Obituary: Waunita Lavern Barnhill
It is with great sadness that the family of Waunita Lavern Barnhill announces her passing on July 23rd, 2018. Waunita will be lovingly remembered by her husband and best friend of sixty-one years, James Barnhill Sr. and their two children; Valerie O’Connor and James Barnhill Jr. Waunita was blessed with seven grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren who will miss her deeply.
Born to Kenneth Harper and Edith Curtis on December 27th. 1938. Waunita is survived by her three siblings; Kenneth Harper Jr., Barbra Harper Newson, and Kendra Harper (daughter of Kenneth and Pauline Harper). Proud of her homesteader heritage, Waunita was raised in Peyton, Colorado graduating from the local high school. She met and married James Barnhill on March 3rd, 1957. Together they moved to Wye Island Maryland where they had both of their children, living there for three years before moving back to Ft. Lupton, Colorado. James’ job kept the couple moving in those early years to numerous states throughout the Midwest before landing and eventually settling them in Steamboat Springs, Colorado in 1970. There they lived, worked and raised their family until their retirement in 2005 when the couple relocated to Grand Junction, Colorado.
During their many moves, Waunita worked both as a homemaker and a bookkeeper for BMC West Lumber Company, High Country Lumber and the Steamboat Springs Pilot. Waunita ventured into the world of small business as the owner/operator of the Montgomery Ward’s Catalog store in Steamboat Springs for many years. She achieved her Associates Degree in Accounting from Colorado Mountain College; instilling her determination for higher education in both her children and grandchildren. She had a passion for camping, hiking, fishing, antiquing and was a true rock hound. Waunita loved to make and create; honing her gifts with water coloring, rug hooking, doll making, gardening and numerous crafts. She truly loved to travel; traversing the United States with her husband and camper, often wintering in the southwest. Together they visited Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Egypt, China and the Netherlands.
Waunita was a devoted and loving Wife, Mother and Grandmother. She was an incredibly giving woman who had many talents and gifts. Her family and friends will miss her terribly and remember her with love, always. A private celebration of life will be held at James and Waunita’s home in Grand Junction. Condolences can be sent to 1104 24 Road, Grand Junction, CO 81505. Donations can be made to Hope West of Grand Junction, 3090 North 12th Street, Unit B, 81506 in Waunita’s name.
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