Sadness over death of ‘lovely lady’ Sheffield businesswoman Deborah 

Tributes have poured in to a prominent Sheffield businesswoman who has died after a battle with cancer.

Deborah Holmes was a partner with her husband Mark Dransfield in the property development company, Dransfield Properties Ltd, which has been responsible for many award-winning developments across the UK.

Deborah Holmes.

Deborah Holmes.

While being treated for cancer, she also launched and headed the boutique department store, Sandersons, based at the company’s flagship Fox Valley development in the heart of Deborah’s home town of Stocksbridge.

Since her death aged 56 earlier this month, a number of Star readers have paid tribute to the mum-of-two.

Rachel Stevenson posted on Facebook “Remember her as a kid, was determined then to succeed in life. She loved her parents shop.”

Nicola Sargent  added: “It’s so sad. I can’t actually believe it. She was such a lovely lady.”

Liam Cavanagh posted that it is “very sad to see this” and added: “Lovely lady as I recall.”

Cheryl Jones said: “Much love to your family and those grieving, sending hugs.”

Deborah was born in Grimethorpe, Barnsley, and later launched the free newspaper, the Stocksbridge Trader, in the late 1980s, before selling it to the Barnsley Chronicle group.

She married in 1992 and after selling the paper, raised her daughters and was a partner in their family business.

Deborah was particularly proud to be part of the redevelopment of the former steel works in her home town and, when a department store was needed for the Fox Valley development, she decided to open her own in 2016. 

Deborah was diagnosed with cancer six years ago. She died peacefully surrounded by her loved ones on January 2 at St Luke’s Hospice, Sheffield.

Husband Mark described her as “a true inspiration.” 

Her funeral will be held at St Mary’s Church, Bolsterstone, Sheffield, on  January 12 at 10am, followed by a private cremation.