ONTARIO, Calif.— Deborah (Davis) Caughron, a Casper native, passed away in California on April 18, 2019, at the age of 74. Deborah was born in Casper on January 23, 1945, the first child of Mark Jay and Marjorie Jean Davis.
The Davis family were pre-statehood settlers in Wyoming. An ancestor, Henry “Hard Winter” Davis of Delaware ventured to Wyoming to enter the cattle business in Johnson County, after the Civil War. C. K. Bucknum, a great-grandfather of Deborah, was stationed in the Montana Territory as an Army Indian scout. After his military service, he ran a freight business from Fort Benton that brought him to Casper, where he settled and helped develop the town.
Deborah was educated at local public schools in Casper and graduated from Natrona County High School in 1963. While in high school, she studied abroad in Cordoba, Argentina which sparked her lifelong interest in cultural, societal and global studies. She continued her education at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, graduating in 1967 with a degree in anthropology. Deborah then moved to Claremont, California to pursue a doctorate at the Claremont Graduate School in early childhood education, earning a Ph.D. in 1976.
Deborah and Thomas Caughron were married in July 1974 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. The two settled in Claremont and were known for remarkable celebrations.
Deborah was a professor of child development for over thirty years at a number of colleges, including Cal State LA, Northridge and the Claremont Graduate School. The longest position she held was at Chaffey College where she taught for 32 years. While earning her doctorate, she was also a head teacher at Mary B. Eyre Children’s School. One of her greatest achievements was her revolutionary development of the International Nanny Association which she founded in 1985. Her mission was to help legitimize the nanny profession, which furthered her fierce support of pre-school education and children’s rights. Since then, the INA has become one of the country’s leading associations to press for professional standards, recognition and working conditions for nannies.
Deborah wrote, edited and published the National Nanny Newsletter emphasizing the need for special training of teachers and in-home caregivers in the education of young children. She received national attention for her efforts in television and newspaper interviews including Good Morning America, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. In addition to her pursuit of higher learning, she was an avid traveler. She enjoyed cross country road trips to her home state of Wyoming, tracking down sources of her ancestral history in the Old West. Many summers were spent visiting with friends and family across the US, from San Francisco to the Outer Banks and places in between. She also had many international adventures throughout Europe, Asia and South America. Deborah’s lively sense of humor and love for life touched all those who knew her and she will be missed dearly.
Deborah is survived by her husband of 45 years, Thomas; two sons, Nicholas and Timothy; grandson, Anthony; and faithful dog, Max.