Debra Denise Bethea was born August 26, 1961, to the late Mary Bethea and the Late Jimmie Nance in Marion, South Carolina. She was raised by the Late William Henry and Eva Bethea. Her grandmother Geneva Brunson, brothers W.H. and Onezean Bethea and sisters Willie Mae and Wanda proceeded her in death.
At a young age Debra joined Little Mount Zion Baptist Church where she enjoyed singing on the youth choir. Debra graduated from Lake View High School in 1979. While attending Lake View High School, she played varsity basketball. She was known as one of the best drummers in the land. She had a passion for playing the drums. After High School Debra attended Kittrell Job Corp for 2 years, where she received a certificate in carpentry. After Job Corp Debra moved to Atlanta, Georgia where she resided for many years. During Debra’s stint in Atlanta, Georgia she spent 10 years in the housekeeping and food service sector. Debra then moved to Durham, North Carolina and began her employment at Duke University where she served for over 20 years in the housekeeping department. Debra worked for Duke University until her health declined in 2019.
Debra loved to dance, and everyone called her Dancing Deb. She was affectionately called Baby Sally by her family. Debra Denise Bethea began her journey into eternity at 10:10 pm on Saturday, January 6, 2021 at her home with her niece Roslyn. Roslyn was Debra’s best friend, caregiver, and confidant. After her long extensive health journey, Debra’s final request was to go home. Roslyn made sure her final request was granted.
Debra leaves many family members to cherish fond memories: A loving niece Roslyn Bethea and Great-Niece Shar’Dasia Bethea of the home Raleigh, NC. Sisters: Eva Mae (Willie, Jr.) Harrington of Lake View, SC – Detra (Robert) Bullock of Garner, NC – Trellis Wilson of Atlanta, GA and – Conteano Clark of Winston Salem, NC. Sister-in-Law: Julia Bethea of Lake View, SC. Brothers: Lorenzo (Jacqueline) Bethea of Atlanta, GA – Dwayne (Angela) Nance of Durham, NC and – Johnny (Julia) Higgin of Spartanburg, SC. Aunts: DeLois Brunson, Dorothy Brunson, and Phyllis Dixon of Lake View, SC. – Jean Kelly of Edwards Air Force Base, CA – Martha Reaves of Jacksonville, FL – Willie (James) Rabb of Walterboro, SC – Charlotte (Floyd) Harvey of Winston-Salem NC – Marilyn Maxwell and Carol Bethea of West Palm Beach, FL. Uncle: Lawrence (Vanessa) Brunson of Florence, SC. Nieces: Lynette, Vanessa, Angie, Nedra, Rashawnda, Michelle and Ricktrellis. Alicia preceded her in death. Nephews: Christopher (Chantrice), Willie (Cherie), Darius, Javorius, Stedman, Aaron and Gary. Shawn preceded her in death. Two special friends, Joyce Hamer and Mary "Kat" Merchant, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, great friends and her favorite pup Bella
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