It Takes a Family to Comfort a Family
Barbara E. Pigford
Barbara E. Pigford, 91, passed peacefully on March 29, 2022, in Newport News, Virginia. Barbara was the daughter of the late Paul and Marjorie Ennis, born and raised in Grand Junction, Colorado. She spent her childhood summers at the homestead of her grandparents in the high mountains of Colorado and had many great stories to tell about her pioneer ancestors.
Barbara graduated from high school with honors, receiving a scholarship to attend the University of Northern Colorado. She had decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a teacher. She and her family eventually settled in Colorado Springs. After teaching in the classroom for a few years, she became a supervisor of new teachers and pursued a Master’s Degree from Colorado College. Soon after, she was placed in charge of elementary instruction in School District 11 in Colorado Springs, where she made significant contributions. She also mentored educators and encouraged many women to pursue a career ladder in educational administration. Late in her career, Barbara designed and implemented the first public preschool program in the state of Colorado. She never forgot her roots in teaching, making her an excellent advocate for both children and teachers. Her commitment to public education extended to many state and national groups, consultantships, and advisory panels.
After her retirement, Barbara contributed her time to Care Castle, an organization that trained seniors to volunteer in child care centers, and the Colorado Springs Assistance League, which clothed school-age children, screened preschoolers for hearing deficiencies, and provided educational programs focusing on disabilities and drug abuse. Wherever she went, she connected to children and encouraged young people to further their education. Her legacy continues, as her eldest grandson now represents the fourth generation of educators in the family. All who knew Barbara will remember her for how she cared for others and used humor to raise one’s spirits.
During this period of her life, Barbara followed her passion for travel and adventure, visiting such places as England, Scotland, Bali, and China. She also traveled to Virginia frequently to spend time with her daughter’s family and back to Grand Junction to be with her mother and extended family there. Family and faith were her cornerstones; she lived a life guided by her spiritual ideals of love, kindness, and generosity.
In 2008, Barbara moved to Newport News, Virginia, but her heart was always in Colorado. She was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Ruth Thayer. She is survived by her daughter Andrea Alley and husband Ray; her son Curt Pigford and wife Dianne; grandchildren Paul Hauser; Aaron, Hailey, and Randon Pigford; Luke and Mark Alley; great-grandchildren Henry and Walker Hauser; her brother Charles Ennis and wife Ann; and numerous nieces and nephews. Barbara was a devoted mom, grandma, and great-grandma.
A private family celebration of life will be held in Newport News. The family wishes to express gratitude to the many dedicated and loving staff members of The Mennowood Retirement Community who helped care for her during her last years.
In her memory please consider a donation to the local food bank or a charity that benefits young children in some other way.
Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.