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.
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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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