In September of 1979 Debbie joined Texas Instruments in Lubbock, TX working on the innovative “Speak & Spell” educational product. Her extensive knowledge of languages (English, French, Spanish, German, Greek, and Turkish) allowed her to contribute to multiple variants of “Speak & Spell.” At Texas Instruments Debbie met Mario and after a short courtship they married on November 15, 1980.
The second phase of Debbie's world travels started with moves from Lubbock, TX to Austin, TX; West Palm Beach, FL; Tokyo, Japan; Fort Worth, TX; back to Austin; Eindhoven, The Netherlands; and for a third time returned to Austin, TX where the Rivas family considers home. In the process, Debbie added basic Japanese and Dutch language skills to her repertoire.
Debbie's desire was to become a missionary and her wish was fulfilled
via her travels. She particularly enjoyed the women's ministry and taught
at every opportunity and in every country she visited. Debbie loved to
mix with the younger women and provide a listening ear. Debbie also had
a special affection for children.
The family received visitors Friday, October 12 from 7 to 8:30 PM at Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Funeral Home in Pflugerville. A celebration of Debbie's life was held Saturday, October 13, 2007 at 1 p.m. at Brentwood Oaks Church of Christ, 11908 N. Lamar Blvd., with burial following at Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family wishes for donations to the Lance Armstrong Foundation in Austin, TX www.livestrong.com. Share memories and thoughts with Debbie's family at Everlasting Memorial.
Published in the Austin American-Statesman on 10/12/2007.