Essie Dean Buffington Thurman

Essie Dean Buffington Thurman was welcomed home with open arms on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013, by her first husband, Ruben S. Buffington; two of her grandchildren, Gail Fell and Kevin Hughes; her mother and father, Maebel and George Dean; brothers, R. E., Henry Clayton, W. D., J. C. and Cecil Dean; and her sister, Annie Mae Stanley.

Remaining here to cherish her memory are her husband, Harold L. Thurman; daughters, Annette (Maurice) Croom, Dianne Grubbs and Joyce Dean; grandchildren, Cecil (Darla) Grubbs, Michael (Robbin) Grubbs, Pam (Lee) Way and Kim (Tommy) Knight; seven great-grandchildren, Chris and Sarah Way, Jennifer and Aaron Grubbs, Zach, Matthew, and Joshua Turral, great great grandson, Isaiah Way; and numerous extended family members and friends. Special thanks to Nancy Fussell, her caregiver, for the love, kindness and care during her final days.

Essie was the youngest child in a large, close-knit country family. She loved her family, and her children and grandchildren held a special place in her heart. During her last few weeks, she especially missed her mother and sister, and heard them talking to her frequently.
She was born Dec. 3, 1922, in Ponce de Leon, Fla., and graduated from Bay High School. She was a talented writer and enjoyed writing poetry in her early years. She was active in the Parker Chapter #96, Order of the Eastern Star, and held many offices including Worthy Matron. Her sisters and brothers in the Star were very special to her.

Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. at Southerland Family Funeral Home Chapel. Interment to follow with services by the Order of the Eastern Star at Evergreen Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be held from 2-3 p.m. at the funeral home. The family will be at the Thurman home in Callaway. Expressions of sympathy may be expressed or viewed at

Southerland Family
Funeral Homes
100 E. 19th St.
Panama City, FL 32405

Funeral Home

Panama City - Panama City
100 East 19th Street  Panama City, FL 32405
Published in Panama City News Herald on Apr. 2, 2013