Vail Daily obituary: Deborah Taft Cummins, 1958-2017 |

Vail Daily obituary: Deborah Taft Cummins, 1958-2017

Deborah Taft Cummins, of Atlanta, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by her loving family, on March 19, 2017. Deb lived her life with grace and beauty. Her exceptional selflessness, warmth and kindness nurtured deep relationships with friends and family. Deb’s smile and laugh were contagious, bringing light and joy to everyone who knew her.

Deb is survived by her husband and three sons. Her husband of 20 years, Hugh Sterling Cummins III (Beau), was the love of her life. Beau serves on the executive management team for SunTrust Banks in Atlanta, Georgia. Deb’s life passion was raising her three sons. Andrew Ingram Bensch, born in 1985, earned a BA cum laude from Wake Forest University and just completed seven years of service in Naval Special Warfare. Andrew begins his studies at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. Daniel Colvin Bensch, born in 1986, earned a BA from Miami University of Oxford, Ohio, and is completing his studies to earn a Master’s in Business Administration from The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Daniel begins work with Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York this summer. Matthew Cummins Bensch, born in 1989, earned a BS in Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales and earned his Master’s in Culinary Management and Innovation from the Institut Paul Bocuse, Lyon, France. Matthew works for Loews Hotels in New York, New York. The love her sons received from their mother is reciprocated in the deep love and admiration they will always have for her.

Born on Feb. 10, 1958, in Charlotte, North Carolina, Debbie was the first daughter and third child to William Carlisle Taft and Billie Jean Greene Taft. She graduated from Charlotte Country Day School in 1976 and earned her BA from Salem College in 1980. Debbie returned to Charlotte after college where she worked in the securities industry for many years.

Deb, Beau and their sons lived in Charlotte, North Carolina, Greenwich, Connecticut and now Atlanta. In all of those places Deb created special and beautiful homes, filled with warmth and happiness where her family and friends gathered. Her Atlanta home was a cover feature story for the magazine Traditional Home, reflecting the beauty of her design work.

Deb is also survived by her three siblings, William Carlisle Taft, MD, Ph.D., of Greenville, South Carolina; Kenneth Via Taft, of Highlands, North Carolina, Laura Taft Paulsen and her husband William F. Paulsen, of New York, New York. She is survived by seven nieces and three nephews.

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The family will celebrate Deb’s life on Friday at 2 p.m. at The Cathedral of Saint Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30305. They will receive guests at the church immediately following.

The family requests, in lieu of flowers, that donations be sent to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Evelyn H. Lauder’s Founders Fund, a dedicated initiative to address the persistent challenges of breast cancer metastasis. Breast Cancer Research Foundation, 60 East 56th Street, 8th floor, New York, NY 10022 ( Online condolences may be made at

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