Deborah Jean Perry-Nixon

December 8, 1949 ~ June 17, 2023 (age 73) 73 Years Old


Deborah Jean Perry Nixon entered this world on December 8, 1949, as the third child of the late Ernestine and Daniel Perry. She joined her two older sibling Rosalind and Lamont Perry, and this is when the trio formed a special bond which was referred by the family as the older three. Rosalind was the chief planner of the trio. But Deborah's leadership skills were displayed at an early age with her partner Lamont. At the birth of the three younger sibling Deirdre, Joy and Vivian, Deborah's headship skills were solidified. She was known to have a good sense humor, loved a good story and was a willing participant in pranking others.

Deborah was baptized at Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church (GABC) where she became active in the Girl Scout, the Sanctuary Choir and the Tots and Teens Dramatic Lead. The desire to act begun at Miles Standish Elementary School when she was crowned the May Day Queen. At the Tots and Teens Dramatic Lead, she enjoyed modern dancing at the Annual Silent Meal Program and would boast of her starring role at Glenville High School and GABC in several plays.

Deborah attended the Cleveland Public Schools graduating from Glenville High School January Class of 1968. Deborah was a very popular student because she challenged the status quo. Deborah was the first woman to: quarterback on the Women Professional Football League, drive motorcycles to school and premier the wearing an Afro in 1966. Throughout High School she was known as AFRO and the class jester. In High School, she became employed at the May Company as a model on the Teen and College Board. Her wiliness to be a trailblazer continue throughout her life taking risk and going on path that was not already there.

Deborah and David Nixon met in high school and was married 1969. To this union the apples of her eyes were born Ross and Chauncey Nixon. The young couple continued their education where she graduated from Cuyahoga Community College. David was drafted in the service and was they relocated to many military bases including Ethiopia. Upon returning from the service the family moved throughout United States. Deborah completed her college education at South Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree. She attended graduate schools at Southern University, Wright State and Ohio University.

Deborah was employed at General Motors (GM) as an industrial engineer for several years working on innovative projects in robotics. After, GM completed the company reorganization and Deborah option to leave company to pursue her first love, a career in sports. Deborah coached Women College Basketball at Southern University earning her the name Coach(P) Perry. She coached at Ohio University winning the MAC conference championship, Head Coach - West Virginia State, University of Buffalo and Pittsburg State University. After retiring she volunteered as an assistance in coaching high school players. Deborah returned the Cleveland and worked part time for Cleveland Orchestra fund raising until COVID.

In June 2022, Deborah became ill and fought a vigorous battle until receiving her heavenly reward on June 17,2023. During her illness she found comfort in listening to country music which she would spontaneously sing alone.

Preceding her in death is her son, Ross Nixon; and mother, Ernestine Perry. She leaves to cherish her memories son, Chauncey Nixon (father) David Nixon, sisters Rosalind Perry, Deirdre Perry, Joy Perry, and Vivian (Gary) Williams, brother Lamont Perry; daughter in law (daughter) Christine Nixon; grandchildren Amber Nixon, Sierra Nixon, and Sage Nixon - adopted grandson Micah Thompson; dear friend Evelyn Thompson. And a host of nephews, nieces, cousins, players, coaches and friends.

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Public Viewing
June 26, 2023

9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Watson's Funeral Home
10913 Superior Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106

Funeral Service
June 27, 2023

12:30 PM
Watson's Funeral Home
10913 Superior Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106


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