Lisa worked hard to put herself through the police academy, taking a job as a jailer in Dayton, Texas. She later worked as a dispatcher at the Beaumont Police Department and part time as a reserve officer with the Kountze Police Department.
I was there when Lisa was sworn in at the Beaumont Police Department, beaming with the pride of having accomplished her goal. Lisa had a dynamite smile anyway, but that day, it was positively radiant.
Six years later, Lisa was killed by a drunk driver with a suspended license with previous violations. She was 36. She became the first female officer in Southeast Texas to die while protecting others, directing traffic around a bad motorcycle accident on the Eastex Freeway. Thousands of officers from around the state came to pay tribute to Lisa during a beautiful funeral that brought comfort to her family and received nationwide attention.
Lisa loved her family, her two dogs, Bados and Clouseau (rescued from the Humane Society of Southeast Texas), her career and her fellow officers, friends - and shopping. Fierce and fearless while in uniform, Lisa a girly girl with a contagious giggle.
Just weeks before Lisa was killed, her grandfather passed away. She asked her mother, Gloria, if she could have a yellow hibiscus sent to his funeral. She loved the flower whose vibrant colors mirrored her personality.
And yes, there were yellow hibiscus for Lisa at the celebration of her life.
Lisa, you are as loved today as you were the day you were born - and the day you died. We remember - and honor you.