Barbara Ann Williams
November 28, 1933 – July 23, 2020
Barbara Williams was one of those unique individuals who are actual natives to this Colorado soil. She was born on November 28, 1933 to Edith and Louis Benzing at Glockner Hospital, now known as Penrose Hospital. Her mom always teased her that she spoiled her Thanksgiving dinner as she interrupted the meal by her arrival. She arrived during the Great Depression and learned early how to make the most of what she had.
She often shared how her dad would give her a quarter to go to the movies downtown. It was a dime to ride the bus there and back, a dime for the movie and five cents for the candy. She said she would walk downtown so that she would have more money for the candy.
She graduated from Colorado Springs High School, which is now called Palmer, in 1952 and worked at a variety of places before becoming a meat wrapper at Safeway stores. It was through her income there that she and her parents were able to buy their first new car. She was active with her church group coming to know Christ at a young age. One of her favorite memories was being a part of the choir for Easter Sunrise services at Garden of the Gods.
When she was nearing her mid-twenties, her mother was concerned that she had not gotten married and devised a plan. Her mom volunteered at the local USO as a chaperone and convinced my mom to sign up as a hostess so that they could drive there together. Her mom only chaperoned a couple of times, but my mom so enjoyed the dancing with the young soldiers that she continued for several years. A young soldier named Robert Williams asked her out on a date and asked her to marry him the same night. She said, “No,” of course, but eventually that no became a yes and she became an Army wife.
The Army life led her around the country and even across the sea. She gave birth to her first daughter Denise stateside and her second daughter Kimberly was born overseas. The Vietnam War started and that led to multiple separations as her husband deployed multiple times.
During that time, she learned the art of parenting alone. It wasn’t easy, but she managed well over the years and many deployments of her husband’s 20+ year military career. His retirement brought them back to Colorado Springs and Barbara settled into a life in her hometown.
Barbara loved to bowl and spent many years on teams with her husband and daughters, as well as several different ladies’ leagues and tournaments. Her other passion was her yard. She loved to garden but hated the weeds! At any point during the flowering season you could walk through her yard and see a variety of beautiful blooms. Barbara was well into her eighties and still out in her gardens with a shovel and a wheelbarrow fighting the good fight against the weeds and making things beautiful. She also loved to create things and participated annually in various craft shows with her daughter Kimberly. Her favorite place in the house was her bay window in her recliner with her cat on her lap and a book in her hand.
Her oldest daughter Denise married Ken Grace and she watched as her daughter enjoyed the military life with her husband. One of her greatest joys was the arrival of her two grandchildren Elizabeth and Matthew.
Barbara’s husband Robert passed away from lung cancer related to agent orange in 2012. It was then that the disease that would ravage her memory began to reveal itself. When it reached a certain point her daughter Kimberly became her fulltime caregiver at home. All the wonderful memories mentioned above faded away from her memory, but not from ours. On July 23, 2020 she went to sleep here on Earth and woke up in heaven whole, memory restored and greeted by those who had arrived before her. “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…” Hebrews 6:19. We will see her again, but we will miss her greatly for now.