Deborah Louise Brothers of Pensacola, Florida, passed away at the age of 53 on Saturday, December 8, 2012, after a hard-fought battle with cancer.
"Deb" Brothers, née Guedry, was born in Richmond, California, on November 24, 1959, to Dr. Gordon and Mrs. Alma Tittemore. She lived in California until 1964 when her father died and the family moved to Pensacola, Florida, her mother's hometown. In 1966, her mother remarried widower Dr. Frederick E. Guedry, and, shortly after, she was adopted by him and changed her name to Guedry.
Deb attended the Pensacola School of Liberal Arts where she began a lifelong interest both in pre-Medieval British religious history and the French language. In college, Deb majored in Psychology, earning a B.S. from The Florida State University. Later, at Pensacola Junior College, she began studies in nursing. A meeting with Navy Lieutenant Ernest "Buddy" Brothers led to marriage and a consequent move to San Diego, California, interrupting her medical ambitions. In California, Deb worked as a counselor and houseparent at a halfway house for troubled and drug-involved juvenile girls. Later, she studied at San Diego State University, earned a post-graduate certificate in Education and began her teaching career.
In 1989, the Brothers family expanded to embrace daughter Hannah Christie, born on March 7. The three moved to south Florida when Buddy began flying for American Airlines. Deb briefly taught elementary school in Bonita Springs but soon turned her focus to her family. Though Deb developed lupus while Hannah was in elementary school, she did her best to remain a supportive and active wife and mother.
It was through friends at Hannah's school that she became a member of the Rainbow Bible Study, where both her biblical knowledge and prayer life quickened. When Deb and Buddy moved to Pensacola, Hannah enrolled at East Hill Christian School, and Deb taught French there. Deb also joined the Prayer Warriors, a small group of mothers and teachers who met weekly and prayed for the individual and corporate concerns of students, teachers, and the school. As with the Rainbow Bible Study, friends made in the group continued to be Deb's devoted friends.
Because Deb's parents, the Guedrys, and sister Kathleen all attended First United Methodist Church, the Brothers eventually made the Methodist church their permanent home. Deb jumped into the life of the church immediately. She became an active Sunday school participant and frequent teacher, a volunteer with Christmas Creations and the Great Day of Service, and was instrumental in the expansion of the Pastoral Care Team into a Pastoral Prayer group. She worked with the church's outreach, Feeding the Hungry, until diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in August 2009.
Her faith never flagged. She remained trusting and peaceful throughout the more than three years she battled cancer. In fact, she wrote and led an uplifting Bible study, Facing Cancer Without Fear, which further extended her circle of friends. She also ministered to other patients in the radiation waiting room and chemotherapy room. Regardless of their faith or lack of it, she lifted spirits and brought laughter. Not only other patients but also medical staff were cheered by her bright smile and buoyant spirit. Over the course of her battle, she was covered by the prayers and lifted up by the affections of many people. Her compassion, humor, bravery, and joy were known by all who met her. A wonder and a blessing, she leaves us sad but expectant, holding fast to hope.
Deb is preceded in death by fathers, Dr. Gordon Tittemore and Dr. Fred Guedry; paternal grandparents Mable and Herman Tittemore, Emily and Ernest Guedry; maternal grandparents Louise and Jack Bailey; aunt and uncle Dot and Captain Kelly Holbert; cousins Ron, Steve, and Johannah Busbee, and Matthew Holbert.
Deb is survived by husband, Buddy; daughter, Hannah; mother, Alma Guedry; sisters Charlene Leinback and Kathleen Lovan (Dr. Wendell Lovan); sisters-in-law Candice Snipes, Luanne Gullett (David); nieces Elizabeth Leinback and Lauren Freiberg (John, and son Jack); nephews Michael and Kevin Mooney and their father, Jim; maternal aunts Jan Busbee, Bea Rivers, Barbara Graves, Myrtle Bailey, and Linda Snow (Bob); uncles Grover Bailey (Sue), Ben Bailey (June), and Wayne Bailey; numerous Florida cousins in the Bailey and Busbee families and the Holbert cousins in Oregon; innumerable dear friends; and several special kitties.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 11, 2012, at Harper Morris Memorial Chapel on Airport Blvd. Funeral Service will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, December 12, 2012, at First United Methodist Church on Wright Street in Pensacola with the Rev. Dr. Wesley Wachob and the Rev. Dr. Geoffrey Lentz officiating. Burial will be in Bayview Memorial Park on Scenic Highway.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Pensacola, World Vision International, or other organizations that further the merciful work of God in the world.
Special thanks to friends and family who have prayed so faithfully, to the medical staffs who have served with such skill and kindness, and to all who have supported Deb and her family in this painful but ultimately victorious sojourn.
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