Deborah (Combs) Surlas

September 25, 1953 ~ February 4, 2015 (age 61)

Deborah C. Surlas

Deborah C. Surlas, 61, died on February 4, 2015 after a courageous battle with breast cancer. She was an inspiration to many people with her relentless will to live and overcoming so many health issues in her life.

She was born in Neptune, NJ on September 25, 1953 to Robert M. and Gwendolyn N. Combs of Wall, NJ. Deborah was a 1972 graduate of Wall High School and a 1974 graduate of the St. Francis Medical Center School of Nursing. She also earned an electronics engineering degree from DeVry Tech. After several years in nursing, Deborah went on to start her own business, 'MBA Associates,' specializing in clinical hospital bill audits.

In 1993 Debi received the 'Gift of Life' with a kidney and pancreas transplant. Ever grateful, she wanted to give back to the transplant community and help others with their transplant journey. She volunteered with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and served three years on their patient affairs committee before becoming the chairman for five years. She later became member of the Board of Directors Foundation for UNOS and eventually a general public member of the Board of Directors. She also served on the Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Transplantation.

Deborah was preceded in death by her parents; and by her sister, Robin Scoggin.  She is survived by her devoted husband, Timothy; sister, Sherry (Michael) Laing; brother Christopher (Kim) Combs; brother-inlaw, Jeffrey (Roberta) Surlas; nieces, Andrea and Kira; and nephews, Gerry, Bruce, Jonathon, and Connor.

Visitation was held at the Fuller Funeral Home, 1625 Pine Ridge Road, Naples, FL on Friday, February 6, 2015 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.  A Funeral Service was held at the Trinity-bythe-Cove Episcopal Church, 553 Galleon Drive, Naples FL on Saturday, February 7, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. A reception at the parish hall immediately followed. A Graveside Service will be held Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at Greenview Cemetery, Memorial Drive, Greensboro, GA.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to United Network for Organ Sharing, care of the Deborah C. Surlas Legacy for Life Society at UNOS, 700 North Fourth Street, P.O. Box 2484, Richmond VA 23218, or to the Shy Wolf Sanctuary, PO Box 3032, Naples, FL 34106.  McCommons Funeral Home, 109 W. Broad St., Greensboro, GA, (706) 453-2626, is in charge of local arrangements. Visit us at to sign the online guest register.


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