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171 Humboldt Ave.
Dorchester, MA 02121
Phone: 617-427-5625
Fax: 617-427-2869
Deborah Burroughs

Deborah Lois Burroughs

Sunday, November 29th, 1959 - Wednesday, October 7th, 2020
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Deborah (Debbie) Lois Burroughs was born in Boston, Massachusetts on November 29, 1959; she was the sixth child of the late Margaret Saunders Burroughs and the late Bishop William Henry Burroughs, Jr. Deborah and her siblings were nurtured in the spiritual tradition of the Apostolic church her father pastored. Early on Deborah evinced vocal talents that were cultivated and developed while singing at home with the family, in church during devotional services, in the children’s choir, and in The Burroughs Ensemble.

Debbie was an energetic child who had natural athleticism and a sense of kinesis. Her basketball skills were evident in elementary school- winning easily over girls and boys. Her agility, quickness, reach, and jumping acumen earned her the nickname Squid at Dorchester High School, where she played the position of guard on The Girls’ Basketball team. By her graduation from high school in 1978, she had accumulated many trophies and accolades. Deborah continued playing basketball at the College of the Desert in Indio, California. As a point guard for The Lady Roadrunners, she was the highest scorer in her league statewide during the 1978-1979 season.

Deborah’s career at UMASS Boston, where she worked in Records and Registration, spanned 35 years. Deborah had many colleagues who became friends who were included in the family’s formal and informal gatherings. Her colleagues and friends often said she kept them laughing and singing, and that her energy level was infectious. Deborah retired from UMASS in October,2019.

One of her favorite pastimes was karaoke and how she loved karaoke! Deborah often attended karaoke nights in and around Boston. Some of Deborah’s karaoke numbers included signature tunes by her favorite artists: Phyllis Hyman, Chaka Khan, The Emotions and Gladys Knight.

To say Deborah loved her family is an understatement. It’s not hyperbolic to say Deborah lived from one holiday to the next when family gatherings were had. Over the years the numbers of family and friends multiplied. Deborah claimed her first born nephew Buzz (William) as her own, babysitting him from the time she was eleven years old, through her high school years. She embraced all of her nieces and nephews as they came; Aunt Debbie loved them all.

On Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 11:30 pm, Deborah transitioned. She was preceded in death by her parents, William H and Margaret Burroughs; her oldest brother, William Lloyd Sr; grand nephews, Christopher and Kaiden. Deborah leaves to celebrate her life and memory her siblings: Lawrence, Donald, Emily Teresa, Yvonne, Ida and Samuel Alan, Sr. (Merilyn); sister-in-law Alene; 16 nephews and nieces; 12 grand nephews and nieces; and numerous cousins, friends and colleagues.

There will be a Visitation hour on Thursday October 22, 2020 from 11:00am to 12 Noon follwed by Funeral Service at 12:00 O'clock at Riley-Antoine Funeral Home, 171 Humboldt Ave., Dorchester.

Interment: Oak Lawn Cemetery, Roslindale

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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 | 11:00am - 12:00pm
    Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 11:00am - 12:00pm
    Riley-Antoine Funeral Home
    171 Humboldt Ave.
    Dorchester, MA 02121
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 | 12:00pm
    Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 12:00pm
    Riley-Antoine Funeral Home
    171 Humboldt Ave.
    Dorchester, MA 02121
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence
UMass Boston Division of Enrollment Management sent flowers to the family of Deborah Lois Burroughs.
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Alicia Hollins

Posted at 06:03pm
Through great sorrow, God gives us a song in the night season and all day long...
Life is a collection of battles. The influx of emotions can be overwhelming---we know. During times like these, it is important to reach down deep inside and call forth your greatest strength. Lean not to your own understanding but grasp hold to your faith and trust in God. He cares what you feel and He has your hearts, minds, physical and emotional wellness in His hands.
We love you.
Bishop Milton Hollins Jr., Helen Hollins, Francheasca Hollins-Roberson, Alicia Hollins, Jhonuelle Hollins.

Nina Colon Averbuck

Posted at 09:56am
My dearest Deb, I will never forget the time we worked together alongside, laughing and joking and singing together and in general being goofballs. I remember your laugh and your quirks like it was yesterday. It's unfair that death took you when you were just beginning a new chapter in your life. I know how much you love your family, and how deeply you felt in general about the people in your life. I know that you're on the other side, protecting all, loving all and delighting in the ones under your care. I will raise a glass to you and I'll see you on the other side babes. My love to you and yours.

Dieann Williams Posted at 01:25pm

Our condolences to the family. We love you all and will keep you in our prayers. Our hearts are sadden at the passing of Debbie, but God is still our keeper. Blessings to you all. Love you dearly, Uncle Charlie, Aunt Frances, and Dieann

Rhuvette Ross

Posted at 04:01pm
My condolences to the family. It sadden my heart to hear that a long, long, past friend in my life past away. Childhood memories of our growing up together in church praising God. Past memories of us both playing basket ball against each other as rivals in high school, Deb at Dorchester High and I attending English High. Time waits on no one, passing has no date or stamped time, but when you are called home, no one can stop that. I will forever hold fawn memories of my beloved Sister and that will always be dear to my heart. Deb rest in peace my sister.

Cousins Nancy & Tyler

Posted at 10:10am
Family, it is with heavy grief that I have planted a tree in Debbie's name. May this tree be a reminder that her memory will forever be in our hearts.
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Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 01:04pm
Our warmest condolences with the loss of Debs, we will miss her warm smile and her caring soul. Heaven again a special angel. Love Connie and Bridget
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