Debra Liggett

Obituary of Debra Nogan Liggett

D.J. (Debra Jean) Nogan Liggett, 67, of Stormstown died Monday at home, May 10, 2021 with her husband Ned and closest friends by her side. Born in Amityville, NY to Robert E. (Bob) and Lois Jean (Hoover) Nogan on December 17, 1953, she was known as Deb or Debbie to family but as DJ or Deej throughout her work and social life. She spent most of her childhood in Wilkes Barre, Pa. and summers at the family cottage at Harveys Lake. She was adventurous and struck out on her own after graduating high school and moved to Pittsburgh, PA., a city she loved – it's inhabitants, activity and especially its sports teams. It was there that she met the love of her life, Ned Liggett. They were married in a small ceremony at Phipps Conservatory on September 26, 1981. Their marriage was the definition of love and respect and even when they weren't next to each other in a room it was still obvious to everyone they were together. They moved to Houston Texas to pursue other opportunities. DJ had many stories of the hotel that she managed, humidity, and the "big hair" and make-up, popular at the time. She enjoyed trips to Galveston, Austin, San Antonio, Santa Fe and Taos, Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain National Park. She enjoyed watching the millions of bats flying out of Carlsbad Caverns at dusk but wasn't as keen on the 2 mile hike down into the cave the next morning. Blame the husband. DJ and Ned enjoyed road trips, usually with National Parks or other natural areas as destinations. She would lobby for a decent accommodation, he preferred primitive camping sites. Sometimes she'd settle for the campout if there was promise of a restaurant breakfast instead of campfire ashes in her scrambled eggs. (She wouldn't eat an egg unless it was unrecognizable.) After three years in the flatland heat she moved back to Pennsylvania and the Centre Region, first to Armagast Hollow, then Lemont and finally settling in Stormstown. She retired from the Centre Region Council of Governments in 2016 after 30 years. She worked in the administrative office and then as a local and regional Planner where she excelled at working with the public; communicated complex ideas concisely and clearly; initiated positive change in the community; and was a vocal advocate of affordable housing. For many years she was the first person you saw when you walked into COG and she greeted everyone with her beautiful smile and welcoming nature. DJ had a strong work ethic, sharp wit and compassion for those in need. She was a dog lover with an especially soft spot for her little Yorkie, Cozzy (shown in her lap above...that dog was like Velcro). She also loved wild bird life and was an avid watcher. She was an incredible listener which made her an exceptional wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, and friend. When you were with her, she was with you and nowhere else. She didn't speak much of herself and was always soft spoken. She never gossiped and when you told her a secret it stayed a secret. If you thanked her for that, she would reply it was not her story to tell. She loved macaroons from Colangelo's Bakery, coffee from Presto George, Prantl's Burnt Almond Torte, and dark chocolate. Emphasis on dark chocolate. One superpower she had was the ability to unwrap a chocolate bar, eat a small piece and set the rest aside for tomorrow. She hated lima beans....but we are all thankful for her guacamole recipe. She said that black coffee and two aspirin are the best cure for a headache. As for dating advice she believed all men had some type of fevered interest or "addiction". Her husband's was wine appreciation and old German cars but some have worse addictions so be glad when it's just wine and cars. Early on in the Pittsburgh days, if guys would ask for her number and wouldn't take "no" for an answer she would eventually relent and give them a number, only for them to find when they called it was for the local Pittsburgh Dial a Prayer. Her laugh was infectious and sparked episodes of laughter from others. She was an avid sports fan and cheered on the Penguins, "Stillers" and even the Pirates but her favorite athlete was Rafael Nadal. Apparently a composed and handsome Majorcan in clam diggers and tank top revealed a chink in her armor. She was a good cook but her husband said he married her for her meatloaf. She hosted many memorable dinners for her local friends and the Government Gurlz. She was an inaugural member of the Happy Valley Hookers and crocheted many "blankies" for friends to welcome little ones into this world. She loved trips to Lake Champlain (or Mosquito Camp as she called it), the house on the ocean in Gloucester, and the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix (refer back to men with car addictions). She loved the man with the car addiction with all her heart. When someone would ask what kind of car she drove she would reply "red". She had a mind like a steel trap. She remembered details and dates. We were thankful to have her to tell us the things we couldn't remember. She never forgot a birthday, anniversary, or significant date. Her ability to find the perfect card and gift for any occasion was only exceeded by her ability to wrap it so beautifully that there was always a moment of internal strife by the receiver to determine if it was more valuable wrapped or opened. She was a voracious reader and could read a different book on every floor of the house and keep them all straight. Her vocabulary was beyond impressive and many a Google search was conducted after a chat with her. She helped us all be more literate and see the world differently. She loved her family and stories about them were laced with love especially when talking about her nieces and nephews who many feel as though they know through her stories. Now that they are grown, she spoke lovingly with pride about their accomplishments and the adults they have become. She was humble, kind and never boastful. If you asked for advice, she gave it to you, but it didn't matter if you didn't follow it as she didn't try to change people, she loved them for who they were. She was the strongest person many of us will ever know. She encouraged people to be their "best selves". She never complained; lived life with a smile on her face and determination to make this world a better place despite the things that happened. Although afflicted by Rheumatoid Arthritis for over 40 years, and hampered by it, she refused to be defined by it. Her ability to "compartmentalize" pain was unexplainable. As mobility became more challenging she focused more on reading, bird watching, and maintaining contact with her friends and family. She will be sorely missed by many. She is preceded in death by her father Bob Nogan and Sister-in-law Sharon Sama (Liggett). She is survived by her husband Ned of 39 years, her mother Lois Nogan, sisters Kissy (Frank) Bogumil of Pittston, Pa. and Wendy John (Bill) of Ashley, Pa. Brother in laws Kent (Pete Erickson) of San Francisco, Geoff Liggett of Branford, Conn. and Sister-in-law Marleigh (Chris) Snow of Kennebunk, Maine and many nieces and nephews. There will be a celebration of her life at a later date. Memorial contributions can be made to Schlow Centre Region Library. Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome.com
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