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Oxley-Heard Funeral Home has been serving the community since 1931.

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Debra Ann Braga

Debra Ann Braga

January 10, 1957 - June 2, 2020     Age: 63

Debra Ann Braga died peacefully on June 2, 2020 at age 63.

Debra was born to Alfred and Mary Braga (both deceased) in San Diego, California on January 10, 1957.

She graduated from the University of California, San Diego and the University of San Diego School of Law, and practiced law for over 36 years.

She found her niche in local government and airport law.  She represented Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska, Orlando, Fernandina Beach, and Jacksonville, Florida and the Jacksonville Aviation Authority, where she worked until her retirement in April 2020.

She was happy to be associated with the Airports Council International-North America and was proud to be a past president.

She loved her work and was proud to be an attorney. She loved her family, all her friends around the world, her beautiful orchids which she grew, and all her pets (a long line of rescue dogs & cats) who shared her home.

She especially loved her husband of 33 years Gary Berger who married an eager young lawyer and followed her around the country, finally settling in Fernandina Beach, Florida. They spent those 33 years traveling the world and enjoying each other.

She was a breast cancer survivor and strong supporter of The DONNA Foundation, participating in the Donna 5K on several occasions.

She was kind to all, worked too hard and never stopped trying. She will be remembered for her beautiful laugh, her funny lines for different situations and for being brilliant and calm in all situations.

Survivors include her husband, Gary Berger, Fernandina Beach, FL; sister, Nancy Boone-Braga of San Diego, CA; nieces Lisa Krekler of Vista, CA and Kimberly Boone of Escondido, CA; Stepson Bryce Berger of Glen Rock, NJ and Stepdaughter Marci Berger of Tacoma, WA ; and 3 step grandchildren (Toby, Kyla & Ellis) and 2 grandnephews (Jacob & Drew).

Her husband will hold a memorial service when it is appropriate for all her friends and family to gather.

She will be laid to rest in Bosque Bello Cemetery

In lieu of flowers she wished for people to donate to The DONNA Foundation and the Nassau County Humane Society.

9 Condolences

  • Gerald Sinclair Sr Posted June 3, 2020 5:26 am

    Sorry to hear of this, I worked with Debra at the City Of Fernandina Beach. She was very good at her job, She was so great to get along with. She knew her job very well. She always seemed so happy .and cheerful.

  • Jeff and Becky Salter Posted June 3, 2020 10:37 am

    We are so very sorry to learn of Debra’s passing. Her infectious joy is what we will always remember most about Debra, as well as her ability to bring laughter to almost any situation. While we’re sure her passing will be a loss to her profession, the loss is likely felt most deeply among those of us who knew and loved Debra. Our prayers are with Gary and the extended family and our hope is that the fond memories we all have will, in time, ease the burden of losing her too soon.

  • Lee Kaywork Posted June 3, 2020 6:20 pm

    Once you knew Debbie you could only love her. She and Gary have been our friends since we moved to Fernandina. We dined together, played poker and just enjoyed neighborly conversations. Her laughter was contagious. She was intelligent and would challenge you with sharp arguments; so you had better know what you were talking about. As a friend she would do anything for you. You were courageous in your battle with cancer never letting it define you. Debbie, Mary and I felt privileged to know you. And the girls will miss Aunt Debbie. May you rest in peace. We will keep our promise to you.
    Mary and Lee

  • Robin Marley Posted June 3, 2020 6:26 pm

    Debra was a brilliant attorney with unfailing integrity who was never afraid to speak truth to power. On a person level, she was kind and loving with a quick wit and wonderful sense of humor. She had a big , Infectious laugh that would brighten any room (or an entire restaurant). She was a wonderful friend and she will be deeply missed by all who knew her.

  • Debbie and Tom Ables, San Diego, CA Posted June 4, 2020 11:31 am

    We were so sorry to hear of Debbie’s passing. She will be greatly missed by her friends and family in San Diego. Rest now, Debbie…you never wasted a moment of life while you were with us.

  • Wesley Powell Posted June 4, 2020 1:31 pm

    I am sorry and saddened to hear that Debra passed away. I had the pleasure of working with her for many years at the City of Orlando. She was an excellent attorney and easy to get along with both in and outside of work. I will always remember her big and beautiful laugh. My thoughts and prayers are with her family. Rest In Peace, Debra!

  • Patti Clifford Posted June 4, 2020 9:01 pm

    Debra was one of the first people I met when I relocated to Fernandina Beach. We instantly hit it off. I had the pleasure of working with her at the City of Fernandina Beach – her integrity was steadfast. As a friend, she was beyond solid. I am so thankful for the many hours we spent together, many accompanied by an adult beverage. Her special and dedicated love for Gary and family spilled over to friends and co-workers as well. I will miss her terribly.

  • Dave & Debbie Lott Posted June 5, 2020 11:10 am

    Debbie and I were so saddened to learn of Debra’s death. I had the honor of interacting with Debbie many times over the years on city issues. While we didn’t always share the perspective on a specific matter or the best approach, she was always patient and respectful. Outside of those “official” matters, she was always kind and frequently asked about Debbie – a fellow cancer survivor. We only had the chance to met Gary one time as we walked together from the City Hall parking lot to attend one of the holiday parades. Gary and family, our deepest sympathy and prayers for strength and comfort.

  • Mary Thompson Posted September 23, 2020 10:26 am

    Sorry to about Debbie’s passing. I loved her laugh!

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