Deborah Ann "Young" Gugino

March 2, 1949April 22, 2021

On Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 1:37 p.m., the most wonderful, sweet, bright, caring and otherwise incomparable teacher, mother, grandmother, wife and friend left this earth to take her place with the other angels in heaven.

Born on March 2, 1949 in Chickashaw, Oklahoma to loving parents Mary Ella (Graves) Young and “Rocky” Everett Lowell Young, Deborah Ann and her brother, David, would live in Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana before the family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1961. From 1963 through 1967, Deborah attended Western High School, where she graduated with “high honors” as one of the “Top Ten” students in the class. She then attended UNLV, and in 1981 graduated with “high honors,’ obtaining a B.S. in Elementary and Special Education. Deborah had achieved a 3.99 GPA, and received the President’s Award, along with a listing in Who’s Who in American Universities.

In 1981, Deborah was hired as a special education teacher by the Clark County School District and began her 40-year career as an educator and administrator. During that time, she obtained an M.S. in Computer Education from Nova University, where she graduated with “high honors” in 1984, with a GPA of 4.0. In 1986, she obtained her second Master’s Degree, an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from UNLV, again achieving “high honors” with a 3.9 GPA.

From 1984 to 1991, Deborah served as the Administrative Specialist for the Siegel Diagnostic Classroom Program. She was then promoted to the position of Coordinator for the Early Childhood Special Education Program, a federally-mandated progam for pre-school aged developmentally delayed students. She remained in that position from 1991 to 1998, and oversaw an increase from the original 50 students to over 3,000 in seven years. Beginning in 1998, Deb served as an Assistant Principal at several elementary schools until she “retired” briefly, and then resumed her career by returning to the classroom where she remained through September of 2020.

Deborah did not have an easy life. Nobody paid for her education. She raised three (3) children on a small teacher’s salary, and had worked many part-time jobs to support herself and them, from school crossing guard to the lovely assistant for the “Monkey Act” at Circus Circus to handing out free food as a “Hot Dog Girl” at the New Frontier. Despite her personal struggles, Deborah showed her generosity and kindness by giving clothing, books and other gifts to her students; and by tutoring countless students in the valley with learning disabilities.

On April 16, 1988, Deborah compounded her problems by marrying Salvatore C. “Sal” Gugino, a local attorney with dubious bona vides. Despite this, the couple had a very happy relationship, and traveled to Europe, Canada, Mexico and the Hawaiian Islands as often as possible. They even drove their motorhome across the country to Boston and back in 2020. Deborah loved art, music and plays, which resulted in the couple attending theater productions and museums in London, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver and Las Vegas, as well as such far away destinations as Cedar City, Utah and Boulder City. Nevada.

Deborah is survived by her husband, Salvatore C. Gugino; her sons, James A. (Laurie) Bichsel, Jr. and David A. (Megan) Bichsel, her daughter, Julie A. Gugino; her stepson, Michael S. (Tiffany) Gugino and her six (6) grandchildren: Ashley B. Gugino, Everett Bichsel, Hannah Bichsel, Wiley Bichsel, Grace Gugino, Vera Gugino and Ava Gugino, as well as numerous other relatives in the Graves and Young families; and too many in-laws and friends to mention here.

Memorial services for Deborah are scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 8, 2021 at Palm Northwest Mortuary & Cemetery, located at 6701 N. Jones Blvd, Las Vegas, Nevada 89131. Because of Covid-19, seats are restricted to 150 and RSVPs should be sent to by noon on Friday, May 7, 2021.


  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, May 8, 2021

  • Reception

    Saturday, May 8, 2021


Deborah Ann "Young" Gugino

have a memory or condolence to add?

Cardon Allred

May 7, 2021

Dear Gugino Family,

Saddened for the loss of Deb. One of her administrative experiences was serving the students and parents at Adams Elementary as the assistant principal. She had such great passion for their successes, and a special place in her heart for those who experienced learning or emotional difficulties. As an advocate, she exhibited care and compassion and professional support. Deb had a great sense of humor and we laughed many times. She loved her family and at one time shared experiences from trip to Hawaii. I have a lovely banana leaf plate she brought back for me and it always reminds me of her. Although through the years we lost touch, I have remembered her deep sense of care for students, they were a priority. May your memories of her comfort your heart.

Cardon Allred
Former Principal at Adams ES