Debra Nolen, age 63, went to be with the Lord on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023. She was born July 22, 1959, to Edna Geneva Graham and Ira Raymond Trisler in Pittsburg. Debra grew up in a large family full of love and laughter. She went on to marry Kelly Blackburn, a commercial truck driver, and traveled all across America. Her first son, Gabriel Trystan Blackburn, was born in Pittsburg in June of 1980. She later divorced Kelly and moved to San Antonio, Texas, where she continued her career in the restaurant business at Finkel's.
In 1987 she met and married John Steven Nolen and had John Caleb in June 1988, then Stephanie Diana in August 1991. She began working for Scott Barr at a home remodeling company, Southwest Exteriors, in 1994 as a project manager, where she oversaw crews and helped the business thrive for 22 years. She established many close friendships that she still maintained after leaving in 2016 to switch gears in getting one step closer to retirement as she onboarded at Southwest Airlines. She loved the community and culture at Southwest but mostly loved the travel privileges that came with employment since she was such an avid traveler. From San Diego to Niagara Falls to Costa Rica, she traveled as much as she could so she was able to see the world. Even just for a road trip, she was always packed and ready to go. Some of her most cherished trips were London and Ireland with all three of her kids in 2009, exploring the Grand Canyon with Caleb, and a cross-country road trip with Stephanie to one of their favorite places, the Mall of America. In addition to traveling, she loved a myriad of music, books, any body of water on a hot Texas day, local festivals, and, most of all, spending quality time with her family and friends.
Debra was a devoted and loving mother to her three children in every season of life. She spent her years ensuring they were loved, cherished, safe and happy. This also extended to plenty of their friends over the years who could always find a home at the Nolen house or a helping hand if needed. Debra had an open, welcoming heart and loved a house full of people whenever she had it. Some of her happiest moments were Gabe marrying the love of his life, the days her grandchildren were born, listening to live music in Luckenbach with Caleb, and watching Stephanie walk the stage to obtain her master's degree.
She was a strong woman of faith who unwaveringly trusted God's path and plan for her and her family. She was selfless, kind, loyal, hilarious, and never knew a stranger in her life. She lived by the word of God and treated everyone she met with love and respect. She is now resting at eternal peace in the Kingdom of Heaven.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, John Steven Nolen; siblings, Sharon Stotts and James Edward Trisler; and sisters-in-law, Brenda Trisler and Jean Ann Trisler.
Debra is survived by her children, Gabriel Blackburn and wife Stephanie, Stephanie Nolen and boyfriend Christopher, and Caleb Nolen; grandchildren, Caden and Connor Blackburn and Noah Rendon; siblings, Robert Trisler, Dennis Trisler, John Trisler and wife Marie, Nancy Cullins and husband Mike, Delores Lewis, Ernie Trisler and wife Sarah, Joyce Dees and husband Allen, Tammy Trisler, and Jenny Trisler, as well as numerous extended family members and a lifetime of friends.
The family will receive friends for visitation on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Porter Loring Mortuary North of San Antonio, Texas. The funeral service will be held Friday, Jan. 27, at 1 p.m.