Barbara Henfner Walton Blankinship, 79, of Colorado Springs, CO, died of COVID-19 complications on April 25, 2021. She was surrounded by family.
Barbara was born August 24, 1941, in Monroe, Louisiana, the daughter of George (a geophysicist) and Hilda (an artist) Walton. Throughout her early years, she lived in countries all over the world, attending a new school every year. In 1959, she graduated from Fox Lane High school in Bedford, New York. In 1963, she graduated from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, with a degree in English. She was a proud member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
Barbara’s life was one of service. From her work with Amigos International in 1967 to eradicate polio in Guatemala to the years she devoted to her family and community, she was a nurturer to everyone she met. She mentored many and led Bible studies with her husband in their home. She believed in service to the community with the same unconditional faith she believed in Jesus Christ. If you met her, she’d make you feel like you were her most important child, friend or mentee, because of her sense of compassion and care.
In the early 1960s, while she was working as an administrative assistant at Texas Children’s Hospital, Barbara met the love of her life in pediatrician Dr. Garland Richard Blankinship. They were married in Houston, Texas, on February 2, 1968, and shortly thereafter moved to Colorado Springs. In 1987, Richard opened the Colorado Children’s Clinic, and Barbara assisted him as the office administrator. They both worked there until their retirement in 1997.
Barbara was a devoted and active 50-year member of the First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs. She was one of the first female elders of the church. She was involved with many groups at the church, including Mothers of Preschoolers, Get-Set Preschool, Branches Women’s Bible Study, Bridges, and many more.
Barbara’s volunteer work did not stop at church. She volunteered with the Junior League of Colorado Springs, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and James Madison Elementary School (most notably as a Book Karate volunteer and co-coach of the soccer team), among others.
She loved the outdoors. She was an avid tennis player at the Colorado Springs Racquet Club, runner, cyclist/spinner, and skier throughout her life.
In 2011, Barbara suffered the effects of a debilitating stroke but maintained a resilient hope that inspired many. While living with her disability, she was able to memorize scripture and develop close relationships with many she met.
Barbara was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Garland Richard Blankinship and her parents. She is survived by her four children, David (Kristin), Sarah (Jonathan Bergeron), Christina (Marvin) Harrell, and Julia (Doug) Smith; seven grandchildren, Cleo, Jonathan and Sarah Blankinship, Jack and Audrey Harrell, and Sophie and Jacob Bergeron. She is also survived by her brother and sister-in-law Stephen and Martha Walton and two nephews Daniel (Anna) and Richard (Dana) and their children.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date, once we can safely gather.
Memorial contributions can be made in Barbara’s name to First Presbyterian Church, 219 E. Bijou St., Colorado Springs, CO 80903.