Visitation Information:

January 4th, 2020 at 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Memorial Park North Funeral Home Riverside Chapel
989 Riverside Drive Gainesville, GA 30501

Service Information:

January 4th, 2020 at 07:00 PM
Memorial Park North Funeral Home Riverside Chapel
989 Riverside Drive Gainesville, GA 30501

Mrs. Deborah (Buckles) Fast, 71




Memorial Deborah Buckles Fast

11/3/1948 to 12/7/2019

Deborah (Buckles) Fast

It is with great sadness that the family of Deborah Buckles Fast, age 71, of Gainesville, GA, announce her passing away on Saturday, December 7, 2019.

Deborah will be lovingly remembered and missed.  She is survived by her husband, Larry E. Fast of Gainesville, GA, her children, daughter Carisa Lewis Reilly (Richard J. Reilly, Jr), of Short Hills, NJ; daughter Elisabeth (Libby) Shelby (Bryan Hoffman), of Dallas, TX; son John Bentley Shelby, Jr. (Samantha), of Chicago, IL. Deborah will be fondly remembered as ‘Grandma America’ by her three grandchildren, Madeline Rebecca, Abigail Georgina and Robert Benjamin Whittall, by her sisters Kathalee Refner, of Hamilton, IN, and Teresa Barnard, of Petaluma, CA, and her many nieces and nephews. Deborah was preceded in death by her parents, Oris Jon and Barbara Ann Buckles, of Garrett, IN, sister Donnadee (Dee) Hohimer, of Ft. Myers, FL, and nephew Chad Burkey of Santa Clara, CA.  Deborah was a devoted mother and grandmother, and enjoyed volunteering at her children’s schools and leading Girl Scout Troops.

She had a life-long interest in nature, and enjoyed visiting nature preserves and Botanical Gardens wherever she travelled. The Gainesville Botanical Garden was a favorite place of reflection.  She never missed a chance during travel to find a nature preserve, a national park, an aquarium—whatever was in the area for a visit. She studied and learned about birds, wild animals, snakes of all kinds from the Everglades in FL to Denali State Park in Alaska and from Acadia National Park in Maine to Yosemite National Park in California.

She was a practiced and knowledgeable gardener her entire life, keeping vegetable gardens, flower beds, and a variety of house plants thriving.  Throughout her life she participated in the healthy, organic food movement from the 1970s onwards.

Perhaps her greatest passion was in the creative arts - she was an accomplished potter, and was an early ‘cottage industry’ ceramic artist. She learned to sew at an early age from her mother, making beautiful clothes for herself, friends, children and grandchildren, and passed on her skills and passion for sewing, knitting and crochet to them.

Deborah is best described as a modern Renaissance woman with endless talents, a thirst for learning, a sharp wit and wonderful sense of humor. Deborah will be missed by her many friends, in many places, both old and new.

A service will be held at Memorial Park Funeral Home, 989 Riverside Drive in Gainesville, on January 4, 2020, with visitation from 6 to 8 p.m. A short memorial service will be held at 7 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Deborah Fast’s name to the Gainesville, GA location of the Atlanta Botanical Garden: Attn:  Development, 1345 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA  30309. Call Katie Sharrard directly at 404-585-2015.

 Memorial Park North Riverside Chapel, 989 Riverside Dr. is in charge of arrangements. Send online condolences to


Condolences 4
Kim Walker 2019-12-09 08:42:57
My heart goes out to you Libby! Know that I love you! XOXO Kim...aka Momma
Julia Strong 2019-12-13 21:49:47
Larry, I was so sad when I saw Deborah’s name in the obituaries today. Though it has been a little while since I saw her, she was always so full of life! You are in my thoughts; I am sure this is a very difficult time for you. Kind regards, Julia
Paula Bateman 2019-12-18 15:03:55
Sending love and prayers. I will miss my childhood friend. Debbie was beautiful in all her ways. 💜
Beth Aderholt 2020-01-04 08:36:53
Although I knew Debbie briefly, I always enjoyed our time interesting, beautiful and engaging person. She dealt with her illness modestly and bravely....someone to emulate. I will miss her. My condolences to her family.
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