Our deeply-loved brother, cousin, husband, brother-in-law, uncle, and friend, Darryll Grubbs, passed away from Alzheimer’s disease on December 4, 2022. Darryll Wayne Grubbs was born at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois to a military family on August 3, 1952. His beloved parents, Col. Wallace E. Grubbs and Audrey Lois Eckert Grubbs welcomed him along with big sisters Susan and Esther. Darryll loved being a military brat – the family had stays in Illinois, Virginia, Alabama, Japan, San Antonio, and his favorite tour of duty – Hawaii. The family so loved Hawaii that they visited regularly – the Kapalua area of Maui, being Darryll’s favorite escape. After high school, Darryll attended San Antonio Community College and discovered how much he loved higher learning. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy at Trinity University, and went on to earn an MA in Government in 1980 from the University of Texas. In 1985, Darryll received his JD from the University of Texas Law School. During his college years, Darryll became active in politics. His first political job was on Bob Krueger’s District 21 congressional campaign. He continued to work for Congressman Krueger in his New Braunfels office after the successful campaign. Darryll made Austin his home in the mid-1970s when he was hired to work on a state committee for consumer affairs. His career in public affairs continued when then-State Senator Lloyd Doggett hired Darryll as a legislative staff member. In the 80’s, Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox appointed Darryll an Assistant Attorney General serving in the child support enforcement division. According to a colleague, Darryll’s particular contribution to upgrading child support collections was identifying an existing, but previously unused approach to expand child support funding. Making sure that the children of Texas (and other parts of the US) received every resource they deserved became Darryll’s life’s work. He applied himself in public and private roles, improving the collection and distribution of child support payments, until he retired. His brilliant legislative strategies in Texas attracted the interest of child support officials at every level of government in other states and led to a short residency in California as consultant and strategist. In the private sector, Darryll’s good work won him recognition in a variety of comments and awards. He was most proud of his election as President of the Western Interstate Child Supoort Enforcement Council. In 1999, Darryll’s dedication and service was honored with the Lifetime Member Award from the National Child Support Enforcement Association. Darryll’s gregarious nature, innate kindness and joie de vivre among his early associates led to close friendships with Ira Hillyer of Walnut Creek, CA; Sheryl and Terry Horton of Austin and their family; Charlene and Tom Laramey, also of Austin, and Stephen and Susan Kennedy of Salinas, CA. These special friendships began decades ago and continue through Darryll’s wife, Patience Buchanan. Darryll met Patience when both were employed by the attorney general’s office. Married in 1990, their exceptional, adventurous, and profoundly loving relationship was an inspiration. Their shared life included running, hiking, exploring state parks, poking around small Texas towns, sailing, trips to Hawaii, their two shelties, traveling everywhere, and spending time with family. Darryll enjoyed time with his tight-knit group of cousins - sixteen of them. While growing up, they routinely spent Christmas at their grandparents’ home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Many years later, at cousins’ reunions, a recurring feature was their group “revisit” to the grandparents’ home, where all the children slept in the attic and there was only one bathroom, which they nonetheless recalled as a “magical mansion.” In 2019, Darryll was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. In their devastation, he and Patience sought services from the UT Health Comprehensive Memory Center, a resource which proved to be invaluable. In particular, Anna Finger, LCSW, guided Darryll and Patience with uncommon sensitivity, insight and caring. Their regular phone calls and zooms with Anna were the lifelines Darryll needed to absorb and understand the awful effects of this overwhelming disease. Preceded in death by his parents, Darryll is survived by his wife, Patience Buchanan, sisters Susan Storrie and Esther Killam, and sister-and brother-in-law Vonciel and Michel Baudouin. Other survivors include life-long best friend Howard Delk and Phyllis Talbot of San Antonio and Darryll’s dear nieces and nephews: Kim Perry, Holt Storrie (Ashley), Tycho Killam (Rose), Selena Killam Waters (Scott), Cody Killam (Aimee) , Cyrus Killam (Jamie), Paul-Emile Baudouin (Jane), Benjamin Baudouin (Kelsey) and Fuller Baudouin. Without the gracious understanding of Claire Montgomery, Daniel Gottschalk, Alex Bonetti, and her fellow care managers at Family Tree Private Care, it would have been impossible for Patience to have spent as much precious time with Darryll as she did. She will be forever grateful for their compassion. Private interment will be Sunday, December 11, 2022, in San Antonio. A memorial service for Darryll will be held on Saturday, January 21, 2023. Officiated by Dr. Gordon Smith, the service will begin at 11:00 am at Smith Chapel, Riverbend Church, Austin.
Published by San Antonio Express-News on Dec. 11, 2022.
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