June 7, 1942 – July 15, 2020
Barbara Myers, 78, after a difficult dance with ALS, passed away peacefully at home on the evening of July 15, 2020, as her husband, Lee, was preparing to put her to bed.
She was born Barbara Gail Burns on June 7, 1942, to Mildred Arabelle (Thompson) Burns and James Clark Burns in Enid, Okla. The eldest of three sisters, she grew up in Clinton, in western Oklahoma, making a group of childhood friends there whom she treasured her whole life, most recently as a BFF texting group.
She loved her memories of Clinton such as laughing with the window-sash makers in their shop behind her house where once one of them held up a long curly pine shaving to her head, all enjoying how closely it matched her golden curls.
After high school in Clinton, Oklahoma City and Phoenix, Ariz., she went to Scripps College in California, where she again made a group of lifelong dear friends.
After college she moved to San Francisco where she worked first on the executive floor at the Bank of America headquarters and later as a city and county social worker for San Francisco.
In the summer of 1965 she met her future husband at a car racing event.
Lee and Barbara were thinking of moving to Spain, but ended up in Wyoming, Lee’s home state, caught by the Army draft. After the Army, they had three sons, and she found herself surrounded by dreamers. In their home there were plenty of projects and dreams, and she accepted the roles of accountant, project manager and systems engineer to try and make them work.
She and Lee had bought a property beneath the palisades of Rattlesnake Mountain near Cody and built a log home in that mountain valley with no neighbors in sight. She designed and built the kitchen cabinets, the pantry doors, the decorative railing for the porch that ran along the outside of the house and a flower-stamped wall treatment for the master bedroom, not to mention hanging their laundry in the Wyoming wind. Their living room couch was a porch swing hanging from the vaulted ceiling in front of a copper-hooded fireplace of her own creation.
A business and job change for Lee took them to Omaha, Neb., as the boys were approaching their teenage years. Barbara found meaningful work with youth at Boys Town, working there for two decades with the chemical dependency counselors, the office of the executive director, the home communities administration and in the records and compliance office.
After retirement, Barbara orchestrated she and Lee’s move to a condo in downtown Omaha, where she volunteered for the homeowners association board and helped them navigate important changes in their administration. She volunteered at CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children) where she helped children in court-directed foster care and to find adoption and other improvements for their lives. Barbara also volunteered at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in the surgery waiting room helping patients’ families.
As much as she liked helping others, it wasn’t always easy to get her to talk about herself. Being the center of attention wasn’t her favorite place, while focusing on others made her happy. She seemed to always hit it off with her sons’ friends or girlfriends who would often ask about her or want to sit and chat with her, describing her as smart and humble.
She was preceded in death by her parents and sister Jamie Duncan. She is survived by her husband, Lee Myers; sister Linda Brake of Arizona; children Mason (Robin Riske) Myers of San Francisco and Wyoming, Tyler (Stacie Johnson) Myers of New York City and Ryan Myers (Jamin London) Tinsel of Portland, Ore., as well as her beloved grandchildren Willa Myers, Angie Tinsel and Bowden Tinsel.
Celebrations of life will be held August 15 in Omaha and in the summer of 2021 near Cody.
In lieu of flowers, spend a quiet moment of thanks with someone you love. For memorials, please consider a local (to you) charity. To share a memory of Barbara or send condolences to the family, go to www.facebook.com/barbara.myers.3158652.