Obituary of Deborah L. Phinisee
Deborah Lucille Phinisee, née Thompson, a wonderful daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother, passed away peacefully in her sleep at home in Rockaway Township, New Jersey on the morning of July 31st, 2020.
To all who knew her, she was a blessing—a friendly, pure-hearted soul who always strove to make those around her feel comfortable and appreciated.
Born on December 13th, 1950 in Chicago, Illinois where she grew up, she completed her Bachelor’s degree at Chicago State University, then went on to become certified in Special Education, working to educate and provide support to students with special needs.
In 1983, she moved with her husband and son to Randolph Township New Jersey, and began teaching for the Newark Board of Education. While teaching, she studied at Kean University to earn a Master’s Degree in Counseling. She continued to work at the Newark Board of Education until 1995.
1995 began the first of many immense health challenges, all triggered by a traumatic automobile accident. However, through all of the nearly unfathomable difficulties she endured, from brain surgeries, to stroke, to loss of mobility, “Debbie” never lost her positive spirit, her radiant, loving smile, or her desire to spread happiness and fun to all nearby. No one who truly knew her ever doubted the purity of her heart or the virtuousness of her character.
She loved to cook and plan meals for the holidays, making sweet potato pies and gathering her family together for fellowship and fun. She enjoyed watching and talking about classic movies, or just spending time with family and sharing her heart-warming laughter. A long-time member of the Church of God in Christ in Morristown, New Jersey, she was always incredibly dedicated to her faith and continued in devotions and prayer fastidiously, even after losing her mobility.
She is survived by her loving and devoted husband of nearly 50 years, Ivory R. Phinisee, her loyal son, Ryan E. Phinisee, her dedicated and steadfast mother, Leola Thompson, and her faithful siblings, Gregory Thompson, Stanley Thompson, Loretta Thompson, and Lawrence Thompson. She is also survived by her beloved granddaughters, Lisa Phinisee, Eri Phinisee, and Leina Phinisee, and her caring daughter-in-law, Mayumi Phinisee.
Her family takes solace in believing she is at peace now, and in knowing that they have all become better people for her presence in their lives, the sacrifices she made for their benefit, and the undying love she showed to each of them.
Deeply loved, she will be greatly missed.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
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