Deborah Louise Dyson Stevenson, of Clarksburg, MD, entered eternal rest on Monday, April 12, 2021, at the age of 73, surrounded by her family.
Debbie, as she was Lovingly called by family and friends, was born at Montgomery General Hospital in Olney, MD on June 19, 1947, to her loving parents Lawrence Dyson and Juanita Washington Dyson. She was the second child born in the family and joined her sister under the zodiac sign of Gemini – the twin. At birth, her first home was a house on Muncaster Mill Road which during that time was commonly called “Sam Welsh’s Farm”. Debbie lived her entire life in Montgomery County, most recently settling into a Luxury Adult Community in Clarksburg until she was called to be with the Lord. Debbie received her formal education through Montgomery County Public Schools as well as Montgomery College. She served as a patrol in Elementary school and while at Gaithersburg Jr. High School, she was the “first teen of color” to become a member of the GJHS Cheerleading Squad.
Deborah met her future husband as they both lived in Emory Grove and attended Gaithersburg Sr High School. She married George F. Stevenson, Jr. (aka Tompete) on February 26, 1965 at Emory Grove United Methodist Church by Rev. Barrington. They lovingly nurtured and raised their children: Twanessa, Gary, Victor, and her bonus daughter Kim.
Debbie accepted the Lord as her Savior at the age of 10 at Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Lincoln Park, Rockville with her sister, Sandi, by her side. They were baptized in a creek on Avery Road near Lake Frank in Rockville under the Ministry of Rev. Henry Davis. She continued her walk with Jesus as a teenager at Emory Grove United Methodist Church and worshiped/served there for the rest of her life. For several years, as a teenager, she and her sister lived with their relatives, Lawrence & Lillian Newman, in Emory Grove, where she would sit in the living room of the Newman home and listen intently as Uncle Lawrence would read the Bible to her in the evenings. All of Debbie’s adult years were spent at Emory Grove United Methodist Church under the current leadership of Rev. Timothy B. Warner, et al. She was involved in numerous organizations, committees, and mission projects. She often shared details from Bible Study sessions and always looked forward to Vacation Bible School in the summer and the Apple Festival in the fall. She joined others from the Church on a Mission Trip to Ghana, West Africa where she took a fall during the start of the trip but continued her Mission walking around for two weeks with a broken foot. She never let anything stop her. Twice she visited the Holy Land in Israel. The second time replacing her sister, Sandi, as co-leader with the late Rev. Guy Johnson. She marveled at all the sites visited and was especially grateful for having walked “The Via Dolorosa” the traditional pathway Jesus followed carrying the cross to be crucified. “…So, they took Jesus and he went out, bearing his own cross”. John 19:17. She recently shared a picture on Facebook of the Garden Tomb believed to be the place of the Crucifixion and Burial site of Jesus. It was her favorite spot for prayer and meditation.
Deborah began her professional career at the Kodak Processing Laboratories in Rockville, MD in the Processing Lab before moving into Customer Service. She eventually became the Human Resource (HR) Manager. She made many lifelong friends at Kodak and she was the first person of color to advance into a Management/Supervisory position. Her next career move was to “The Gazette Newspaper” a division of Post-Newsweek Media where she worked as a Sr. HR Generalist. She was also a Notary Public of the State of Maryland and a Lifetime Member of the Montgomery County Agricultural Center. She was also a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Patuxent Rod and Gun Club.
Debbie loved her family deeply. She was very proud of her children and their accomplishments. She also maintained a close relationship with her siblings, especially her brother Chuck and wife Janet. She referred to them as “Three peas in a pod.” She also had a special relationship with each of her Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren and always looked forward to supporting their school and/or extracurricular activities. They affectionately called her “Grammy”. She was also “Momma Debbie” for many years to all her children's friends and made everyone feel as if they were a part of her family. Debbie was an Avid reader and would often be reading multiple books at once. Historical Romance novels were among her favorites. She had a love for Genealogy, History, Dancing, Singing and Traveling. During the Pandemic, Debbie found a renewed passion for Baking and Cooking. She would post pictures of her food and apologize to her kids for not cooking like that when they were small. Two of the items that people will miss most are her Baked Beans and Collard Greens! Debbie would be the first to admit that she was also a bit of a perfectionist.
She would take regular trips with her special group of “Sista Friends”, most importantly Donna Gibson and Jeannie Nolan, to see shows and go shopping in New York, Pennsylvania, Las Vegas, Virginia, Delaware or just doing things locally. Once she retired, she also enjoyed visiting her son, Gary, in Los Angeles. She even enjoyed a few photo opportunities with well-known Celebrities thanks to Gary. On her last trip in January 2020, Debbie, her daughter Twanessa and Granddaughter Bria were in the audience for several Wheel of Fortune show tapings and could be clearly seen on TV as the camera panned the audience. It was her “TV Debut” on one of her all-time favorite shows. Prior to the pandemic, on any given day, she and Tompete would hop in his truck and hit the road – destination unknown! Debbie, in this life, found victory in the pages of the Bible and now she walks the Streets of Gold waiting for us who believe.
“O death where is thy victory? O grave where is thy sting?
But thanks be to God which gives us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:55 and 57
She leaves behind her Loving husband of 56 years George F. Stevenson Jr., Children: Twanessa Stevenson-Moten (Walter), Gary Stevenson, Victor Stevenson (Jayna), Kim Duvall, Sisters: Sandra Reed (Don), Karen Taylor (Roger) and Jean Jennings, Brother: Lawrence Dyson, Jr. (Janet), Brothers-in-law: Michael Stevenson (Nancy) and Jimmy Hawkins, Sisters-in-law: Sharon Hughes-Dyson, Betsy Offutt-Jennings, Doris Stevenson, Marie Ramey, 11 Grandchildren and 5 Great-Grandchildren, Uncle: Harold Dyson (Lucy), Aunt: May Nolan, God-daughter: Carol Turner-Armstead and special “Chosen” Sisters Marylee Driver-Burton (Richard), Joan Driver, and Kathy Driver-Kelly. She also leaves behind a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other family, and friends.
In addition to her parents and stepparents, Lawrence Dyson, Sr., Juanita Washington Dyson-Jennings, she is also predeceased by Brothers: Conrad Dyson, Larry Duvall, Kevin Jennings, Jeffrey Jennings; and Sisters-in-law: Edna Copeland, Yvonne Hawkins, Betty Thompson (Wilbert), and Cecelia Gassaway.
A walk-through viewing will be held on Saturday, May 1, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
Rockville Christian Church
301 Adclare Rd, Rockville, MD 20850
Followed by a private funeral service at 11:00 a.m. for select family and friends only.
COVID guidelines; face masks are required and please be mindful of social distancing.
The service will be live streamed at: https://www.twitch.tv/memorialstreamin
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