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Deborah Jean "DJ" (Higgs) Francis

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Deborah Jean (D.J.) Higgs Francis Deborah Jean (D.J.) Higgs Francis, 54, died on October 4, 2006, after a lengthy battle with ovarian cancer. She was born on July 24, 1952, in Memphis, Tenn. What friends and family will remember most about D.J. was her constant striving to make the world a better, kinder place. She gave with all her heart in everything she did, wanting nothing in return. With friends and family and even strangers, she displayed extreme compassion and was a mother to everyone. She had a gift for making people feel special and loved and always noticed when someone needed their day brightened. Her friends would often find she had left a small gift tailored for them, like an inspiring article or an assortment of their favorite goodies. And no matter how busy she was, she always had time to listen, counsel, and reassure you that everything would be okay. In this way, she was a constant source of hope to all those around her and inspired them to live truer lives, to improve themselves and the world around them. Her love and generosity extended to animals and the environment. D.J. was a long-time, committed vegan and was instrumental in reviving the Vegetarian Society of Austin. She loved all animals and, as a champion of animal rights, she gently planted seeds of animal advocacy in other people while respecting their need to naturally develop their own beliefs. She was also an environmental activist as shown in her tireless recycling efforts, her devotion to spreading the word about environmental causes, and her constant appreciation of even the small things in nature. She would see beauty in unexpected places like the texture of a tree's bark. She found solace and inspiration in the outdoors, and she would spend hours tending to her large lavish beds overflowing with native plants. Her garden, like everything else she did, was a creative labor of love. Her devotion and drive also made her a powerhouse at work. She had an amazing ability to organize and to get things done. D.J. was not afraid to tackle any job and routinely completed huge projects with flare. She played a crucial role in every business she was part of, some of which she helped start from the ground up, all of which she helped make successful with her devotion to details and her incredible work ethic. A former boss described her as capable of "managing a small country," which she certainly was. In all aspects of her life, D.J. Francis was an extraordinary force and will not be forgotten by anyone who ever met her. She made people see life in a different way, and as a result, inspired them to live their lives in a more loving way. She is preceded in death by her sister Charlotte Higgs and Brother Larry Wayne Higgs. She is survived by her husband, Bobby Trippe; parents Gene and Ann Higgs of Rowlett, Texas; sister Sheila Johnson and husband Robert; brother David Higgs; niece Brittany Ziemann and husband Tim; niece Staci Schultz and husband T.J.; and great-niece Sophie Schultz who brought great joy to her life. A memorial service will be held on Monday, October 9, 2006, at 6:15 p.m. at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Wildflower Center or Hospice Austin. The family would like to thank the staff at Hospice Austin's Christopher House for the loving care given to D.J. in her last days.
Published in Austin American-Statesman on Oct. 7, 2006
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