Doris Mae Debes

June 16, 1927 - March 9, 2023

Obituary for Doris M. Debes, beloved Aunt to everyone who knew her . . .

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control . . .” – Galatians 5:22-23

Doris M. Debes, 95, of Beaumont, Texas, passed into eternal life on March 9, 2023.  She was the embodiment of the fruit of the Spirit and personified it every day of her life.  Doris is preceded in death by her loving husband, Wilford, parents Ameen and Julia Shakour her brothers, Fred, Richard, Johnny, Eddie, and George Shakour, and her sisters, Mary Shakour and Annie Moses.

Born on June 16, 1927, to immigrant parents, Doris led a life of limitless, unconditional love and faithfulness.  Called to serve the Lord, Doris found her greatest joys in her church and family.  With unwavering devotion, there was nothing that this youngest of eight would not do for her family.  She was the matriarch of the family even though she and her husband Wilford never had children of their own.  Her love and generosity extended abundantly to all her siblings, nieces and nephews and their children. Faithful and gentle, she served as the caregiver to everyone throughout their lives with never a complaint or even a hint of exhaustion or frustration.  Even into her final days, her peace and fulfillment came from being surrounded by her family.

Doris was truly devoted to her faith and to Saint Michael Christian Orthodox Church.  She served in many capacities as Christ’s steward from parish council to fundraising to the heartwarming greeter every Sunday in the vestibule. She was selfless, brought people together, and showed them how to live the way God intends.  Her church and the Orthodox religion were not just a building and a doctrine, but her way of life.  As Christians, we are reminded that our ultimate goal is to become more like Christ, walking in humility toward others and obedience toward our heavenly Father and her walk exemplified that fully.  She continually shined her light on the world through her service, and for that the community of St. Michael Orthodox Church will be impacted forever.

She was a strong, independent woman, with a zest for living.  Her life was full of joy, and she was always surrounded by family and friends.  She and Wilford enjoyed dancing, bowling, card games, and entertaining in their beautiful home which was always so welcoming to everyone.  An amazing cook and hostess, she passed on many of her famous Lebanese recipes as her legacy.  Every Thursday was her special time for herself as she enjoyed her weekly poker games with her longtime friends.  However, on every other afternoon of the week, you could always gather around the breakfast room table for a cup of coffee, a freshly cooked treat, and the warmest smile around.

Outside of her unwavering commitment to her family and faith, she was a bit of a pioneer for working women.  At a young age, she took a business course and later joined American National Bank (shortly after becoming Texas Commerce Bank). She diligently worked her way up and was promoted as the first female Vice President.  In true testament to who she was and her calling in life, Doris managed Customer Service where she became known to everyone in the community.

After years of service at the bank, Doris retired to tend to the needs of her family and friends.  The consummate care giver to everyone she knew, she filled her days of respite in retirement with meal preparation, volunteering in the community, hosting her entire family for Sunday lunch, and of course caring for her husband, sisters, and brothers throughout their lives.  Never meeting a stranger, her kind heart and gentle spirit touched everyone she met.  Her door was quite literally always open to anyone, from the constant barrage of her nieces and nephews with their children to the stranger in need who knocked on her door, her generosity was overwhelmingly inspiring.

As her health declined, she moved into Calder Woods Retirement Home. Our family would like to extend our sincere gratitude for the years of care and support given to her in her new “home”.  She always showed appreciation and said thank you to all without fail. Love went full circle as she was so well loved by everyone there.

Aunt Doris is survived by numerous nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, great-great nieces and nephews, and a great-great-great nephew.  Her exemplary life will always be cherished by everyone she loved, and we are all blessed that God shared this angel among us for so many years. May your memory be eternal!

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, 680 North 15th Street, Beaumont, Texas 77702 or the organization of one’s choice.

A gathering of Mrs. Debes’ family and friends will be from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m., Sunday, March 12, 2023, at Broussard’s, 2000 McFaddin Avenue, Beaumont. The Trisagion will be 6:00 p.m., Sunday March 12, 2023, at St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, 680 North 15th Street, Beaumont.  Her funeral service will be 10:00 a.m., Monday, March 13, 2023, at St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, with her interment to follow at St. Michael Cemetery. A mercy meal will follow her interment in the church hall.


Download Program

Gathering of Family and Friends

Broussard’s Mortuary McFaddin Ave.
  • 2000, Mcfaddin Avenue, Beaumont, Texas, 77701,
  • March 12, 2023
  • 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm


St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church
  • 690, N 15th St, Beaumont, TX, 77702,
  • March 12, 2023
  • 6:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Funeral Service

St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church
  • 690, N 15th St, Beaumont, TX, 77702,
  • March 13, 2023
  • 10:00 am


St. Michael’s Orthodox Cemetery
  • 2450, Pine St, Beaumont, TX, 77703,
  • March 13, 2023

Comments (6)

    Allison Debes says:

    Aunt Doris,
    You were the Shining like in this world! You had such a sweet soul, and such a kind heart! I’m sad to see you go, but I know that you’re in a better place! I’ll always remember when I talk to you, you would always ask me how are you doing honey. You always called me honey. You will be truly missed but always remembered and me and my family love you very much! Tell Uncle Wilfred hi for us!

    Melinda McNulty says:

    Aunt Doris –
    Ever the giving soul. Aunt Doris took me in as one of her own. I will forever miss her; remembering the gatherings for coffee around her kitchen table, her gentle spirit and laughter, “letting” me wash pots and pans after working at the church in preparation for the Mediterranean festival.

    Rest in the comfort of Jesus arms, Aunt Doris. “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

    Linda Galbreath says:

    Doris was the sweetest woman I’ve ever known, and always had a positive attitude. She and my mother, Connie Brocato, were close friends. I’m sure my mom welcomed her into Heaven! Rest in Peace, Doris.

    Robert+(R.O.)+Williams,+Jr. says:

    My friendship with Doris goes back to the 1940’s when she worked at Henke & Pillot Supermarket at Park St and Bowie…a new store at the time…she was in the office and would check out the money bag to me when reporting to work when I was in high school…then, she was one of my “bank angels” at Texas Commerce Bank…always so willing to help with any need or question…also knew her thru business…she was always one of my special friends in Beaumont…I continue to contend that “regardless of age or condition of health, we are never ready to say BYE to those we love”…..she is included in in that group…blessings to each of you who mourn her loss…She was truly an angel among men…..I was always grateful to call her “my friend”…..
    R. O.Williams, Jr.
    Austin, Texas

    Donna Baine says:

    I only have loving and fine memories of this lovely lady who worked so diligently for the Orthodox Church. She truly was Aunt Doris to all of us! Her devotion was an inspiration to us all. My deepest condolences to the family. May her Memory Be Eternal!

    Donna Baine

    Cindy and Wayne McEwen says:

    Cindy and I send our love and thanks for having known Aunt Doris. She was indeed balm for the soul, with her gentleness, kindness, and love. We grieve with you and will miss her, and please know that in her rest, she leaves many fond memories that we celebrate. May God rest her soul.
    Cindy and Wayne

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