Deborah Pualani Blackmon
Deborah Pualani Blackmon was greeted in heaven by her parents, Scho and Luana, son Kalani, nephew Ruben, and beloved dog Akamai, on October 30, 2020. She was surrounded by her family and closest friends at her home in Phoenix, Arizona. Deborah spent the last 3 years fighting breast cancer and inspired many not only by her own courageous battle, but by supporting others in their fight, including her daughter Kealoha.
Deborah was born on August 12, 1957 to Woodburn T. and Luana Anita Schofield at Travis Air Force Base, California. She was the 3rd eldest of 6 children in a military family that traveled around the world. Her younger years were spent in Coggeshall, England - Mountain Home, Idaho - Otis A.F.B., Massachusetts - Kailua, Hawaii (during her father's tour in Vietnam), completing high school at Dysart High in Surprise, Arizona near Luke A.F.B. Deborah's love of dance started with her Mother who danced professionally with her own Hawaiian combo. Deborah studied and performed contemporary dance, while active in Student Council all 4 years of high school. She was named Miss Teen Luke as a sophomore, was a varsity cheerleader, crowned Homecoming Queen her senior year and was Student Body President. In addition to her natural beauty and talent in the performing arts, Deborah graduated high school in 1975 with the scholarly distinction of Valedictorian and was awarded a full scholarship to Arizona State University.
Deborah excelled at ASU where she pursued a B.A. in the Dance Program and secondary education. She participated in many artistic projects throughout her undergraduate years and her Senior Performance of "Estrus" was a standout of the dance department's program at Grady Gammage Auditorium.
Before graduating from ASU in 1980, Deborah organized, choreographed and modeled in fashion shows in dance clubs all over the Valley, partnering with local department stores and fashion designers. Attention from these performances led to a career as an associate managing several talent and modeling agencies. If this wasn't enough to keep Deborah busy, she and 6 other graduates from the ASU dance department founded Desert Dance Theatre, a contemporary dance company recently celebrating its 40th year. Deborah toured and performed with DDT for several years, including at Arizona State University's Centennial Celebration at Grady Gammage in 1985. She then served for many years as a Board member for DDT. Deborah also performed in local community theater and toured with the local Hawaiian troupe, "Hula Halau Pili Hana". Deborah's love and support of the performing arts and the dance community was a passion for her and her husband Matt.
While working with the talent agencies and touring with DDT, Deborah made a decision to begin a career in real estate working with her father Scho, a successful Realtor/Broker in Glendale, Arizona; another profession in which she would excel. She credited her father for passing on his real estate and investment knowledge to her. For the last 35+ years Deborah was a successful Realtor, Property Manager and Developer. Over several years with Realty Executives she was in the 100% Club and this past year was awarded "Top Agent" and "Best of the Best." Deborah was also a coach and class leader with Landmark Forum 30+ years assisting many with their personal life goals and also a longtime member of the AZ Hawaiian club, "Lau Kanaka No Hawaii." Her parents were founding members.
Deborah is survived by her loving soulmate husband - Matt Fleischauer, her beloved daughter - Kealoha Luana Kekoa August (George), her 4 brothers - John (Darla), Woodburn (Jeen), Rex (Patti) & Morgan (Jennifer) Schofield and her "favorite sister" - Kathy Hernandez (Semisi), many nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews, cousins in Hawaii, Florida and elsewhere, and also Diane McNeal Vanek, Phil Blackmon, Eric August and little furry Lani.
Deborah was intelligent, confident, accomplished, determined, fun and funny with a wonderfully contagious laugh. She exuded love, light, strength, positivity and grace, just like our Mother and right up until her last breath. "Deborah…you formed so many loving and lasting friendships in your adventure filled lifetime and every person lucky enough to have known you will miss you forever. Beloved Pualani…a hui hou…until we meet again."
Published in The Arizona Republic from Nov. 19 to Nov. 22, 2020.