest in peace.

    Dear Jim, sympathy and prayers to you and your family.

  • Heather Nelson

    Heartfelt condolences to Deb’s husband and family.
    As a midwife in Victoria, I benefited from Deb’s staunch advocacy for the profession, both before legislation, and within the Island Health Authority as Co-Head of the Midwifery Department.
    May you all find solace together while you grieve, remembering Deb and all she contributed, to you as a family and to the midwifery community.

  • Lou Ann Kitchin

    So sorry for your loss. Deb loved her family and was always talking about her grandson’s.
    Jim, any time you want to talk give David and I a call.
    I knew Deb since we were 10 years old. We were in Lionettes (drum and bugle corp), high school, high school band, and travelled Britain together. Deb and I were in a quartet with our horns and won 2 medals. I will miss our talks reminiscing our activities.
    Deb knew nursing and midwifery. She was very smart. I always thought she could have been a doctor.
    My whole family thought a lot of Deb.
    Love you Deb, always.

  • Natalie Hicken

    This is a huge loss to the midwifery community. I had the honour of joining the Victoria midwifery world in early 2013 with Deb at the helm. Her grace and poise will not be forgotten.

  • Astrid Fritzsche

    Deb was my teacher during my final year of midwifery school and so much of who I became as a midwife is from her tutelage. I am so grateful! My condolences to Jim and her family.

  • Julie Scholes

    Dear Deb
    You were an inspiration and a wonderful, empowering midwife, manager and woman.
    It was a privilege to have worked with you in the midwifery program.
    My sincere condolences to all your family

  • Myrna McLean

    I am so very sorry to hear of my Dear Friend’s passing .From our time in Stratford [nursing school…studies and shenanigans],to our trip to the East coast [between the year of study…
    and 4 flat tires] ,to the flat in Edinburg Scotland and the tour North in our ‘rent a wreck’, Deb and I enjoyed growing ‘up’ together .I am so happy she followed me to Victoria B.C., as this is where her career and her love, Jim, found her. I miss you with all my heart.I will be seeing you down that road later, Deb [as we always have] ,where we can once again, be together.

  • Jeanne

    A very beautiful friend gone to soon. I will miss you . Until we meet again .

  • Sandra & Mike Barnes

    Dear Jim, so very sorry to hear news of Deb. I am so pleased we had the B.C women’s hospital get together a few years ago and I got to see Deb and all the special people in her life. I remember Deb being so supportive and caring from the day I started at Grace Hospital. A great friend who was so much fun. Jim I hope thinking of Deb makes you smile more than cry she would like that. Deb had such a beautiful smile. Our thoughts are with you Jim & your family & friends

  • Michelle Labossiere

    Deb is a light that will continue to shine within the hearts of all who knew her. Wishing you good healing and peace Jim.

  • Paula Schikkerling

    I was so lucky to have known Deb as a friend and a midwifery preceptor. Deb embodied grace and calm. She was generous with her time and always open to teaching and learning. When she retired, she passed a lot of her equipment to me, so I get to carry many of her tools to work every day. I was so very fond of her. I’m so sad to hear of her passing and so grateful to have known her. All my love to you, Jim.

  • Barbara Uniewski

    I had the privilege of knowing Deb through our breast cancer journey at Inspire Health. I will never forget our yoga mat support sessions. I feel lucky to have spent time with you. May you Rest In Peace Deb.

  • Sylvia Spayne

    Dear Deb,
    I am so glad to have worked with you on and off through the last 30 + years both as a nurse and as a midwife… It was always a lot of fun! Your adventurous and pioneering spirit will live on and I will never forget your twinkling smile.
    Sincere condolences to your husband Jim, your family and your many close friends.

  • Regine Tatchell

    I am very sorry for your loss,Jim. I know how you feel and it will take time for you to heal. I am so grateful for having you and Deb in my life, and my heartfelt condolences go to you and your families. Deb no longer suffers and she is always looking after you up there. Lots of love to you and Deb.

  • Liz Grose

    I am so sorry to hear about Deb’s passing. Deb was one of my preceptors in midwifery school, and without her amazing tutelage, warmth, and understanding, I would not be the midwife that I am today. I often think of Deb when I am at a birth and ask myself quietly, “What would Deb do”. Deb is and was the kind of person/midwife we need more of on this planet. She was patient, kind, and able to meet people where they were at with love and acceptance. Her sense of humour was sharp and witty, which often helped during those longer labours. The last time I saw Deb was in 2016 as she had come up to the Comox Valley for a visit. She stopped by and gave me a great pearl of wisdom, as she often did. She told me to take great care of myself and to make sure that I extended myself beyond midwifery. I will never forget Deb Little, her presence is always with me.

  • Ann Vargas

    I always admired Deb for her calm, loving, wise and positive nature. She was a wonderful sister-in law to me and aunt to my children. May she truly rest In peace now. My heart goes out to you, Jim, so sorry for your loss.

