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Debra Baros '67 February 19, 2024 4:00 PM updated: February 19, 2024 4:06 PM

Debra DeVon Baros 

June 24, 1946 - February 11, 2024 

Debra DeVon Hilbrich Baros, 77, of Cuero was born on June 24, 1946, to Edwin Alfred Gus Hilbrich and Irene Otelia Knippa Hilbrich (both deceased) in Corpus Christi, Texas. She crossed over to Heaven on February 11, 2024.

Debra had style. She drove a series of Cadillacs in the Eighties, always valued jewelry that you could spot across a room, and liked to add a bit of sparkle to long black blouses. That sparkle exuded to her personality as she lit up a room with her exuberance and optimism. Young and old gathered near her and were always a little bit more joyful when in witness of her spirit.

Debra’s parents, Eppie and Reenie, were proud of their daughter from the beginning. She won grand champion steer at the DeWitt County Livestock Show and was the salutatorian of the 1964 class of Cuero High School. She married on August 29, 1965, to David Wayne Baros--a skinny Westhoff farm boy who couldn’t believe his luck. They went off to Texas A&M University where she joined the first class of women to attend the university. She graduated in 1967 and stayed to get a master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction. She lived in East Texas, San Francisco, and Montgomery, Alabama, before settling down with David in Cuero as a dedicated educator. In Cuero, she was a teacher, curriculum director, principal, and eventually Assistant Superintendent who embedded the value of reading into thousands of students. She initiated the Reading Is Fundamental program and parties (distributing over 50,000 books in 25 years), challenged kids to learn through Word War, launched the CISD Family Center to keep pregnant teens in school, and wrote many successful grants for funding the schools. Her positivity and encouragement knew no bounds when it came to educating all children.

Debra was also a poet and author—writing numerous personal tributes to all her friends and publishing a book about her daddy. She often instigated a project that David had to implement. She remodeled and decorated her house and others every couple years. She was the proprietor of Fabulous Finds resale shop in Cuero and a world traveler who visited countries from Panama to Russia. In 2015, she found her “little piece of Heaven” when she bought a summer lake house in Wisconsin, opening the way for new friendships, belly laughs, and memories made with family. She regularly hosted dinner parties, spontaneous soires, a dance hall wedding, a safari-themed shower, and fantastical celebrations—coordinating even the most complicated events with precision and flare.

Debra wore many hats, both figuratively and literally. As an educator, she established the Cuero ISD Education Foundation and served as President of the National Association of Federal Education Program Administrators. She answered countless other calls to service to her community, including as a board member of the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent and the Cuero Community Foundation. She was the Director of the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum, President of the Cuero Country Club, President of the Westhoff American Legion Auxiliary, and handler on the Cuero Turkeyfest race team. In her church, she played the organ at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and as a child at St. John’s Lutheran Church where in her later years she served on the evangelical outreach committee.

Her commitment to service was only outdone by her dedication to her family. She was a beloved wife of 58 years to David and devoted mother to Kendrick Baros (married to Stacy) of La Vernia, Texas, and Clay Baros (married to Roberta) of Vienna, Austria. She is survived by her sisters, Jacque Moore (married to Bob) of Austin, Texas, and Dyne Macha (married to Mike) of San Antonio, Texas. She adored her four grandsons who knew her as their DeeDee. Brayden, Weston, Augustin, and Roland were held close with a love beyond any other (just don’t call her grandma!).

Visitation will be held at Freund Funeral Home on Sunday, February 18, 2024 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Funeral services will begin at 10:00 am on Monday, February 19, 2024 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Westhoff with Pastor Jan Putnam presiding.

Pallbearers include Todd Schmechel, Will Roeske, James Robinson, Chris Moore, John Macha, and Maxx Wright.

Interment will follow at Westhoff Cemetery, and friends and family are invited to the Friar Ag Center in Cuero for fellowship and light refreshments thereafter.

Memorial contributions may be given to the Westhoff American Legion, P.O. Box 32, Westhoff, Texas 77994 or the Cuero ISD Education Foundation, P.O. Box 987, Cuero, Texas 77954 (or by calling (361) 275-1924). If donations to the education foundation are made in her name, they will go towards a future scholarship dedicated to Debra.

Debra will always be known by her style, but for all that knew her, it was plain to see that her style was but a reflection of her heart. The pure love for living life to its fullest that radiated from that heart and to our mortal souls will now emanate throughout eternity.

You may sign the guestbook or send condolences at


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