Debra Healy Deem, 58, of Laguna Beach passed away on Aug. 28 after succumbing to injuries received in a tragic bike accident on Aug. 27, 2013.
Debra was born in St. Paul, Minn., and grew up in Southern California. She received her bachelor of arts degree magna cum laude from California State Polytechnic University of Pomona and a law degree from Loyola Law School. She practiced business law at Buchalter Nemer LLP.
Deem was selected a Southern California super lawyer in 2004 and 2007. She had a strong commitment to pro bono work and community support, and was a board member of the county’s pro bono law firm Public Law Center, providing access to justice for Orange County’s low-income residents. Deem served as co-chair of PLC’s Volunteers for Justice dinner. She also served as a director of the Building Block Foundation, supporting at‐risk youth throughout Orange County. During her tenure in the Buchalter Nemer Los Angeles office, Deem served as chair of the executive committee of the remedies section of the Los Angeles County Bar.
Deem was an avid bicyclist, an enthusiastic gardener, and a passionate cook. With these and many other interests she lovingly touched the lives of all who knew her. Recently retired as a senior partner of Buchalter Nemer of Newport Beach, Deem had just embarked on a new career as director of a new nonprofit organization to advocate for battered women in Orange County. She will be deeply missed and her memory will be cherished for her generosity, compassion and vibrant spirit.
Deem passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and friends. Survivors include her husband, Paul Deem; her stepchildren Paul and Seth Deem; and numerous friends and extended family. She was the beloved daughter of Berenice Solle, of Laguna Woods, and the late David Solle; and the adored sister of Nancy Zeff (Gary) of Boulder, Colo., and Mark Solle (Sue), of Los Altos Hills, Calif. She was the devoted aunt of Jason Solle, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Justin Solle, of Boston, Mass.
A celebration of her life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Parima Parineh Foundation in Laguna Beach.