  • Kristina Bouris

    Sending love and strength to Deb’s family, colleagues and the many people she touched in Victoria and beyond. I was lucky to have Deb, along with Luba and Julia, as the midwifery team for the birth of my son Amos 14 years ago. I remember her calm, steady, down to earth care and so looked forward to those appointments with her. Thank you, Deb. Your legacy lives on in the strong parents, children and midwives you helped nurture.

  • Cindy

    Sincerest condolences to Deb’s loved ones. Deb delivered my first child almost 14 years ago today. As a new mum I felt so fortunate to have her as my midwife; her genuine care during such a momentous time in my life will never be forgotten. My family is so grateful for knowing her. Rest In Peace.

  • Allyson Ell

    Deb was my midwife for my two oldest children, as well as being a support during the a pregnancy loss. She was calm, kind, and reassuring to all of us families. We send so much love to her family and friends.

  • Sarah Bjorgan

    I am so very grateful to Deb and her Midwifery peers who brought about legislated Midwifery to BC. I was lucky to have Deb attend me for the birth of my second child and now I am a Midwife, partly thanks to her. My condolences to her family. I know she will be missed.

  • Avrael Perreault

    I’m so sorry to hear of Deb’s passing. She was a truly lovely woman and midwife. I was honoured to have her at two of my home births.

  • Linda McPherson

    Deb’s death leaves a void for those of us who knew her that cannot be replaced — she was that special.
    All of my love to Jim, Jamie & Alex, the boys, other family members, and the very many friends Deb had.
    I love her last order — it is so in keeping with her spirit and positive outlook on life.

  • Betty Poag

    Deb was my dear friend for 40+ years and I had the privilege and pleasure to work with her as a nurse at BC Women’s Hospital, and when she began her midwifery practice, I maintained a wonderful friendship with her over these many years. Deb was an extraordinary woman, mentor, friend, and colleague. She and Jim introduced my husband and I and we are both heartbroken at her loss. She was Jim’s rock and our north star. I am grateful to have known her, called her friend, and been within her orbit over these many years.

    Dearest Deb,
    May your spirit feel
    The surge of true delight
    When the veil of the visible
    Is raised, and you glimpse again
    The living faces
    Of departed family and friends.
    May there be some beautiful surprise
    Waiting for you inside death,
    Something you never knew or felt,
    Which with one simple touch
    Absolves you of all loneliness and loss,
    As you quicken within the embrace
    John O’Donohue

  • Frank Walczak

    Jim, I’m truly saddened to learn of Deb’s passing. Lovely lady. Will miss her. May she rest in peace.
    My thoughts are with you.

  • Suzanne Evans

    Oh Jim! My heart breaks for you! Enjoyed the few times we got together with you and Deb!
    You were her rock! Lots of love coming your way…. Suzanne and Tom (Deanna’s friends living in Prince Rupert)

  • Paul Ryan

    So sad to hear of Deb’s passing.
    We met Deb & Jim on a couple of occasions and enjoyed their generous hospitality.
    Vale Deb
    Paul & Mary (Aust)

  • Garry Foster

    So sorry to hear this Jim. My sweet thoughts and heartfelt condolences go to you and your families. I know she was so courageous and you both fought so strongly for years. Love to all and know she is very happy and peaceful now.

  • Lyanne

    I joined the midwifery department in 2012 after two years in Victoria as a student. Although Deb was never my preceptor, I still learned so much from her, and I will always treasure the warm welcome she gave me, both as a student and as my department head. Deb faced so many challenges with grace, and the way she faced life, and death, is truly inspiring.

    On a more practical level, Deb’s old pap table is now in my clinic, though I have never been as successful as she was in disguising it as a decorative table. 🙂

    I feel lucky to have known her. She will be missed.

  • Len and Lorraine Mason

    May you rest in peace Deb. You contributed a life of doing good.Now all your worldly troubles of illness have come to a peaceful end. We will miss your yearly Christmas letter. To Jim,although we never met in person. Remember the good times. They surely outnumber the bad. She will be a guardian angel watching over your family. Sincerest condolences Len and Lorraine Mason( Len is a brother to June Hoffart, or first cousins to Deb.}

  • Judith Fyer

    I have the privilege of calling Deb my friend for 40 years, from our nursing days in Vancouver and continuing in Victoria.
    Your wisdom taught me so much about life. I will remember with love our times spent together, working, sailing, Mexico and so many fun times in Victoria
    I will relish in those memories, till we meet again down the road, my beautiful friend
    Judith Dyer

  • Larry vaught

    Deb was my sister in law, though only met her about 13 years ago. She was very supportive of me as an “out of network” family member. She was always very inclusive of me within the family network, which I was very grateful for.
    She did not succumb to petty annoyances, and saw the big picture at all times.
    I often sought her advice on personal and professional matters because I trusted her and she was
    so “balanced” in her judgement. We had many good times esp
    in Palm Springs and otherwise.
    We had the same birthday, which I think made our connection all the more interesting and even mysterious.
    She was definitely a unique and an irreplaceable person, who positively impacted many of us.

  • Trevere M LeFeuvre

    Dear Friend Jim, my sincere condolences on the passing of your loving wife Deb, may she rest in peace .


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