Debra Roop Smrchek, 70, of Longs, South Carolina, passed away peacefully, among family on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. She was born on November 8, 1947, in Roanoke, Virginia, to the late Wilford Hugh and Juanita Greenway Roop.
Debra graduated from Roanoke College in 1970. She attended Virginia Tech where she met her future husband, Jerry Carl Smrchek, also a biology graduate student. She received a Master of Science degree in 1974 and during 1973-1974, she was a substitute teacher for Montgomery and Roanoke County schools.
After moving to Olney, Maryland, later in 1974, Debra was briefly associated with the Smithsonian Institution in aquatic entomology. She became a biology teacher in 1975 at the Academy of the Holy Cross, located in Kensington, Maryland. She spent 33 years there, becoming Chairperson of the Science Department. She loved teaching and working with students, and was always there helping students in any way she could.
Debra was a recipient of the Sigma Xi outstanding teacher award in 2000. She was also an AHC coach in the annual Chesapeake Bay Bowls, and in 2002 she coached the AHC team to a second place finish. In 2008, she retired and relocated in 2009 to Longs, SC, with her spouse.
Debra is survived by her husband of 45 years, Jerry Carl Smrchek of Longs; son, Darrin Carl Smrchek (Melissa) of Olney, MD; daughter, Lauren Smrchek Beltran (Vincent) of Longs; and a granddaughter, Madison Harper Beltran.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Debra’s name be made to a charity of their choice. Burial will take place at a later date, at Sherwood Memorial Park in Salem, Virginia. McMillan-Small Funeral Home of Myrtle Beach is compassionately assisting the family.