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Debra "Debbie" Mayfield '96 May 2, 2022 3:26 PM updated: May 2, 2022 3:33 PM

Honorable Debra Ibarra Mayfield

August 26, 1974 – March 11, 2022

Judge Debra Ibarra Mayfield, beloved wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend, entered eternal rest on Friday, March 11 after a valiant two-year battle with cancer.
Debra and her husband, Eric Mayfield, a former United States Army captain, celebrated 18 years of marriage and she was a doting mother to their two children, Catherine and Ethan. A native Houstonian who attended Aldine ISD schools, she was an alumna of Texas A&M University and South Texas College of Law.

Debra began her career as a briefing attorney in the 14th Court of Appeals, moved into private practice and then had the honor to serve as a State District Judge, having twice been appointed Judge by Governor Greg Abbott, first to the 165th District Court and then again to the 190th District Court. Before her appointment to the State District Court benches, Debra was unanimously appointed by Harris County Commissioners Court as Judge of County Civil Court at Law Number One and was twice elected to that bench. Debra was the first Latina to serve as a Judge in the Harris County Civil Courts. The culmination of her legal career was as senior in-house legal counsel for Enterprise Products, one of the largest publicly traded partnerships and a leading North American provider of midstream energy services.

Debra’s father was a sheet metal fabricator and foreman of the shop responsible for the steel architectural details in the Harris County Civil Courthouse, including the iconic star that adorns the very building where his daughter would one day preside as judge. Debra would share with people that the star on which her father personally worked uniquely reminded her of the value of hard work and dedication to one’s craft. She brought those convictions into her courtroom and all of her work.

Debra was deeply active in the Houston legal and philanthropic communities. She was a past president of the Mexican-American Bar Association of Houston, a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum and a Board Member for educational institutions, non-profit groups and bar associations, including the Association for the Advancement of Mexican-Americans (AAMA), the Association of Women Attorneys (AWA), the Houston Area Women’s Center (HAWC), South Texas College of Law and St. Thomas University.

Debra received numerous recognitions for her public service, including being selected as a "Woman on the Move" by Texas Executive Women, awarded the "Public Service Award" from South Texas College of Law, the Amicus Award from the Mexican-American Bar Association of Houston, named “Top Latina 40 and Under" by the Mexican-American Bar Association of Texas, selected as one of "Houston's 50 Most Influential Women" by Houston Woman Magazine, and awarded the "Outstanding Mentor Award" by the Houston Young Lawyers’ Association. Debra excelled as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center, teaching private property rights and eminent domain and thereby, mentoring a new generation of future lawyers.

Despite all of Debra’s many worldly accomplishments, which also included being a skilled pianist and frequent Houston half-marathon participant, Debra’s heart is best remembered as a faithful servant of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Debra’s personal faith in Jesus Christ influenced every aspect of her life from her professional work to, most importantly, caring for her children. Her connection to her faith began at a young age where she volunteered to be the organist at First Baptist Church North Houston. Debra rejoiced in the Lord even in life’s greatest trials. Debra and Eric have been very active members of Houston’s First Baptist Church. Debra initiated many Bible studies in the legal community and consistently sought to bring others the knowledge of God’s word. Throughout the years, Debra’s Bible study groups were friends, neighbors, co-workers, law clerks and attorneys. She made room for anyone wanting to share in the Lord’s word.

Debra was preceded in death by her father Amado V. Ibarra and is survived by her husband, Eric; children, Catherine and Ethan; mother, Linda Ibarra; father-in-law, Patt Mayfield; mother-in-law, Diane Mayfield, brother Jonathan and his wife Shirley; brother Benjamin, his wife Joni and their children, Andrew; and Rachel along with many other beloved family members.

Those wishing to honor Debra are invited to a visitation with the family from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm on Tuesday, March 22, 2022 in the Chapel at Houston’s First Baptist Church, 7401 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX 77024 and to a Celebration of Life Service for Debra to be held at 1:00 pm on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 at Houston’s First Baptist Church, 7401 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX 77024. A reception will follow the Celebration of Life at the church.

If you feel called to honor Debra through a charitable contribution, the Mayfield family graciously requests you consider Hope House, a Houston’s First Baptist Church ministry, which provides cancer patients housing, support and church services while they travel to the Texas Medical Center for treatment. Contributions can be made at

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