Deborah Gude Lord, 85, of Cape Porpoise, entered into her eternal reward Thursday, Janu. 12, 2023 at Southern Maine Health Center in Biddeford with her loving family at her side.

Debbi, to those who knew and loved her, was born April 22, 1937, in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Granville and Bessie Meade Gude. She received her undergraduate degree in music from the University of Maryland, where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, and later earned her master’s degree in social work from Boston University.

It was during a return to the states via the Nieuw Amsterdam cruise ship, when the ship’s captain seated several single ladies and gentlemen together at a special table for dinner, that she met the love of her life, William Lord.

While residing in New York City, she taught music to young students at a Manhattan private school. Following a move to Boston in 1993 and earning her master’s degree, she worked with Boston’s Head Start for two years as a social worker.

Moving to Kennebunkport in 1995 to be closer to family, she and Bill settled in Cape Porpoise, quickly becoming active in the community.

It was important to Debbi to be an active member of a faith community. While residing in College Park, Maryland, she was organist and choir director with the Episcopal Church of College Park, which is the church she and Bill were married in, with the choir she led singing in her wedding. In New York and Boston, she was a Stephens Ministry volunteer, and locally as a member of Church on the Cape, where she served as substitute organist, formed the Ministry of Caring which still has a deep impact for church and community members, along with other boards and committees.


She also served on the Board of Visiting Nurses of Southern Maine, and among the first board of directors for Gosnell Memorial Hospice House, as the idea of a hospice house grew into the design/build phase in Scarborough.

The Maasai children of Tanzania occupy a special place in her heart. She and her husband, after visiting the celebration of setting the rock foundation, became initial supporters of the Endupoto Primary School – a true ‘Miracle in the Bush’ some 50 miles outside of Arusha, Tanzania.

Survivors include her loving husband of 61 years, William Lord of Cape Porpoise, children Barb Oliphant of South Riding, Virginia, Ann Burgh of Mason, Ohio, John Lord of Washington, D.C., and Susan Lord-Peters of Greenwich, Connecticut, a brother, William Gude of Middletown, Maryland. Grandchildren Meaghan Herman, Quinlan Bergh, Kate Oliphant, Kenzie Grant, Cassidy Bergh, William Fox Lord, and Jeremiah Herman; and two great-grandchildren Harper and Hudson Herman.

A Celebration of Debbi’s incredibly full life will take place in June of 2023, when all her family will be able to gather, at Church on the Cape, Cape Porpoise, and announced by Bibber Memorial Chapel, Kennebunk.

Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to : Christ Episcopal Church, Attention: Endupoto School, 254 E Putnam Ave., Greenwich, CT 06830.

To leave a message of condolence, please visit Debbie’s Book of Memories at

Arrangements are entrusted to Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer St., Kennebunk.

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