The Girl Scouts of Central Texas will honor five as Women of Distinction at a luncheon Thursday, Sept. 19, at Coggin Avenue Baptist Church.
The five women are Kevelle Bailey, Sue Tullar Byrd, Betty Beyer Critchfield, Debbie Eoff and Alice Salazar.
Additionally, Dazzling Diva’s Boutique will be honored as the Workplace of Distinction.
At the signature fundraising event for the Girl Scouts, the organization brings together and honors local women leaders “whose dynamic leadership, professional accomplishments, and community contributions inspire us all to make the world a better place,” the event’s Facebook page states.
The proceeds from the annual event support the Girl Scouts leadership program.
The Bulletin will feature articles about the honorees in future print editions and at www.brownwoodtx.com.
Debbie Eoff was born to Charles and Billie Milburn in Nocona.
Her father was a bi-vocational pastor/U.S. postal worker and her mom was a homemaker. Eoff has two older siblings, Jeanette Hill and Mike Millburn.
Eoff graduated from Nocona High School and obtained a bachelor of science in secondary education English and speech. She went on to graduate with a master’s of education curriculum and instruction from Texas Wesleyan University.
Having polio at age 2 would have stopped many people in their tracks, but through the support and encouragement of her parents and a close community, Eoff was always told everything is possible.
Eoff’s parents weren’t overly protective, which allowed her to learn by trial and error what was possible. At 11 she saved her money, bought a skateboard and learned how to ride it cross- legged. Her close friends learned to ride this way too and they spent many hours on the sidewalks and driveways.
Throughout her life and mainly in her formative years, Eoff believes God placed people around her who expected and treated her the same as everyone else. They saw “normal” as relative. Eoff says polio didn’t define her; it refined her.
Eoff met her husband, Garry, her sophomore year at HPU. They were introduced by his ex-girlfriend.
The Eoffs have two daughters, Lacie Henry-Petsch and Carlie Bishop. They each have one son, Benson Henry and Stone.
Eoff taught English and speech communication for the Brownwood school district for 20 years. After retiring she founded Brownwood Educational Associates, Inc. where she worked as a language arts curriculum specialist for the Brownwood, Richland Springs and May school districts for 10 years. Eoff was also an adjunct instructor of English at HPU.
Being on the leadership team with the Women’s Ministry, Eoff has enjoyed volunteering to bring women together through retreats, conferences and dinners. One regional conference was attended by more than 1,000 women.
Eoff has facilitated Bible studies for more than 20 years, which has caused her to grow in knowledge and faith while ministering to women in all walks and stages of life.
Eoff has served as the drama director for her church’s Christmas and Easter productions. She has also volunteered for the Christian Women Job Corps, Brown County Republican Women, Brownwood Regional Hospital Chaplaincy Program and the Texas Retired Teacher Association and has tutored students in all aspects of language arts.
Eoff said she has been sustained in life through faith in Jesus Christ, by being loved and cherished by the most loving, patient and selfless man — her husband, Garry — and family and friends who have looked through her disability.
Eoff’s advice to the young girls of today is for them to know their strengths and weaknesses. Use your strengths for good and don’t allow your weaknesses to keep you from achieving your purpose in life, Eoff says.
Live daily with mercy, compassion and grace, Eoff says.