Deborah E Wilson-Butler was born and raised in Philadelphia in the Tioga-Nicetown neighborhood. She is one of four children along with sister Linda (Bashira) L. Newton, Anthony F. Wilson and Michael S. Wilson She attended the Philadelphia public schools graduating from Olney High. She attended Cheyney State College along with her mother for one year, and later transferred to West Chester State College to major in Health and Physical Education. After graduation she began working at Roxborough High School and then Germantown High School for 30 years. During that time she also coached gymnastics, dance, badminton and the drill team. Debbie also officiated at middle school gymnastic meets. Her passion was teaching health especially educating students about the various diseases and its prevention and treatment.
After retirement Deborah worked as a Single-gene Counselor and Outreach Coordinator at the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Chapter for 15 years. She coordinated the outreach events, did presentations in the Philadelphia and the surrounding counties bringing awareness about sickle cell disease and the trait. She also worked closely with the patients affected by sickle cell at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, the Jefferson University Hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital and Penn/Presbyterian Medical Center where they specialized in Sickle Cell Programs with the care and treatment for children and adults. This was her passion as she volunteered as well with the Sickle Cell community assisting them with non-medical issues.
Deborah did volunteer work at the Career Wardrobe, an organization that collects and sorts business clothing for individuals seeking jobs. Individuals can obtain an outfit for their interview and also receive support and training while searching for employment.
Deborah’s father, Staff Sgt. Elmer H. Wilson, was a member the 99th Fighter Squadron later named the Tuskegee Airmen, as a mechanic. He served from 1941-45. He and his wife Mildred
later became charter members of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. before moving to Tarpon Springs, Florida. When Sgt. Wilson passed away, Mildred also a retired teacher did presentations bringing awareness about her husband and the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen. Elmer was posthumously received the Congressional Medal and his decorated medals that were lost in the mail to my mother.
Deborah is a member the Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and serves on the Heritage and Archives Committee and the Physical and Mental Health Committee. She is also a member of the Grace Presbyterian Church in Jenkintown where she serves as an Elder and is an usher and on the Worship Team Committee. She is married to Dennis Butler also a retired Music Teacher and Tenor performer and has two grown children, Keith A. Butler and Kia N. Butler and two beautiful grandchildren, Hamzah and Safiyyah.