Elizabeth Jean Bushnell, 80


Elizabeth Jean Bushnell died March 25, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She suffered from severe dementia and multiple chronic diseases. She was eighty years old.

Elizabeth was born August 3, 1936 in Alamosa, CO to Gladys and Eugene Barr. Known as Betty, she spent the first several years of her childhood in the mining town of Summitville, CO, where her father worked in the assay office. The rest of her youth was spent in Sanford, CO where for over four decades her family owned and ran the general store. She was the eldest of 13 children born to her parents.

After graduating from Sanford High, Elizabeth attended Brigham Young University. In 1955 she married Donald Dean Bushnell. The Bushnell’s celebrated their Golden Anniversary in 2005 before Mr. Bushnell passed away in 2009.

For the first years of their marriage, the Bushnell’s traveled and lived across the United States as Don pursued graduate degrees. They then lived in Bayfield, CO, where he was High School Principal. They settled in Durango in 1960, when Don began teaching at Fort Lewis College. The Bushnell’s raised four children in Durango, Scott, Jennifer, Matt, and Kristen. Elizabeth was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

In 1970 the Bushnell’s purchased the Camp Home on Durango’s Third Avenue, and over the decades cared for it with love and pride. With each decorating or remodeling project, Elizabeth said she was the dreamer and Don was the engineer. She took pride in her role as wife and mother and had enormous talent to create beauty. She was a skilled seamstress, knitter, and gardener. She also worked independently as an interior decorator.

When Mr. Bushnell retired from Fort Lewis, he and Elizabeth moved to Prescott, and then Tsaile Arizona where he taught at the local university and college respectively, while Durango remained their home base. In 2015, Elizabeth returned to live in her hometown of Sanford, CO. When her health and mental capacity diminished significantly, she went to stay with a daughter in California, and then a son in Salt Lake City, where she has resided for the past eleven months.

Elizabeth is survived by her son, Scott (Joy); daughter, Jennifer (Lino); son, Matt (Erin); daughter, Kristen (Joe); fourteen grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. She is also survived by her seven brothers and her five sisters, and over forty nieces and nephews.

Graveside services will be Friday, March 31, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at the Sanford Cemetery in Sanford, CO.  Online condolences may be shared at www.jenkins-soffe.com.

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