Deborah Lee Howard


(The following information was submitted for a paid obituary.)



August 7, 1948 - June 5, 2013

Deborah Lee Howard left this physical world on June 5, 2013 after a brave year-long battle against Leiomyosarcoma.

Born Aug. 7, 1948 in Fort Worth, Texas, she was the first born to William A. and Darleene Howard.

After graduating from Adamson High School in Dallas, Texas, she went on to study at Stephen F. Austin College. She then began her career in the travel industry in Houston, Texas, working for Trans Texas Airlines, Braniff International and then Northwest Orient in New Orleans.

In 1981, she joined American International Travel Services in New Orleans, serving as chairman and later president of the company.

Her time in New Orleans was special and there are many fond memories of Mardi Gras, Irish Fest, Jazz Fest, and many other festivals and celebrations that brought friends and family together. As a resident of the French Quarter, she enjoyed a rich and colorful life and made lifelong friends.

Debbie loved to travel and she loved the travel business. She was an inspiration and mentor to many in the profession.  She traveled extensively, often sharing those travels with her family members.

In 1997, she returned to Texas when she had the opportunity to buy Travel Haus-Supertravel in Fredericksburg.

Here she continued to create memorable travel experiences throughout the world for her clients and her family.

Debbie was an active volunteer and member of the Fredericksburg community, and also of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, where she developed many close friendships and grew in her Christian faith.

She loved playing board games as a way of spending time with family and she especially enjoyed her weekly Mah-Jongg group, often teaching others the game.

She was a trusted friend, a confidant, and a guiding force to her family.  She will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved her. Debbie’s greatest hope was for everyone’s dreams to come true, and she did whatever she could to help make those dreams a reality.

She leaves behind husband, Ken Ashabranner, and step-daughter, Elizabeth; sisters, Jennie Holden and Angela Maga with husband Gregg; brothers, Steve and Philip Howard; niece, Chelsea Holden; nephew, Grant Holden; in-laws, T.V. Ashabranner, Tommy and Lelaini Sinclair of Houston, Texas and their extended family.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, June 14, in St. Barnabas Episcopal Church.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Cancer Society or the charity of one’s choice.

Online condolences may be left at

Arrangements were under the direction of Fredericksburg Funeral Home.

Rate this article: 
Average: 1.5 (4 votes)