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1953 Deborah "Deb" Mae (Lightfoot) Emberson 2024

Deborah "Deb" Mae (Lightfoot) Emberson

September 29, 1953 — April 30, 2024

Nowata, Oklahoma

Deborah “Deb” Mae (Lightfoot) Emberson, 70, of Nowata, Oklahoma, passed away peacefully with her family by her side at her residence on April 30, 2024. She was born on September 29, 1953, in Vinita, Oklahoma, at the Craig County General Hospital to Chester Raymond Lightfoot and Patsy Marie (Harrison) Lightfoot.

Deb grew up in Vinita, graduating from Vinita High School in 1971. In her younger years, she was active in barrel racing and enjoyed rodeoing. She was crowned the Will Rogers Memorial Rodeo Queen in 1971. Deb worked as an office manager in Morgan Stanley Dean Witter firms for 30 years in the Bartlesville and Tulsa areas and was committed to the success of the business.

On January 26, 1987, Deb married the love of her life, Gary Emberson in Las Vegas, Nevada. The couple made their home in Nowata, OK, and had two daughters together: Cali and Amy. Deb devoted her life to being a mother and later a grandmother. She was very passionate about attending their activities such as livestock shows and softball tournaments. She traveled miles and miles across the country, running the girls to their events. Deb’s favorite shows to attend were the junior national cattle shows and other national livestock shows.

Gary and Deb were members of the Hillside Christian Church in Nowata and Deb enjoyed teaching children’s church on Sundays. In her free time, Deb was also very fond of mowing the lawn and maintaining the yard. Deb adored her children and grandchildren and loved spending time with her family.

Gary and Deb’s anniversary would always fall near the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo in January. The couple celebrated their anniversary, along with their family, leaving a legacy for the Emberson family. A legacy built with passion of what Deb loved the most, her family, livestock, and rodeo. Deb will be deeply missed by those who loved her the most.

Deb is preceded in death by her parents: Chester and Patsy Lightfoot; her sister: Jo Arrington; her brother: Sidney (Burt) Lightfoot; and her grandbaby: Job.

Those left to cherish the memory of Deb include her husband: Gary Emberson of Nowata, OK; her daughters: Cali Emberson of Nowata, OK and Amy Bailey and husband, Justin of Claremore, OK; her 10 grandchildren; her siblings Sondra Sumner of Georgetown, TX, Jayne Barton and husband, Jim of Dove Canyon, CA, Butch Lightfoot of Emory, TX, Carol Spunaugle and husband, Gary of Ozark, MO, Ballary (Lightfoot) Branstetter of Vinita, OK, and Pearl Lightfoot of Vinita, OK, along with many other family members and friends.

A funeral service for Deb will be held on Monday, May 6, 2024, at 10:00 AM at the Hillside Christian Church in Nowata, OK, with Van Longbons officiating. Interment will follow at the Memorial Park Cemetery in Nowata, OK. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the loving staff of Benjamin Funeral Service. Online condolences may be left at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Deborah "Deb" Mae (Lightfoot) Emberson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Monday, May 6, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Hillside Christian Church

1348 W Davis Dr, Nowata, OK 74048

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Monday, May 6, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Memorial Park Cemetery, Nowata


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