Debra Burke Taylor passed away Friday, October 13, 2017 in Austin, Texas after a 14-year battle against ovarian cancer which she fought with tenacity and courage. She spent her final two weeks at Hospice Austin's Christopher House where she and her daughters received exceptional care and support.
Debra was born on October 15, 1952 in Houston, Texas to Minnie and Jeff Burke. She graduated from M.B. Smiley High School in 1971 and went to the University of Houston before completing her B.B.A. at Sam Houston State University in 1981. After her daughters were grown, she went back to school for an M.B.A. in Accounting from Sam Houston State. Debra loved learning. She earned Summa Cum Laude and was part of Alpha Chi Honor Society, Omicron Delta Epsilon-National Economics Honor Society (Chapter Founding Officer), Golden Key Honor Society, and Beta Gamma Sigma-Masters Program Honor Society. After receiving her Master's degree, Debra became a licensed CPA and contributed her skill to several companies in Huntsville and Austin before working independently as a consultant.
Although Debra was as quick and smart as they come, it was her ability to love and care for others that we will remember most. She found great joy and meaning in being a mother and, later, grandmother (Gammy). Her happiest moments in life were when everyone in the family could be together, whether it be a small family dinner or large holiday gathering. Debra was a founding member of CASA of Walker County and was passionate about advocating for children in the foster care system. She also cared for many elderly persons in her church and community, and rescued countless animals in need.
Debra is survived by daughters Kaulen Taylor Pickell and husband Mark of Austin and Erin Taylor Pickard and husband Ry of Austin; 2 grandsons, Jeffrey and Grant Pickell; lifelong friend and ex-husband Al Taylor; sister Diane Christian and husband Harvey of Pipe Creek, brother David Burke and wife Mary of Wimberley, and brother Danny Burke and wife Gayle of Mount Washington, KY; nephew Waylan Burke of Austin, TX and niece Rachel Burke of Mount Washington, KY; her aunt Anne Isaacks; and many cousins. She is preceded in death by her mother and father, Minnie and Jeff Burke of Houston, TX, her grandparents, aunts and uncles, and several cousins.
A celebration of life is scheduled for Friday, October 27, 2017 at 11:00am at Laguna Gloria (The Contemporary Austin) in Austin, TX, with a reception to follow. Rev. Dr. Kyle Dennis will officiate the ceremony. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Debra's life. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to CASA of Walker County: https://casaofwalkercounty.networkforgood.com/. Or by mail with 'Debra Taylor' in the check memo: CASA of Walker County, PO Box 275, Huntsville,TX 77342If you would like to send flowers, Laguna Gloria has asked that they be delivered *Friday morning* (they do not have room to store them overnight). Laguna Gloria: 3809 West 35th Street, Austin, TX 78703
Published on October 20, 2017