Hon. Deborah C. Benefield, retired Clayton County Superior Court Judge and Atlanta native, died early in the morning on April 7, 2023 at the age of 66 in the comfort of her home.
Deborah is survived by her daughter, Maggie Galbraith, her son-in-law Andrew Galbraith, her grandchildren Allison and Noelle Galbraith, her brother Mike Coghlan, her sister-in-law Kathy Coghlan, and her nephews Michael and Kyle Coghlan. She is predeceased by her parents Millard and Patricia Coghlan.
Deborah was born on November 14, 1956. She graduated from Spring Hill College in 1980 with a degree in history. She went on to complete a J.D. at the University of Georgia School of Law in 1983. Deborah would go on to serve as Clayton County’s first woman solicitor with the Clayton County Solicitor General’s office until she was later elected as Clayton County’s first woman trial judge in 1993. She faithfully served Clayton County in this capacity for 23 years, becoming a highly respected pillar of her community.
Deborah was a devoted mother to her daughter, Maggie, and a loyal friend to many. She was a devoted Christian and was involved in many church activities and service positions. A true dog lover, Deborah rescued and loved many Golden Retrievers and Greyhounds throughout her lifetime. In her spare time, she coached Mock Trial at Jonesboro High School, and enjoyed traveling to Gulf Shores where her parents lived for many years. Deborah will be greatly missed.
A funeral service is scheduled for Thursday, April 13 at 10:00 a.m. at Shallowford Presbyterian Church. Rev. Bradley Kibler will officiate. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Emory Integrated Memory Care Clinic.
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