As we retrace the footprints of Debra Kay Taylor we can only give thanks for the many lives she touched and enriched along life’s journey. A bold and self confident woman, she was blessed to enjoy many of God’s blessings as a child, a sister, a wife, a mother, grandmother and a friend.
Debra Griffin began her journey of life on July 8, 1955, in Little Rock, Arkansas as the daughter of Dean Griffin and Bobbie N. James.
Debra and her sister Karen were raised in a Christian environment by their parents Phillip and Bobbie N. James. She accepted Christ as her personal Savior and united with First Baptist Church - Rockport.
Debra was educated in Malvern and was a 1973 graduate of Malvern High School where she excelled as a student. Debra grew up to be a loving, kind and intelligent young woman. She furthered her education where she earned an associates degree from Ouachita Technical College now the College of the Ouachitas in Malvern.
Believing God’s Word, “….and the two shall become one flesh….” on February 15, 1975 she became Mrs. Debra Taylor when she married the handsome Benny R. Taylor and together they laid a solid foundation for family life based on love, commitment, and Christian values.
They later became proud parents of four caring and devoted daughters; Rashada, Katara, Kenya, and Cierra. Although they were daddy’s girls, they were the apple of their mother’s eye. Debra was a part of that generation that counted motherhood as a virtue because mothers knew the difference between a house and home. So Debra’s golden accomplishment in life was to make a loving home that would produce a tapestry of memories her daughters would forever cherish.
Debra was an employee of the Malvern School District where she worked dutifully as a parent coordinator for 23 years. Her co-workers remember her as a business minded and dedicated employee.
She was a faithful member of Greater New Hope Baptist Church in Malvern where she served as a Sunday school teacher, with the WMU and vacation bible school superintendent.
Debra received her blessing of immortality on Thursday, September 13, 2012, at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas with her daughters by her side.
During all of her 57 seasons of life she made friends across race, gender, faith and creed; she freely offered wise counsel, gave generously to those in need and inspired everyone who crossed her path.
Debra was welcomed home by her father Phillip James and her beloved Benny Ray who made his transition on June 8, 2012. Because love is greater than death she leaves to celebrate and honor her life’s journey: her mother, Bobbie N. Simpson of Malvern; four daughters, Rashada and her fiancé Norman Buckner of Malvern, Katara and her fiancé Albert Williams of Malvern, Kenya and her fiancé Tommy Brooks of Arkadelphia, and Cierra and her fiancé Andre’ Bell of Arkadelphia; her grandchildren, Christopher Banks of Malvern, Asia Crosslin of Malvern, Micah Buckley of Arkadelphia, Kentrell Weaver of Malvern, Gabby Weaver of Malvern, Jasmine Clark of Malvern, Caleb Fanning of Arkadelphia, Indigo Clark of Malvern, Camariah Bell of Arkadelphia, Karson Everett of Arkadelphia and A’Ryan Bell of Arkadelphia; one sister, Karen McCloskey and her husband Jerry of Spanaway, WA; her nephew, James Phillip Coffee of Spanaway, WA; four aunts, Hattie M. Reynolds of Riverside, CA, Leona Terrell of Saginaw, MI, Catherine Anthony of Chicago, IL and Geraldine Colbert of Wichita, KS; one uncle, Dean Simpson of Memphis, TN; her mother-in-law, Odelia Lock of Malvern, AR; seven sisters-in-law, Annie Shaw of Greenbelt, MD, Shirley Johnson of Malvern, AR, Joann Dickerson of Arkadelphia, AR, Lavern Burns of Lancaster, TX, Linda Bryant and her husband Tommy of Malvern, Jacqulyn Fantoni of Lawton, OK and Tammy Williams and her husband Ricky of Lawton, OK.
She also leaves a multitude of nieces, nephews, cousins, countless friends, and the Greater New Hope Baptist Church family.
Family, as well as friends, will miss her sense of humor, smile and love, but will never forget her spirit and compassion. Although Debra lived what some may call a short life, those who were touched by her understood that the quality of her existence far exceeded the quantity of time many of us spent with her.
The Taylor family will receive friends on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. at Greater New Hope Baptist Church, 1202 Sullenberger Street in Malvern, Arkansas.
A celebration of her life will be held Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. in the sanctuary of Greater New Hope Baptist Church where Rev. J. O. T. Lea the pastor and will serve as the celebrant.
The committal service and final resting place will be in Perla Cemetery.
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