Deborah M. Lawhorne

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Stockton Springs – Deborah May Lawhorne, 56, whose roots in Maine go back to her childhood days in Stockton Springs, died July 1, of injuries sustained in a traffic accident while visiting friends and family in Maine.

Born Aug. 11, 1949, in Great Lakes, Ill., to James Clark Lawhorne and Frances Morgan Lawhorne. She is survived by her daughter, Tracie Bryant of Dallas, Texas; sons, Jonathan Bryant of Denver, Colo., and Adam Bryant of Washington, D.C.; brother, Gregory Lawhorne of Aptos Calif.; and her sister, Sarah Lawhorne of Stockton Springs. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Eileen Lawhorne, wife of Richard Lawhorne, deceased. She was also the proud grandmother of Jenna and Owen Bryant.

Being the daughter of a military family, Deb spent much of her younger years following the postings of her father. In 1961 when her father was assigned to a post in Germany, the family moved to Stockton Springs, where her grandmother, Edith Morgan lived. Her fondest memories are of those early childhood years spent on the coast of Maine. Deb would always return to Stockton to replenish her energies and be nurtured by her family home.

She graduated from the University of Iowa in 1968, with a bachelor’s degree in speech and language. The rest of her life was spent in the service of children with handicaps. She worked for the school system in Auburn, from 1989 to 2003 as a speech clinician and consulting teacher for special education. In 2003 she moved to Leesburg, Va., where she joined a private practice working with children and their families with autism. Her ability to sit down with a child and in a short time become friends, gained her the title of “Kid Magnet.” The changes she helped them achieve in some cases were miraculous. Earlier this year, Deb started a new phase of her career serving as an advocate for special needs children’s education.

She has left a huge hole that will be felt by dear friends, colleagues, and especially her family. The following thoughts made by her children are but a few of the many deposits that she made in the lives of people, in her short life.

Adam:

“Thank you for teaching me how to walk on the rocks without falling, to hold my head high and be proud of my accomplishments, and to love my country, my family, and all people throughout the world.”

Jonathan:

“Mom never missed an opportunity to show her affection towards her kids, friends and siblings. We didn’t have much growing up, but we were spoiled with love.”

Tracie:

“Most of all I will miss our mother-daughter talks, staying up late at night, Mom always had an open heart and welcomed the opportunity to lend her shoulder and her ear. She taught me to be independent, and to always consider the thoughts and feelings of others. I will miss those talks….”

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