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Debra (Debs) Claire Smith Grubbs

June 5, 1951 April 23, 2022
Debra (Debs) Claire Smith  Grubbs
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Obituary for Debra (Debs) Claire Smith Grubbs
Debra (Debs) Claire Smith Grubbs was welcomed into heaven on Saturday, April 23, 2022, following a journey with the rare cancer, Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma.
She was born in Memphis, TN, to Gene & Claire Smith on June 5, 1951. The older of their 2 girls, she graduated from Hillcrest High School in Memphis where she was active in sports and student government, serving as Vice President of her Senior Class. During high school she excelled in golf and continued her love of the sport throughout her life. She had 3 holes-in-one and at one time played to a single digit handicap. She graduated from Mississippi College with a degree in Psychology, and it was while a student there she met the love of her life, Millsaps College student, Ray Grubbs. They had their first date on March 23, 1971, and after finishing college a semester early, they married on January 13, 1973. They enjoyed 49 years as husband and wife.

Soon after their marriage, Debra joined the sales team of Equitable Life Assurance Society. Having been blessed with an outgoing personality and attention to detail, she found immediate success in the sales of life, health, and variable annuity products. In August 1977, following the June birth of their son, Michael, Ray’s work relocated the family from Jackson, MS, to Tupelo, MS. Because of her keen knowledge of health insurance policies and procedures, she was contacted by a group of physicians to help establish North Mississippi Hematology & Oncology Associates. While in Tupelo, Debra was active in her church, singing in the choir and teaching Sunday School. She participated in the Tupelo Little Theatre and volunteered regularly with the American Cancer Society and North MS Medical Center. In the summer of 1988, Ray, Debra, and Michael returned to Jackson.

In 1989 Debra returned to college and in 1991 received an Accounting Certificate from Millsaps College. Over the next 25 years she worked during Tax Season with Eubank & Betts; KPMG; Johnson, Bruce & Host; and BKD, CPA.

In 1995, following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, she was invited to join the staff of Governor Haley Barbour’s Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding, and Renewal where she served until the Commission was dissolved. She was Lead Coordinator for the Commission’s 2-day forum in December 1995 held in Biloxi.

Debra was a lyricist of church choral music. In 1991 she began collaboration with composer/arranger and good friend, Marty Parks. Her lyrics have been published by Benson-Brentwood Publishing, Nazarene Publishing House (Lillenas), Abdington Press, and Word Music Company.

Debra enjoyed traveling, but perhaps even more than the travel itself, she loved to plan the travel! In 2016 she and Ray completed their goal to visit all 50 states together. She was also a frequent traveler to Europe during the 1990s and early 2000s with Ray as he directed and taught in the Millsaps College European Program.

Debra loved the Lord, and this love was reflected in her active participation in Olde Towne Community Church in Ridgeland, MS. Debra was involved in tutoring Hispanic children, singing in the choir, and serving on the Fellowship Team. She was also a volunteer at Hospice Ministries in the Bereavement area. She Co-Chaired several of her Hillcrest HS Class of 1969 class reunions and up until recently maintained the database for the 350+ classmates. Other past involvements include tutoring for Sunnybrook Children’s Home, serving as a member of Board of Trustees and Administrative Board of Christ UMC, as President of the Castlewoods Ladies Golf Association, and as Co-Chair of Volunteer Operations for the PGA’s Deposit Guaranty Golf Classic and the PGA’s Sanderson Farms Golf Classic.

Debra was predeceased by her parents, Gene & Claire Smith. She leaves her husband, Ray Grubbs, son, Michael Grubbs of Fairfax, VA, sister, Micah Smith-Waldrup (Rusty) of Nesbit, MS, niece Hailey Black (Jeremy) of Ozark, MO, and niece Ashley Joyner of Southaven, MS. She also leaves great nieces and nephews Ethan Hardy Benson, Micah Benson, Chaz Joyner, Logan Black, Ella Black, and Jude Black, as well as numerous cousins.

Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. followed by the service at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, at Madison United Methodist Church, 100 Post Oak Rd., Madison, MS, with burial at 12 noon on Thursday, May 5, 2022, at the Falkner Cemetery in Falkner, Mississippi, where many family members, including her parents, are buried. Debra loved to visit that cemetery and when there she would comment, “what a glorious hillside this will be on that day when Jesus returns!”

No flowers, please. Memorials may be made to Olde Towne Community Church Central Asia Missions 220 Ridgeland Ave. Ridgeland, MS 39157, Wesley Biblical Seminary P.O. Box 600 Ridgeland, MS 39158, or Hospice Ministries 450 Towne Center Blvd. Ridgeland, MS 39157.
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Previous Events

Visitation

Wednesday

4

May

9:00 AM 5/4/2022 9:00:00 AM - 10:45 AM 5/4/2022 10:45:00 AM
Madison United Methodist Church

100 Post Oak Road
Madison, MS 39110

Madison United Methodist Church
100 Post Oak Road Madison 39110 MS
United States

Funeral Service

Wednesday

4

May

11:00 AM 5/4/2022 11:00:00 AM
Madison United Methodist Church

100 Post Oak Road
Madison, MS 39110

Madison United Methodist Church
100 Post Oak Road Madison 39110 MS
United States

Graveside

Thursday

5

May

12:00 PM 5/5/2022 12:00:00 PM
Falkner Cemetery

County Road 318
Falkner,, MS 38629

Falkner Cemetery
County Road 318 Falkner, 38629 MS
United States
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