Barbara Carol Avery

April 10, 1948May 2, 2018

Barbara Carol Hougnon was born to Robert and Bertha Hougnon on April 10, 1948 in McCook Nebraska. She was the first of 11 children. Her family moved around in her youth to follow her father’s job assignments with the Bureau of Reclamations. She lived in Nebraska, Montana, Kansas, and Colorado. She moved to Buena Vista from Loup City NE in 1965 and graduated from BVHS in 1966. She attended the University of Colorado in Boulder for two years, and then transferred to Western State College in Gunnison graduating in May 1970. In 1993 Barb received her Masters of English Arts from Adams State College. She married George Wright February 1, 1969. In 1973, Barb and George were surprised with the blessing of identical twin girls: Arian and Amber. Although they divorced, they raised the girls in Buena Vista until they graduated from BVHS. She then became the grandma to three grandchildren that were the “Apple of her Eye”. She loved any opportunity to spend time with them, or brag about them. Barb loved Buena Vista. Over the years, she and George owned and operated several bars in Buena Vista, including The Lariat, The Upstairs Lounge, and The Timber Tavern (The Green Parrot). Barb was very involved in the Buena Vista community, and she especially loved the Buena Vista Centennial Commemoration in 1979. She was a proud part of the celebration’s melodrama where she was kidnapped, tied to the railroad tracks, and rescued by the local Hero! She loved being a business owner, but her strongest passion was education. She taught 5th grade at Avery Elementary, was a substitute teacher at BVHS, and a GED instructor for the Colorado Dept. of Corrections. In October 1991 she married the love of her life Irving W. Avery. Together they enjoyed playing cards, taking road trips, traveling the world, visiting family, and socializing with friends. This was the happiest time of her life. After Irv’s death, Barb moved to Yuma Arizona for health reasons that included Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Asthma. She was determined to always fight the progression of the MS. Barb’s health was a constant struggle, but she never complained and lived life to the fullest. She stayed active and belonged to many clubs in both Buena Vista and Yuma. She loved to play Bridge, Pinochle, and Cribbage. She was involved in book club, Jeep Patrol, VFW Ladies auxiliary, GEMS MS Support Group, and Catholic Daughters. She felt very blessed by her family, her friends, and her life. She was undoubtedly one of the world’s most positive people. She will be missed terribly. She was preceded in death by her Husband Irving W. Avery, and parents Robert and Bertha Hougnon. She is survived by her daughters Arian (Donald) Lee, Amber (Robert) VanNess, Granddaughters Shawnee VanNess and Berlin VanNess, Grandson Talan Lee, and siblings Cathy (John) Pfalzgraff, James (Jean) Hougnon, Dennis (Barbara) Hougnon, Joanne (Donald) Raymond, Mary Hougnon, Sharon Wilson, Connie (Spiro) Mack, Sister Teresa Hougnon, Kimberly Armstrong, Michael (Erinn) Hougnon. Memorial Services will be held in Yuma on May 11th and in Buena Vista on June 16th at 10:00am. Donations can be made in Barb’s Name to the Buena Vista School District or The Walk for MS.


  • Arian Maureen Lee, Daughter
  • Amber Michele Vanness, Daughter
  • Bertha Belle Nicholson, Mother
  • Robert F. Hougnon, Father

Barbara Carol Avery

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