Barbara Jane (Chaffee) Byrom
September 13, 1927 - September 20, 2018
Barbara Byrom was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan September 13, 1927. She was the daughter of Owen Russel and Marguerite Burdick Chaffee of Grand Rapids.
During the Great Depression, she and her mother settled in Miami, Florida, where she graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in Mathematics and taught school for two years before marrying Captain Gustav A. Byrom, Jr. (USAAC) of Miami on August 1, 1949. In 1958, Gus, Barbara and their three young children moved to Aurora, Colorado where Gus was city traffic engineer, and Barbara was a home maker and pursued her love of art. It was in Aurora they met the A.B. Geren family, sparking a close friendship that lasts to this day.
In 1963 the family moved to Grand Junction, Colorado along with the Gerens where Gus worked for the city. Their families enjoyed many memorable camping trips together, especially up on the Grand Mesa near Grand Junction.
Barb and Gus followed the Gerens to Farmington in 1976 where Gus was part of a team recruited by Mayor Robert Culpepper to modernize city government. Here they joined the Manchesters, Culpeppers, Grays and others camping, traveling and taking in the sites of New Mexico. They joined the First Presbyterian Church where they were active members throughout their lives.
Barbara along with Patricia Manchester became involved in their community as one of the early members of the Clean City Committee, which sought to raise awareness of the severe littering problems and the need to improve the aesthetic appeal of our town. Their work was part of the team effort leading to beautification along the Animas River and eventually the Riverwalk we all enjoy today.
Barbara was an avid artist and loved the Southwest landscape, the subject of many of her paintings. She was a member of the LL's art group and loved to travel with these friends all around the Four Corners, putting the vivid scenery to canvas. She also became an accomplished sculptor locally known for her Saint Francis garden statues and angel statuettes. You will find her artwork throughout our community.
Her loving husband, Gus, passed away in 2002, but her love of her family, friends and her art continued to fill her life with joy. For the past four years, Barbara has been a resident of Namaste Assisted Living where she was the beneficiary of the outstanding love and care provided by all the Namaste staff, and especially by Staff Coordinator, Linda Pacheco, and Namaste Director, Rebecca Morgan.
She loved her friends, her community, her family and her Gus.
Barbara is survived by her four children: Gus III (Brenda), Helena, MT; Pamela Rice, Farmington; Merry Anne Sechrist (Ron), Grand Junction, CO; and John (Stephanie) Farmington; nine grandchildren: Kendra Proue (Casey), Andrew Byrom, Timothy Rice, Ann Rice, Nick Sechrist (Samantha), Chase Sechrist (Shawn), Luke Byrom, Lydia Byrom, and Logan Byrom; and four great grandchildren: Araceli, Norah, Jack, and Erik.
A memorial service celebrating Barbara's life will be held at 10:30 A.M. on Saturday, October 27, 2018 at First Presbyterian Church, 865 North Dustin Avenue, in Farmington. A reception will follow the service in the social hall of the church. A private, family burial has already taken place. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Barbara's name to the First Presbyterian Church of Farmington or the Northwest New Mexico Arts Council at nwnmac.org http://nwnmac.org/ website.
Barbara's care is entrusted to Brewer, Lee and Larkin Funeral Home, 103 E. Ute St., in Farmington, NM, (505)325-8688.