On Wednesday, Sept. 1, Debra Buffington – publisher of The Sun – dedicated nurse and loving mother – passed away after a long battle with Crohn’s disease. Here is her obituary …
Debra “Mama Buff” Buffington, 63, passed in the early minutes of Sept. 1, 2021, at UPMC Community General Osteopathic Hospital following a life filled to the brim with joy, tears, cackling laughter and unconditional love.
Debbie was born on Feb. 3, 1958, at Polyclinic Hospital in Harrisburg, and as a child, she traveled across Europe and America as part of a military family. After her family returned home, she graduated from Lower Dauphin High School in 1976.
Debbie always wanted to be a nurse, and after a time as a Licensed Practical Nurse, she became a Registered Nurse. She served her patients with care and distinction for more than four decades, starting at Harrisburg Hospital and continuing with Capital Health System, Pinnacle Health and Select Medical.
In 2007, she also became the publisher of The Sun when she and her husband, David, purchased the newspaper. She often said “publisher” was an honorary title, but it was not. The newspaper has been able to survive and thrive only because of the faith Debbie invested in the staff and future of The Sun.
However, Debbie’s greatest accomplishments were personal. While battling Crohn’s disease and the aftermath of a catastrophic auto accident, she was able to raise two beautiful daughters, Stephanie and Allison, while also playing a big role in the young life of her equally beautiful granddaughter, Mya. She was the best Mom and Grammy they could’ve ever asked for, and she loved them unconditionally.
Debbie was preceded in death by her mother, Jane (Ferree) Begani, and her father, John Begani. She is survived by her daughters, Stephanie Stewart and Allison Biser; her sonin law, Steven Stewart; her granddaughter, Mya Stewart; and by her husband, David Buffington, who she lovingly shared the last 20 years with.
She is also survived by a brother, Craig Begani (Glennys); a sister, Pam Begani; a brother, John Begani (Camille); and a sister, Brenda Doane (Bob), along with many beloved relatives.
Debbie was also “Mama Buff” to a host of “children by osmosis,” including Alicia (Wacome) Cramer, Anthony Britt and many more. Debbie loved all of these people, whether they were formal family or not, and they all loved her. She made our world a brighter place, and she – and her laugh – will be missed greatly.
A celebration of Debbie’s amazing life is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 9, 6-8 p.m. at the Hershey History Center, 40 Northeast Drive, Hershey. All who have known and loved her are welcome to attend.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to Speranza Animal Rescue, 1216 Brandt Road, Mechanicsburg PA 17055 (www.speranzarescue.org).
The family would like to extend special thanks to Debbie’s longtime family physician, Dr. Jack Moody, along with the many doctors, nurses and support staff at Osteo, including Lorine, Ashleigh, Jordyn, Deone, Susan and many others. We don’t know all their names, but we do know they shared Debbie’s care for and love of her patients.
Online condolences may be shared at www.trefzandbowser.com.