Barbara Estelle Britschgi
August 24, 1929 – September 21, 2019
Barbara Estelle (Fletcher) Britschgi Born August 24, 1929 in San Francisco Father Herbert W. Fletcher Mother Stella Marie (Allampress) Fletcher She lived in Belmont and San Carlos, Ca attending elementary and high school at Notre Dame Belmont. Barbara attended the University of California, Berkley for two years before transferring to the University of California, School of Dentistry in San Francisco graduating 1952 with a BS Degree in Dental Hygiene and Public Health. She was a member of the Delta Zeta sorority and the Rally Committee participating in the activities surrounding two Rose Bowl games. Following graduation she worked in private practice in dental offices on the San Francisco Peninsula for two years before marrying Lt. Joseph (Jerry) Britschgi on January 15, 1955. Barbara established their first home in Houston, TX where Jerry was stationed at the time of their marriage and gradually adapted to the itinerate life of a servicemen. They were transferred to Mather AFB, Sacramento, CA in September, 1955 and welcomed their first child Theresa born on November 18, 1955. Daughter Mary joined the family on April 23, 1957 and was just learning to walk in June 1958 when Jerry was assigned to Johnson AB, Japan. The whole family traveled to Japan on an Army troop ship The General Gaffey. Barbara soon learned that even small children can get sea sick.
Three years in Japan brought many adventures and two sons. Andrew born December 25, 1958 and Matthew born on November 15 1960. As an Air Force wife she learned to be very self-reliant as her husband was often away to Korea, Philippines etc. Barbara loved to travel visiting new places and the cultures of the Far East. Japan was a great place for this and she took full advantage of the opportunity even adding a trip to Hong Kong to visit a distant English relative.
In June 1961 the family returned to the US on one of the early transPacific commercial jet flights establishing their fourth home in six years in Biloxi, MS. Time there was short and in June 62 the family moved to Selfridge AFB, MI. where they were provided a new Base Housing unit. A far cry from the "Paddy House" of Japan. Theresa entered first grade and in November 17,1963 son John arrived. Barbara was at first elated to experience living in a snow covered landscape for the first time but by May a note to her mother bemoaned "the damn stuff is still on the ground."
Barbara always a forward looking person convinced Jerry to apply for a transfer into an ICBM program that would allow him to complete is undergraduate degree and so after two years in Michigan, move number six took them to Cheyenne, WY. This turned out to be their home for almost nine years. On December 21st, 1964 on the coldest night of the year, daughter Cathy joined the group in time for our first Christmas in Wyoming.
After taking the Wyoming dental board exams which included a practical phase held at the State Penitentiary, Barbara restarted her career in Dental Hygiene. Soon she knew a large number of the residents of Cheyenne and became involved in local activities including Cheyenne Frontier Days and AAUW. Even being invited to attend a closing session of the State Legislature Barbara's abilities for being able handle tough situations came to the forefront when her husband was transferred to South East Asia in January 1969. She maintained the home, worked full time and saw that six children were on their way to being responsible citizens. This continued for another three plus years after Jerry returned and retired in June 1970 as he was again mostly 'gone' attending the U. of Wyoming in Laramie.
Following completion of his degree programs in 1973, Jerry accepted a job at the INL then known as the NRTS and the seventh and final move brought the family to Idaho Falls. Barbara soon became active in the Christ the King Church groups, Holy Rosary School and worked as a Dental Hygienist in several offices in town. Over the years her activities included volunteering for many years at the Food Basket (Bank), and as an usher at the IF Arts Council and IF Symphony performances. Books were her passion and Book Club her joy. The arrival of the Book Clubs year's agenda brought a flurry of activity. Barbara began a new career path in Dental Education for the State of Idaho, visiting local schools becoming known as "The Tooth Lady'" to many elementary students. She later consulted for the Dept. of Health Head Start program, visiting programs throughout the North West and Alaska. She delighted in recounting her experiences in the remote Inuit villages of Alaska.
The tragic death of her daughter Theresa in 1976, then a senior at the U. of Wyoming, again tested Barbara and the family. Her strength again shone forth, aiding all to get through that period of our lives. To celebrate their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, Barbara and Jerry took a trip on the QE2 from New York City to LA via the Panama Canal. This awakened her desire to travel. Among her many journeys were seven bicycle tours in Europe and one in South Carolina, a cruise around South America, others along the coast of China, New Zealand to Sydney, and a river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. In addition there were several trips to visit sons in Hungary, England, Thailand, Korea, and Australia Her last adventure was a cruise from LA to Florida via the canal. A reverse of the 25th Anniversary trip.
In September 2001, Barb was treated for uterine cancer and was further diagnosed with a form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. This began an eighteen year battle involving several sessions of chemo therapy, a trip to the Mayo Clinic and numerous doctor visits. Throughout this ordeal, Barbara's spirt never waned. She was always upbeat, still worrying about others not herself. Her toughness and upbeat approach was an inspiration to all who met her. Their children held a joint 90th birthday celebration for Barbara and Jerry on August 24th, twenty eight days before her death.
She is survived by her husband Joseph (Jerry) daughters Mary B. Goode (Fred) of Boise and Cathleen L. Britschgi (Mike Stroh) of St. Maries, ID and sons Andrew J. Britschgi (Sheila) Camas. WA,, Matthew W. Britschgi (Reka)Ellingsberg,WA, and John J. Britschgi (Kinga)of Boise,ID. She is also survived by ten grandchildren: Christopher Goode, Whitney Goode, Alexandra McElroy, Athena Britschgi-Fowler, Shelby Britschgi, Christiian Britschgi, Bogi Britschgi, Sari Britschgi, Andras Britschgi and Joseph LaPlante and seven great-grandchildren; two bother-in-laws and sister-in-laws; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was proceeded in death by her parents Herbert and Stella Fletcher, her brother Jerry Fletcher, daughter Theresa Britschgi and granddaughter Jasmine Goode.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorial gifts be directed to the University of Wyoming Theresa Britschgi Memorial Scholarship Fund in Memory of Barbara Britschgi c/o The University of Wyoming Foundation 222 South 22nd Street , Laramie, WY 82070.
A Funeral Mass will be held Monday, September 30 at 11:00am at Christ the King Catholic Church, 1690 E 17th St, Idaho Falls. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.buckmillerhann.com
- Funeral Mass Monday, September 30, 2019
Barbara Estelle Britschgi
September 29, 2019
Aunt Barbara was truly a matriarch of the family! She was always very proud of her family and their spouses. She always seem to stay on the positive side of life no matter what the good Lord threw at us. She knew how to listen and seem to reason out all the differences in a neutral position. Truly a role model for all and for future generations to come. I loved her voice and that facial expression she gave when she did not agree with you. She was patient to listen and then give you the truth whether you liked it or not. She will be really missed and Chris and I send our condolences to all the family! Sorry we cannot attend the service but we will be there in spirit and send our love and prayers to all the family.