Burnet County historian Darrell Debo remembered

By Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

Burnet County is mourning the loss of well-known historian and community figure Darrell Debo, who passed away Sunday, April 21.

Debo was born on Sept. 15, 1931, a member of one of Burnet County’s pioneer families. He grew up to graduate as valedictorian of Burnet High School Class of 1948 and continued his education at Texas Christian University, where he graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Divinity. Debo is not only remembered as a historian, but as an experienced pianist, journalist, election judge, and preacher, serving churches in Fredonia, Bertram, Kingsland, and Burnet, officiating over 600 funerals and caring for numerous individuals.

Debo was also known for his contribution to the historical studies of his family and Burnet County, to which he dedicated much of his life, authoring the informational “Burnet County History” books, which received the T.R. Fehrenbach Book Award, and are available at the Herman Brown Free Library on Burnet’s historic square.

Debo also submitted a weekly column to the Burnet Bulletin for years, sharing his passion for history and its preservation with his community.

Debo was the most-tenured member of the Burnet County Historical Commission, serving as chairman for a time, and was responsible for much of the research and documentation of numerous Burnet County Historical Markers, and providing accurate information to his fellow commission members. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the BCHC in February 2015.

“He (Debo) was an inspiration to members of the Burnet County Historical Commission for his dedication to preservation and research,” said BCHC Chair JoAnn Myers. “He seldom missed a BCHC meeting and was always willing to help researchers or volunteer to assist with any history project.

“The naming of the R.J. Richey school and placing a historical marker for the Red Brick School were just a few of his contributions,” Myers added. “He was also instrumental in placement of a gravesite marker for Peter Kerr in the old Burnet Cemetery.”

Debo was recognized many times throughout his accomplished life. In 1984, he was awarded the Jefferson Davis Medal by the Daughters of the Confederacy in recognition of his assistance in finding graves of confederate soldiers in Burnet County, and in 1989, was named Honor Citizen of Burnet.

For his dedication to the continued legacy of his community, Burnet County commissioners proclaimed September 11 – 17, 2011 as Darrell Debo Week in honor of his contributions. Debo was recognized again at commissioners court Tuesday, as the community was informed of his passing.

Funeral services for Debo will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, May 3 at Jenkins Funeral Home in Burnet, with interment to follow at Burnet City Cemetery. His obituary can be found in this week's Bulletin and online at burnetbulletin.com.

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