On October 15, 2020 following a recent hospitalization Earlena Barbee, 88, passed away peacefully at home with her family near her. She will be remembered for her faith and strength as well as her love of family, friends and life. A Celebration of Life service will be held Thursday, November 19th at 2:00 pm at Arapahoe Road Baptist Church. Online streaming will also be available. Please RSVP if you plan to attend or stream to firstname.lastname@example.org
with a note about which method you plan so that we can manage social distancing requirements and/or get you information for the streaming. Private interment will be November 20th at Ft. Logan National Cemetery.
Earlena was born and grew up in the panhandle of Texas, where she did all of her schooling, culminating with graduation from West Texas State College. She went on to teach junior high Language Arts in Vega, Texas where she met Garland, the high school Vocational Agriculture teacher. After their marriage they settled in Amarillo, Texas where all three of their children were born. In 1965 they moved to Broomfield, Colorado when Garland's job transferred them from Amarillo to the Denver area. The family moved to Littleton in 1973 to be closer to the family rental business. In both Broomfield and Littleton Earlena was a much-requested substitute teacher but she never returned to full-time teaching in the schools.
While her training was in Language Arts Education and later Library Science, she had the skills of a consummate homemaker: cook, baker, seamstress, canning and preserving. She spoiled her family and friends with great meals and treats, and loved to decorate her home for the various seasons year-round. She also loved to celebrate each family member's birthday with a special dinner and cake of their choice every year. She filled the holidays with decorations, homemade baked goods, cookies and candies, as well as delicious traditional meals.
Earlena dedicated many hours of service at the churches she attended over the past 55 years: First Baptist in Broomfield and Arapahaoe Road Baptist (ARBC) in Littleton. At ARBC, she and other volunteers created a library that was in service for more than 40 years. She was proud of that library and enjoyed her time there, especially each week when Dustin and Dylann and their friends came in to check out books for the week from "Grammy" the librarian.
She and Garland made life-long friends with people they met through ARBC who played the domino game 42. They played for over 40 years with some of the same people! Each month there were regular games, rotating between homes from one month to the next. Earlena loved to end up in the winning pair at the head table, but even when she lost she enjoyed the game and companionship. Over the past few years as she lost some mobility she sorely missed attending these evenings.
Earlena was predeceased by her parents, William Belton and Onna Stephenson Phillips, as well as all of her siblings: W.B. "Dub" Phillips, Jr, Wanda Rockel and Velma Lee Phillips. She is survived by her husband of over 64 years Garland Barbee, and her adult children: Janice (Carolyn), Beth (Thom) Stehling and Bill (Lynette). She deeply loved her 4 grandchildren: Dustin Barbee, Dylann (Gage) Baker, Matthew and Daniel Stehling and, for the last couple of years, she felt very blessed to be a great grandmother to Holt Baker. She was "Auntie Punk" to numerous nieces and nephews who are scattered across the country.
She will be deeply missed by all. Her death leaves a hole in our hearts that cannot be filled.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Earlena's name to the American Parkinson Disease Association, American Heart Association
or your local library. Barbee Earlena P. Barbee