Mary Draper

Obituary of Mary Carole Draper

Carole was born in Alexandria, Louisiana and grew up in Dearborn, Michigan.  She was the eldest of five girls, all with the first name, Mary.  She led this group of kind, smart sisters and strove for excellence in everything she endeavored.  She attended grade school at St. Sebastian School, followed by Rosary High School, where she was a champion debater, sometimes partnered with her sister, Lynn.  She received a B.A. from the University of Dayton in English, an M.A. from the University of Michigan in English, thus developing her prowess in Scrabble, and an M.B.A. in Finance from Indiana State University.  


Carole began her professional career as an English teacher at Edsel Ford High School in
Dearborn, Michigan, and had a stint as a consumer reporter on the evening news in Terre Haute, Indiana.  She established her career at the Ford Motor Company, where she developed her expertise as a financial analyst and a human resources executive focusing on labor and negotiations, excelling in this traditionally male-dominated field and cementing her interest in sports cars.  She cherished her time in Northern Michigan, where she lived after her retirement from Ford, enjoying Lake Michigan and her home at the Homestead, where she loved sailing on their Hobie Cat with her son, Scott.  She loved cooking and was an early adopter of “gourmet” cooking.  


Later she moved to Tucson, Arizona, where she spent time with family, golfed, and married Tom Draper, who predeceased her. Subsequently she was fortunate to meet her husband, Bernard Burba, with whom she enjoyed traveling and an active social life with his large family and friends.  She enjoyed her retirement years in Tucson entertaining and spending time with friends in book club, learning yoga, playing mahjong, and continuing her mastery of scabble. 


Carole is survived by her husband, Bernie Burba; son, Scott; daughter-in-law, Jennifer; and grandson, Cannon. She will be missed by her sisters, their families, and the Burba family who embraced her.


Carole was blessed with a peaceful death at the age of 77 on January 9, 2023, a few days after holiday visits with 19 family members. 

A memorial mass will be held at Our Lady of the Desert 10:00 am Saturday, January 21, 2023

Our Lady of the Desert

7101 W. Picture Rocks Rd. Tucson, AZ 85743

Donations in Carole’s name can be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association, Desert Southwest chapter or the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seaton (SEAS) elementary school Angel Fund

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A Memorial Tree was planted for Mary
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Adair Funeral Homes - Avalon Chapel
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