Senior Graphic Designer, Deborah Caples, Retires after 40+ Years of Working with PETEX

30 March 2021

It is rare to have an employee dedicate over 40 years of their life to a company. However, Deborah Caples, our Senior Graphic Designer, has done just that. For the last 43 years, Deborah has been responsible for designing, vetting, and publishing our PETEX catalogs, newsletters, publication artwork, and more. 

After 43 years of employment with PETEX, Deborah is now closing this chapter of her life and is retiring at the end of March.

Deborah’s loving and long relationship with UT Austin and PETEX began in 1978 after being hired as a Clerk Typist. Within two short years of starting, Deb’s talents quickly shined through, leading to her being promoted from Clerk Typist, Secretary of Publications, and finally Graphic Designer. However, graphic design was not always a part of Deb’s career plan.

Always willing to lend a helping hand, during one busy PETEX season, Deb offered to step in to help cover for the current graphic designer at the time to allow her to go on vacation with her family. After being trained to do layouts and learning about design, Deb knew instantly she found her life’s calling.

Since then, Deb has been responsible for designing and creating all informational content from catalogs to publication covers. With over 40 years of projects under her belt, we asked Deb what her favorite project(s) were and why, to which Deb replied, “I loved working on the publications, especially ones like the drilling primer with its great photos and artwork. Taking all the miscellaneous pieces and putting them together into educational materials someone can use and appreciate was a high point for me.”

While Deb has loved the work aspect of what she calls “putting together a jigsaw puzzle while being creative at the same time” (graphic design), she also speaks very fondly over the family aspect PETEX has given her over decades. When asked what her favorite part of working for PETEX was, Deb replied, “The sense of family was always very important. Also, for me at least, it’s been a low-stress work environment compared to some other places that do graphic design. I can honestly say that I looked forward to going to work each day, and I feel very lucky to get to do something I enjoyed and get paid for it. It’s the little things like helping the training coordinators and course instructors with their presentations. Being able to help someone even in the smallest ways can really bring joy to your life.”

PETEX has supplied Deb with many memories, milestones, and projects that she will look back on for years to come. Deb is planning to spend her retirement with her family, volunteering, and potentially working at her local neighborhood elementary school. Upon retiring, Deb has mentioned that she “will miss the day-to-day challenges that the job brought and having something interesting to do every day.” Along with the work, Deb has mentioned that one of the biggest things she will a miss is “the people—everyone, from the instructors to all the printers that I established personal relationships with.”

For over 40 years, Deb has been behind the scenes at PETEX making sure that our learners and the oil & gas industry have the best learning and training materials needed to sustain and advance the sector, and we are truly honored to have had her work with us the past several decades. Deb has always been a shining light and is the first to offer help to her fellow employees if they need it. While we are ecstatic for Deb to open up this new chapter of her life, we are also saddened to watch her go, as she will always be a part of the rich history of The University of Texas at Austin’s Petroleum Extension. All of us here at PETEX wish Deb a happy retirement and thank her for all of her hard work, sound guidance, beautiful artwork, dedication to our learners, and the lasting memories she has provided over the years. Please join us in congratulating Deb on her retirement!