Barbara Briggs Schafer

TORRINGTON – Barbara Ralphene Briggs was born Feb. 8, 1932, to Ralph and Fern (Howard) Briggs in Wray, Colo., and departed this life on June 21, 2020 in Fort Collins, Colo. 

She began her education at the Antelope School, a one room schoolhouse located on the Briggs ranch on the Arikaree River east of Beecher Island. She graduated from Wray High School with the class of 1950. Her classmates remained lifelong friends. 

Barbara married her high school beau, Darwin Schafer and they were blessed with two children, Patricia Lee and Raymond Duain (always known as Mike). 

Their family lived in Wray, Holyoke, Englewood, and Longmont, all in Colorado. Barb was always “good with numbers” and worked as a bookkeeper and in customer relations. 

After retirement, Barbara and Darwin moved to Torrington. She had loyal friends from each place she lived. Barb loved all kinds of dancing. She and Dar spent many years square dancing and traveling with their camping club. 

In December 2006, and January and March 2007, Barbara lost both of her children to cancer and her husband to Alzheimer’s disease after caring for him for many years. She was sustained by devoted family and friends, her indomitable spirit and her Christian faith. In 2009, she moved to Fort Collins to live near her sister Ardith and family.

Barbara was also preceded in death by her parents, her sister Phyllis who died in childhood, her sister Doris and brother-in-law Malcolm Akey and her parents-in-law, Velma and Earl Schafer. She is survived by son-in-law, Dan Cavnaugh, daughter-in-law, Cindi Schafer, and grandchildren Bill Cavnaugh, Kellie Penney (husband Keith), Courtney Branagan (husband Jay) and Katie Schafer as well as great grandchildren, Tyler and Dylan Penney and Ethan and Abby Branagan. She is also survived by brother-in-law Darrel Schafer (wife Rita), sister, Joan (husband Gary Updike), sister Ardith (husband Fred Kerst) and brother Charlie (wife Linda Briggs).

To nieces and nephews she was beloved Aunt Bee. Recently a young friend asked her father, “Why does Miss Barb have so many friends? Why does everyone like her so much?” He answered, “What’s not to like about Barb?” She was an inspiration to us all. 

Anyone wishing to, please donate in her memory to Immanuel Church, 1900 Taft Hill Road, Fort Collins, CO 80526, Barb’s beloved church home.

Barb’s service will be streamed online at 10:30 am, Saturday, June 27. Please visit for the link to the service.


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