- Cullman, Alabama

July 1, 2013

Deborah Ann Ketcham

The Cullman Times

— Deborah Ann Ketcham

Deborah Ann Ketcham, 51, the ultimate caregiver and loving mother, sister and friend to all, died Thursday, June 27, 2013 in Horton, Ala.

Born on May 2, 1962, in Wasco, Calif., most of Deborah's early years were spent in southern California, where she met her husband, Richard, and raised her twins, Robert and Alysha.

Motherhood was the highlight of Deborah's life. She started her children on the right academic track early on and stayed involved and supportive throughout their numerous endeavors.

Deborah was the most enthusiastic Girl Scout leader Troop 1434 could've ever asked for, taking the girls on camping trips, introducing them to the worldly explorer, paper bag-puppet Mr. Hand and instilling early on the importance of having high self-esteem. She was even named Girl Scout Leader of the Year for the region while with the Temecula troop.

It was not uncommon for Deborah to pack personalized lunches and take her children — and nieces (hood va vee!) — to the pool practically every afternoon. There, she'd Superman them headfirst into the deep end and let them play to exhaustion.

As her children grew older, Deborah turned her attention toward furthering her own education. At 34, she earned her high school diploma, paving the way to finish nursing school, where she was affectionately known by her classmates as “The Boss.” As a registered nurse, she was a caretaker, friend and advocate to the elderly, her personal and professional passion.

In 2000, Deborah moved her family to Cheyenne, Wyo., to be with and care for her terminally ill mother. To Deborah, it wouldn't have been any other way.

After the loss of her mother and subsequent loss of her husband, Deborah sought a new start in Alabama in 2012. No matter where she went, Deborah never met a stranger because everyone she spoke to walked away knowing all there was to know about her twins, who she was immeasurably proud of.

Her childlike zeal for the simple things in life was always apparent and endearing to those who knew her best.

She is survived by her twins, Robert, of Cullman, and Alysha, of Cheyenne, Wyo., and her brother, Brannon Hamlin, of Larkspur, Colo.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Harold Hamlin and Marilyn McHone, and her husband, Richard Ketcham.

A celebration will be held in Deborah's honor at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at the Nicholson Pavilion at Heritage Park in Cullman.