Barbara Magness passed away quietly on Saturday, April 8th, at the San Luis Care Center in Alamosa. She was 84.
She was born in Monte Vista in 1933 to Fred Ragland and Leona Wyley, the second of three daughers. She lived most of her life in and around the San Luis Valley: Monte Vista, Wagon Wheel Gap, and Creede. She was an early graduate of Creede High School, where she was valedictorian of her class.
Barbara lived for most of her childhood at Wagon Wheel Gap with her extended family while her uncle Bibs Wyley was building Cottonwood Cove. In 1951, she and Orin K. Hargraves were married at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Creede. Their 9-year marriage, spent mainly in Chicago and Denver, produced three sons. When the marriage ended, Barbara returned to Creede and opened Creede Dry Goods. Later she went to work for her former in-laws at the Creede Hotel, and then represented Valley Gas Company in Creede. A fourth son, Brian, came from her second marriage, to Richard Robinson.
In 1967 Barbara married Tom Magness and the family moved to Monte Vista. She devoted much of her spare time to art and produced many works in pastel, watercolor, and yarn, which are now cherished in the homes of friends and family everywhere. When her sister Donna also returned to Monte Vista the two of them opened the Julie Sue, a dress shop on Adams Street. Barbara’s most persistent occupation, and her greatest happiness, was in being a homemaker, a mother, and a wife.
She was preceded in death by her older sister Ordean. She is survived by her younger sister Donna Graham, of Truth or Consequences, NM; her devoted husband Tom, of Monte Vista; sons Creede and wife Therese of Jacksonville, NC; Orin Jr. (Buz) of Niwot; Wiley and wife Christina of Melbourne, Australia; Brian of San Diego; seven grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
Barbara donated her remains for scientific research. In accordance with her wishes there will be no memorial service. Donations in her name to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund (http://curealz.org/) will be deeply appreciated by the family.