Alberta Lou Barnett, age 87, died on Friday, April 20, 2018 in Boulder, Colorado after living with esophageal stomach cancer for almost two years. At the time of her death, she was at peace and with her daughter, son-in-law and grandson.
Alberta was born Jan. 10, 1931, the eldest daughter of Albert and Sybil (VonWald) Houck. She grew up in Gettysburg, South Dakota, graduating from high school as Valedictorian in 1949 and graduating from the University of South Dakota with Special Honors May 1953. After teaching in Sioux City one year, she was drawn to the mountains of Colorado and moved to Colorado Springs where she continued to teach. She worked in the local school districts of Colo. Springs and west Denver (Jefferson County) for over 35 years, first as an English teacher and then as Librarian after getting her Masters in Library Science. While in Colorado Springs, she met and married her husband, Emerson Leroy Barnett. Although the marriage was short lived, she was forever grateful for the daughter that they had together.
She spent many years skiing and hiking with the Colorado Mountain Club and raised her daughter within this extended family. In later years, she watched with pride as her grandson Eric learned to ski, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts and became a Young Adult Ski patroller at Loveland Ski Area. She began supporting his plans for college when he was age one and had hoped to see him graduate high school and pursue his higher education. And although she did not live to see that, she had the joy of discussing college plans with him. Alberta also very much enjoyed traveling, especially internationally. Until quite recently she was always planning the next trip, be it an Austrian Alps hut trip, Canadian ski trip, Patagonia penguin expedition, a Caribbean cruise with family or taking her daughter and grandson to Churchill to see the polar bears.
Alberta took pride in being independent, self-sufficient and private; nonetheless, community and relationships were always very important to her. She found great connection with the Colorado Mountain Club and the Over the Hill Gang ski club. Her bridge groups at Balfour provided intellectual stimulation and the social connection she appreciated in her friendships at Balfour.
Alberta is survived by her daughter Lauren, and son-in-law Steve Heising, along with grandson Eric Heising. She is also survived by her brother Robert Houck, and his wife Margery and their children and grandchildren.
There will be a memorial service on Wednesday, May 2, 4:30 p.m. at Balfour Lodge, 1331 E. Hecla Drive, Louisville, CO. Graveside service will be Saturday, May 26 at 11 am, Gettysburg, South Dakota.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial to the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org)