Deborah Suzanne Clifton (nee Gum) 67, of Coatesville, Pennsylvania passed away peacefully surrounded by family on 31 January 2024, following a lengthy and courageous battle with illness. She is remembered best by all who knew her as a brave, kind, loving, and capable daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother.
Born in Bryn Mawr to Dolores Little and the late Joseph Gum in 1956, Debbie graduated from Downingtown High School, where she met her lifelong partner and future husband, the late Dr. William Richard “Rick” Clifton. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Pennsylvania State University, traveled to New York to study dance, and, subsequently earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling. Steadfastly committed to helping others, Deb put this education to prodigious use, serving as a counselor for over 30 years.
A firm believer in living life to its fullest, Debbie and Rick experienced adventure and found great fulfillment in travelling the world, both as a result of Rick’s U.S. Army career and following their personal passions. Sometimes the effects of Rick’s career served to showcase Deb’s resolute character as she raised their son, Daniel, cared for the family’s beloved pets, and managed the home, all while excelling in her professional career when Rick was deployed.
Independent and intelligent, Debbie was energetic in her quest to achieve mastery of her many and varied hobbies: she and her son, Dan showed horses from their home in North Carolina; she kayaked the many rivers and coastal areas of that state; sang in Rick’s band; and hiked mountains and valleys the world over. Debbie was an avid gardener, seamstress, and knitter and was very creative in her decorating and her crafts.
After moving back to Pennsylvania, Debbie delighted in spending time with her granddaughters, Emma, and Lily, and enjoyed shopping excursions with her daughter in law. Always personable and the life of the party, Debbie enjoyed yearly trips with her close circle of girlfriends and turned her home into a warm and welcoming environment for all of her friends and family; a wonderful hostess, Debbie produced epicurean experiences in the kitchen, and memories everywhere else, for all who knew her.
Debbie is survived by her mother, Dolores; her son, Dan; daughter-in-law, Jennifer; granddaughters Emma and Lily; stepsister, Laura O’Connor (Ronald); sister and brother in laws, Lori and John Gibbons; nephews, Ryan (Rachel) and Corey: grandnephew, Henry and many, many friends.
Relatives and friends are invited to her Visitation 10:00-11:00 AM Monday, February 12, 2024 and to her Funeral Service 11:00 AM at The Donohue Funeral Home, 43 W. Lancaster Avenue, Downingtown, PA 19335. The Funeral Service will be livestreamed at 11 AM here: https://youtube.com/live/
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, www.alz.org.