Mrs. Deborah Elizabeth Walker Smith was born on Oct. 22, 1953. She was a native of and continued to live in Petersburg, Va. On Saturday morning, Nov. 10, 2012, Deborah departed this earthly life and went home to her heavenly Father. She was the daughter of Russell M. Veals Sr. (deceased) and Evelyn W. Veals.

Deborah began her relationship with Christ at an early age and was baptized at Westminster Presbyterian Church. She was educated in the Petersburg school system and graduated from Petersburg High School in 1972. Following graduation she moved to Atlanta, Ga., but soon yearned for her roots in Petersburg and returned home to attend John Tyler Community College. Deborah was a long-time employee of Southside Virginia Training Center. She retired in 2011 after 36 years of dedicated service. At the time of her death she was employed with Heaven Sent Nursing Services.

Deborah was an avid fisherman and sports enthusiast. She was a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and always seemed to have the black and gold colors or paraphernalia near at hand. She displayed her own athletic skills as a member of the "Straight Up" softball team. Those who knew her described her as fun loving, generous and a devoted friend.

She is preceded in death by her father, Russell Veals Sr.; grandfather, Clarence Walker; and grandmother, Mary Fobbs, affectionately known as "Big Mama."

She leaves her precious memories of her love to her mother, Evelyn Veals; two brothers, Jerome "Big Bruh" Walker (Gail) of Charlotte, N.C., and Russell Veals Jr. (Christine) of Chester, Va.; two sisters, devoted-Laverne Venable (Ronnie Harper) and Evon Briggs, both of Petersburg, Va.; godchildren, Daneisha Gibson Stevenson (James) and Raymond Myler III; nieces and nephews, Christopher Walker of Dallas, Texas, Shalonda Venable of Richmond, Va., Russell "Trey" and Alexander Veals and Sean Clarke, all of Chester, Va., Latoya Briggs of Petersburg, Va., and Valerie Michalecki of Manhattan, N.Y.; a devoted friend, Velma Colbert; and a host of cousins, friends and loved ones.

A funeral service for Mrs. Deborah E. Walker Smith will be held noon, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, at St. Stephens Episcopal Church, 228 Halifax St., Petersburg, Va., the Rev. Father Willis R. Foster, rector, eulogist. The interment to follow at Wilkerson Memorial Cemetery.

The family will receive friends at 2240 Anderson St., Petersburg, Va., and may be contacted by calling 804-733-4346.

Family members and friends are invited to pay final tribute to Ms. Smith at www.jmwilkersonsince1874.com.

Funeral arrangements entrusted to the staff of J.M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment Inc., 102 South Ave., Petersburg, Va., 804-732-8911, www.jmwilkersonsince1874.com.

Published in The Progress-Index from Nov. 13 to Nov. 14, 2012