Saturday, February 23, 2002
Barbara Anne Harris Burklow, a retired school teacher, passed away Dec. 23, 2001, at her home in San Diego.
Born in Hayden, Oct. 10, 1941, to former Steamboat Springs residents Ruth Larimer Harris and Ramsay Shuler Harris she was the granddaughter of Anne and Byron A. Harris, co-founder of the now defunct coal mining town of Mount Harris.
Barbara spent her childhood in Steamboat Springs and was a member of the Concordia Lutheran Church, the Order of the Rainbow for Girls, having received its Grand Cross of Color and the P.E.O.
She loved the outdoors, animals, especially cats, dogs and horses, and music. Robert Flanders introduced a shy and reserved Barbara to the clarinet at a young age. By the time she was a freshman in high school, she was the first chair clarinet player in the high school band. She also marched in the Ski Band at Winter Carnivals and played in the school's dance band.
Upon graduation from high school in 1959, Barbara attended several colleges before deciding to become a teacher. While at San Diego State College, she met Lawrence Sparks. They were married and moved to Illinois where in 1964 Barbara received her teaching degree from National College of Education in Evanston.
When they returned to California, Barbara began her 35-year teaching career at the Olivewood Elementary School in National City, spending almost all of those years teaching in the same classroom. Having no children of her own, her dedication and devotion to her students left a lasting, positive impact on them. Barbara's sense of fairness and understanding placed her on many committees, one of which was the district superintendent's advisory committee, Roundtable. Some of her ideas are still being used today. She earned numerous awards, the last being Olivewood's "Teacher of the Year" before she retired in July of 2000.
Barbara was active in the Church of Christ of San Diego and her enthusiastic upbeat attitude and words of encouragement were a testimony of her deep faith.
Her first marriage ended in divorce, and she later married Donald Burklow. They were married 24 years before he passed away of cancer in 1999. Being found to have cancer herself, Barbara's bravery and dignity were an inspiration to family and friends alike. She wrote a short children's story about a serious disease and hope and learned weeks before she passed away that it was going to be published.
Barbara is survived by her father, Ramsay Harris of Sun City, Ariz.; sisters, Susi Crowner and husband, Terry, of Yampa, and Jo Hanson of Glendale, Ariz., nephew, Kip Crowner and family of Aurora and numerous friends and colleagues who will miss her keen sense of humor and ever-present broad smile.
She was preceded in death by her husband and by her mother, Ruth Harris. Having been retired to her Routt County roots, Barbara's ashes will be buried in the Yampa Cemetery at a later date.