Obituary: Debra Burr
August 5, 1955 – April 13, 2022
Debra Ann Burr, age 66, returned home on April 13, 2022. She was born on August 5,1955 in Attleboro, Massachusetts to Thomas and Doris Burr. In the early 1980’s, she moved to Oak Creek, Colorado after she fell in love with the beauty of the Yampa Valley while visiting her sister Pam Montoya in Yampa. She lived there for the remainder of her life.
Debbie received her B.A. in Psychology in 1985 from the University of Northern Colorado. After being certified as a Nursing Assistant in 2013, Debbie took the prerequisite courses for the Nursing Program at Colorado Northwestern Community College. Debbie was accepted into the Nursing Program in the Fall of 2015, and completed one semester.
Shortly after she moved to Colorado, Debbie felt very fortunate to land a job at the famous “Dinty Moore’s Pizzeria” in Oak Creek Debbie loved that job. Debbie loved working for Dinty who truly treated all his employees like family, she loved his wife Noreen, and she enjoyed interacting with the customers. Debbie worked at Dinty’s for over 12 years.
Another job that held special significance for Debbie was working as a CNA at Casey’s Pond. Debbie’s compassionate nature made her a perfect match for the job. She came to care deeply for the residents, and provided them with the best care she possibly could. Debbie loved doing work that she felt mattered.
Debbie was kind-hearted, generous, fun-loving and funny, adventurous, energetic, courageous, strong-willed and beautiful. She had a great sense of humor and an infectious laugh. Although she could be shy at times, she loved people. She truly saw the good in everyone. Debbie was a very appreciative person. She was grateful for every person in her life, every act of kindness ever shown to her, and every adventure she ever had. She was grateful for all the beauty, peace, and tranquility she found in nature. Debbie was grateful for the life she felt blessed to live
Debbie loved being outdoors in nature, she enjoyed being physically active, she appreciated challenges, she adored exploring, and she loved having new experiences. Debbie was passionate about camping, biking, hiking, cross-country skiing, and rafting. Debbie also loved road trips, celebrations of any kind, moving bodies of water, the night-time sky, and campfires. Mostly though she loved sharing her life with her soul mate Ray Whitlow, and with her family and friends.
When she was in her early 50’s, Debbie nearly succumbed to an alcohol addiction. After having a very close brush with death, she fought fearlessly to overcome her addiction and regain her health. She succeeded, and then went on to live some of the best years of her life. Debbie remained grateful her entire life to the friends, family and medical professionals who intervened and gave her that second chance at life. Debbie hoped her experiences would help inspire others to achieve and maintain their sobriety and she never hesitated to do what she could to help fellow addicts who were struggling.
Debbie was a cherished member of her close-knit family. She will be greatly missed by all of them. She is survived by her sister Robin, her brothers Rick and Kevin Burr, her brother-in-law Ernie, her sister-in-law Judy, her nieces Shoshanna, Tashenna, Sierra, Teanna, and Angelina Montoya, Kristina Garner, Kendra Cabral, and Kim Bitner; her nephews Elijah Montoya, Derrek Burr and Ryan Burr; as well as many great and great-great nieces and nephews.
Debbie is preceded in death by her soul mate, Raymond Lee Whitlow, who passed away on September 28, 2021, her parents Thomas and Doris Burr, her older sister Pamela Jean Montoya, and her younger brother Thomas Michael Burr.
A joint Celebration of Life will be held for Debbie and Raymond Lee Whitlow, on July 17, 2022 at Decker Park in Oak Creek.
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