Ms. Deborah Patricia Samuels was born April 8, 1951 at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, to the late Robert and Julia L. Rawlinson Samuels. She departed this earthly life un-expectantly on August 20, 2020 in Rembert, South Carolina. “Debbie” as she was affectionately known, was the oldest of five siblings. She was baptized at an early age at First Nazareth Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina.
Deborah (a gifted student) attended the public schools of Richland County where she not only maintained an “A” average, but was an instrument used before desegregation, sent to attend an all-white high school where even the teachers opted to refer to her by the N-word. That chapter in her life that she clung to, was her strength in times of lost and hopelessness and so (many) chapters of her life are now ours to tell (her story).
Deborah was preceded in death by her parents, both paternal and maternal grandparents, sister Gwendolyn Denise Samuels-Williams and brother Michael R. Samuels and special cousins Thelma Griffin-Brown and Rosa (Babe) Griffin-Thomas.
Deborah loved life and lived it fully and freely; she was a gifted artist, exceptional student and achiever, very family oriented and loved family functions where she would make everyone laugh, dance and sing. She never met a stranger either, as everyone was “my friend”. Our memories will be of her fun-filled spirit, her loving concerns for everyone needs, her family happiness and as the person who spoke her mind in her very own “frank and stood her ground” manner, which made her an awesome daughter, wife, mother, sister, aunt, cousin and best friend. Left to cherish precious memories are: Her devoted husband for 22 years, LeVan Chatman, daughters Shirelle Jones and Lauren Bridget (nee) Jones, brother Roderick Samuels, sister Adrain (Clarence) Samuels-Brooks, niece Erika N. Brooks, nephews Kenric, T. Brooks, Clarence Brooks, Jr., Samuel A. Williams, Benjamin T. Williams, great nieces Cydney M. Brooks, Averie Brooks, great nephews Joshua T. Brooks, Nathaniel Brooks, great grandnephew Coty Brooks, special cousins, James Samuels Jr., Barbara Hysten, Jacqueline Griffin, Robert Griffin, Wanda Griffin, brothers-in-laws Clarence Williams and John Chatman, sister-in-law Millie Rice, step-sons LeVan Tender and Jason Canty and a host of other loving relatives and friends.
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