Carlton Ray Debnam

Carlton Ray Debnam

Carlton Ray Debnam, 80, passed away Thursday, April 4th, in Asheville, surrounded by his family.

He is survived by three children, Bob Debnam, and wife, Michele, of Colleyville, TX; Jill Engstrom and husband, David, of Wilson, NC; and Sam Debnam and wife, Shelley, of Coppell, TX; a brother, Dennis Debnam and wife, Yvonne of Zebulon, NC; and four grandsons, Michael, Brent, Blake and Ben. Mr. Debnam was preceded in death by his parents, Charlie and Dolly Debnam, and brother, Ronnie Debnam.

Born and raised in Zebulon, NC, Carl worked on the family farm, graduating from Wakelon High School in 1959. He attended Atlantic Christian College, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Chowan Community College, obtaining a degree in Accounting. At UNC, he was a member of the track and field team and played basketball at Chowan.
Mr. Debnam was a 54-year-long resident of Asheville, finishing out his work career as comptroller at NCI, Inc, where he was employed 24 years.

He was a long-time member of First Baptist Church of Asheville, where he served on the endowment committee. Known for his bright smile and outgoing personality, he was a member of the Mountain Shag Club of Asheville, and the Mountain Empire Shag Society of Johnson City. He was also a member of the Men’s Garden Club of Asheville, and an avid golfer and fisherman. He will be greatly missed!

A service will be at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday at the chapel at Gethsemane Memorial Gardens, Zebulon, with burial following.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Men’s Garden Club of Asheville or the missions fund of First Baptist Church of Asheville.


  • Donna Reams Posted April 8, 2019 1:12 pm

    What a great guy and classmate. I’m happy to call him a friend as well as a c;ass,ate. We had some good times at class reunions. The class of 57 will certainly miss him.

  • Tammy Pearce Augsburger Posted April 8, 2019 10:38 pm

    Dennis, Sorry for your family’s loss. May prayers from friends send you comfort and peace.

  • BETSY GREEN Posted April 9, 2019 8:46 am

    Thinking of Carlton’s devoted family who were by his side these past four months. Many friends in Asheville and Zebulon were constantly praying for his health to improve. Now Carlton is no longer suffering.. He is with his heavenly father. He lived an enjoyable life dancing thru the years and always with that special smile. Our class of 1957, Wakelon School, will miss him.

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