Thomasville Times Enterprise

Obituaries

June 21, 2014

Deborah Kaye Wurst Kaufmann

Deborah Kaye Wurst Kaufmann, known to family and friends as Debbie, went to be with the Lord on June 15, 2014, after a valiant battle with a lengthy illness. Debbie was born in Thomasville to Clifton and Wylda Wurst on Sept. 25, 1949. She grew up in Ochlocknee, where she attended Ochlocknee Elementary School, then Central High School in Thomasville. While in high school, the family moved to Columbus, where she graduated with high honors from Columbus High School. Debbie was a brilliant student, qualifying as a National Merit Scholar, and continued to Valdosta State College to pursue a degree in physics. While there, she met and married James Whiteman Kaufmann. Before she finished her degree, Debbie and Jim moved to Grand Forks, N.D., and later followed Jim's career to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, Montgomery Ala., Riverside, Calif., Norfolk Va., Niceville Fla., and finally to Santa Maria, Calif. Debbie was a loving and devoted wife, who found great friends everywhere she went. While living in Niceville, Debbie and Jim formed a small residential construction company she managed for two years on her own when Jim was transferred overseas. A sharp professional business woman, Debbie “wheeled and dealed” at coffee clutches in her home to secure the best prices and highest quality work from her subcontractors in Okaloosa County. Debbie loved animals and surrounded herself with them throughout their marriage. She leaves, her two puppies, Patty and Bandit, her two kitties, Jackie and Jill, a flock of love birds, and a school of fish behind. Debbie was a faithful Christian from the time she spent at the Ochlocknee Baptist Church to her membership in Saint Andrew  Methodist Church in Santa Maria and the Lighthouse Baptist Church, also in Santa Maria. Active in the community, Debbie was on the board of directors of the Saint Andrew Music Academy and spent many hours delivering food for the local Meals on Wheels program. Debbie leaves behind her husband of 43 years, Jim, and her brothers, Steve, Johnny and Jeff Wurst, as well as four nieces and a nephew. She is preceded in death by her parents, Clifton and Wylda Wurst. Debbie was a beautiful, kind and generous woman, who will be missed by everyone she encountered. The family will receive friends at Whiddon-Shiver Funeral Home in Thomasville on Sunday, June 22, 2014, in the afternoon between 4 and 6. A church service will be held at the Ochlocknee Baptist Church at 11 a.m. on Monday, June 23, 2014, followed by a graveside service. God bless all of you who prayed for our dear Debbie while she was sick and in pain. Her faith never faltered, and her inner strength showed through. Your cards, calls, visits and prayers comforted her and made her smile throughout her trials and tribulations. — Whiddon-Shiver Funeral Home

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