Welcome to the memorial page for

Deborah Joan (Mutchler) Vargo

June 28, 1952 ~ June 2, 2017 (age 64)

Deborah Joan Vargo, PhD, RN; 64, passed peacefully on June 2, 2017 at her home surrounded by family following a lengthy illness.  Deborah was born on June 28, 1952 in Toledo, OH to Adelbert and Dorothy Mutchler, who preceded her in death.

Deborah met the love of her life, Albert, in 1974, and they married in 1980.  They had one daughter together, Sara Anne.  She was an avid gardener, and loved sharing flowers with those she cared about.  It was not unusual to find her welcoming friends and colleagues with a bouquet of flowers.  She also enjoyed traveling, especially a recent Hawaiian cruise with her family.  Deborah was a dedicated mother, which involved many weekends traveling to horse shows, tennis matches, and other activities involving her daughter, who she absolutely adored.  She also loved spending afternoons with her grand-pup Moose.

Dr. Vargo’s extensive 45-year nursing legacy began in 1972 as a licensed practical nurse.  Along the way, she earned a BSN from the University of Toledo, an MSN from the Medical College of Ohio, and her PhD from Akron University in 2009.  She worked as an infectious disease practioner for St. Vincent’s Hospital in Toledo, OH for 17 years, where she also worked as staff nurse for many years.  In 1995, she began a 19-year teaching career at Lourdes University, first as a faculty member then later as the Director of the MSN program.  In July 2014, she became the Dean of the College of Nursing and Health at Madonna University in Livonia, MI.  Dr. Vargo led the College of Nursing and Health through a successful Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education visit, leading to a 10-year accreditation for the College of Nursing.   She also launched Madonna University’s premier Health Sciences Program.  She was involved in several professional organizations, including Sigma Theta Tau, which recently bestowed upon her their Outstanding Leadership award.  Dr. Vargo was also a Certified Nurse Educator, a Clinical Nurse Specialist, and was a reviewer for the American Association of Collegiate Nursing.  She was a quiet, skilled, and incredibly talented role model for her faculty members.

She is survived by her husband, Albert; her daughter, Sara; her sister, Beverly (Michael) Basiger, and her brother David (Mary) Mutchler.  The family would like to thank the staff at Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Dr. Timothy Kasunic and the staff at Toledo Clinic Oncology, the doctors and staff at Mercy Radiation Oncology, and the Hickman Center at Flower Hospital for their compassionate care. 

The family will receive guests on Wednesday from 3:00-8:00 p.m. at Reeb Funeral Home, 5712 Main St, Sylvania, OH.  Funeral Services will begin Thursday at 11:00 a.m. at the Sylvania United Church of Christ. 

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make memorial contributions are asked to consider the Lungevity Foundation (228 South Wabash Avenue, Suite 700, Chicago, Illinois 60604), a lung cancer-focused nonprofit.




 Service Information

June 7, 2017

3:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Reeb Funeral Home
5712 Main Street
Sylvania, OH 43560

Funeral Service
June 8, 2017

11:00 AM
Sylvania United Church of Christ

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