Amy Josephine Barnard was born in La Jara, CO, March 27, 1921, at the home of family friend, Dr. Blizzard. She passed away January 16 at the Fowler Health Care Center, Fowler, CO. There will be a celebration of her life February 9, 2PM at the Cottonwoods Links Golf Clubhouse in Fowler.
Generally known as Jo, her parents were William and Amy Stewart of the Stewart Ranch near the confluence of the Rio Grande and Conejos Rivers. Her grandfather first settled there in the 1860s. Jo attended local rural schools, including Los Sauces, where her mother sometimes taught school. She also attended Sanford School and Excelsior. She graduated from Excelsior in 1937 with Troy Bailey and Florence Jones. The school was too poor to offer any awards. Jo’s Aunt Johnny lived in Alamosa and read the Denver Post where she learned about a Bonfils scholarship. Jo applied for this scholarship for which she wrote an essay. She was the first to receive this award, which provided tuition, music lessons, books and activity fees. At age 15 she worked at a pea packing shed in Estrella to save money for college. She sometimes rode a horse from the ranch to Estrella.
After graduation from Adams State, she taught school at No. 6, a rural school near Fowler. There she met Joel (Jake) Barnard and they married in 1942 in CA prior to his service in Europe during WWII. She stayed at the Stewart Ranch during his service, and was involved in local events. Family members often traveled one mile to the Los Sauces store.
Jo taught school several years in the Fowler area. In 1951 they moved to the Shumaker Ranch southeast of Alamosa. They managed the ranch and were active in many activities in the Blanca area, where they acquired lifelong friends. While there, a son, Jon was born and later a second daughter, Judy joined the family. In 1957 they returned to their farm home near Fowler where they lived most of the 71 years of their marriage. Jake died in 2014.
Family gatherings at the Stewart Ranch (which in late 1900s included Sanford cousins), visits to the Sanford Museum and traveling through the SLV meant much to Jo Barnard. In her last decade she appreciated visits from relatives from the SLV, when she no longer was inclined to travel. She had many stories about growing up on the ranch, far from much populated places. She liked to recall going places with her older brothers who had a motorcycle with a side car in the 1930s. Her brothers all preceded her in death: Paul, Gentry, William, Ray and Robert Stewart.
Jo Barnard is survived by daughters, Nancy (Lowell) White, Judy (Lee Newhard), grandchildren, William (Beth) Cokeley, Brinda (Erik) Wohlgemuth, Julene (Michael) Ottinger, Kenric (Sona) White, Phil (Amy) White, Ray (Emily) Barnard and Jay Barnard. She had eighteen great grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren. Preceding her in death were son, Jon Barnard, and granddaughter-in-law, Jessica Barnard, Jay’s wife. She had many supportive nieces and nephews in the SLV and other places. Donations to Fowler Museum, or Sanford Museum would be a nice way to remember her.