Shelley Kay Barber 10-25-1958 ~ 1-30-2015 Shelley Kay Barber loved God’s Word and believed it unreservedly. A couple of her favorite Scripture passages were I John 3:2 (“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”) and II Corinthians 5:6-8 (“So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”). That which once was only hope in a distant future is now a reality for Shelley. She slipped away from her earthly house that all too soon crumbled around her, a house that could not be repaired by earthly means. She vacated the premises. She is absent from her body. She no longer walks by faith, but by sight, for she is with the Savior; she sees Him! Those she has left behind are already missing her gentle spirit, her sense of humor, her fine way of turning a phrase, her keen intelligence, her wise advice, the mercy and grace she showered
on everyone, her expressions of love for all the things in her life – the people, the ranch, the Spanish Peaks, the birds and flowers and animals, all of God’s creation, strawberries and cream, and her love of truth. Those who had the privilege of praying with her can say that they attended the University of Prayer. She believed in the absolute sovereignty of God; she accepted all things as from His hands, even suffering, and hardships, and disappointments, and believed that nothing was too great or too small to bring to His throne for his consideration, and for His final say in the matter. She was many things – a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, an aunt, a friend, a sibling in God’s family, but most of all she was simply and wonderfully a child of God, desiring that in all things, He be glorified in her life and in her death. Shelley Kay Barber went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Friday, January 30, 2015, after a valiant struggle with lung cancer. She is survived by her loving husband Robert, daughter Emily, and son Zane of Walsenburg, like-a-daughter Allyson Blessman of Walsenburg, adopted-in-love son Ivan Pacheco (Danielle) of La Junta, CO; parents Stan and Lorna Searle of Monument, CO; sisters Lorna Robles of Davis, CA, and Sharon Searle of Monument, CO; brothers Charles “Charlie” Searle (Cheryl) of Monument and Monty Searle of Monument; and foster brother Mark Day (Cordelia) of Colorado Springs, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Shelley’s Story Shelley was born October 25, 1958 in Aberdeen, WA, where her mother Lorna worked as a secretary for Boeing Aircraft and her father Stan ran an advertising agency. While she was still an infant, the family moved to Modesto, CA and then to Oklahoma City, where Shelley started elementary school. At 10 years of age, her family moved to Colorado and her dad started a magazine publishing business. Though the business was in Englewood, the family made their home in the Conifer/Evergreen area. Shelley remembered clearly an event that happened when she was 5 years of age that changed her life forever. She was riding in the car with her mother and declared, “I want Jesus in my heart.” Her mother talked to her about it to see if Shelley truly understood what she was saying. Satisfied that she did, she told Shelley, “Okay, but let’s wait ‘til daddy comes home.” When he did, he spoke with her also, and Shelley prayed and asked Jesus to come into her heart. She immediately tried to evangelize their neighbor. Shelley always wanted to be a missionary. She started young and never stopped. Shelley had a beautiful singing voice, and music was always a part of her life. During high school, she sang with “The Children of Light”, a Christian band that performed at the University of Wyoming Music Workshop. In 1977, she graduated from Evergreen High School. After high school, she and her sister, Lorna, spent the summer of 1978 in Scotland with Teen Missions, International, where they had the privilege of singing along with composer Diana Miller at a large youth concert, and in 1978, Shelley also started working in the magazine publishing business. Shelley enjoyed many activities and hobbies – ice skating, skiing, climbing trees, horseback riding, crafts, sewing, hiking, and writing. Some of these began in her youth and many continued throughout her life. Some of her favorite times throughout her life were spent learning, reading, and being with friends. She loved beaches around Pacific Grove and Monterey, where her maternal grandparents lived and Yakima Ranch where her paternal grandparents taught her a bit of gardening and bird watching, and the beauty of early morning. In 1982, she joined Calvary Baptist Church of Walsenburg. During that same year another life-changing event happened. Shelley went to a Cowboy Church service in La Veta. There, she met a young man named Bob Barber, who was teaching at the Cowboy Church. Bob was a teacher at Florence High School. Over the next couple of years, after meeting Shelley, he often came to Walsenburg to lead a singles Bible study group, of which Shelley was a member; it seems that was quite a draw for this young man. They fell in love. In 1983, Shelley traveled to the Middle East and spent 6 weeks at the American Institute of Holy Land Studies in Jerusalem with a small group from Denver Seminary, also visiting Egypt for a couple of weeks. On June 22, 1985, Shelley Searle and Robert Barber were joined in marriage at her parents’ ranch west of Walsenburg. Bob was still teaching in Florence, CO at this time but was looking into teaching positions in Alaska or Hawaii. But then an opportunity opened up in Oak Grove, Missouri, and the young couple moved there where Bob taught high school science and coached wrestling from 1985 to 1987. Shelley worked for Globecom Publishing, a trade magazine, in Kansas City. After that, Bob contacted Intercristo, an employment agency for Christian organizations and ministry opportunities. Finally a call came from Intercristo and Bob was asked, “Would you be willing to be a missionary? We can place you in London, Nicaragua, or Zimbabwe.” Thus it was that Bob and Shelley ended up in Zimbabwe, Africa, through Brethren in Christ World Missions. Bob taught science (9th-12th grade) on a mission compound. Shelley taught missionary children (K-3rd). Their first child, Emily, was born in Zimbabwe on March 12, 1989. In 1990, the Barber family left Zimbabwe and returned to Colorado. At first, Bob worked for Shelley’s parents’ company – Tri-Lake Cable Television in Monument, and then they spent one month in Ottawa, KS with Bob’s parents and from there to Kemmerrerr, WY, where Bob taught school for a year. Returning to Colorado, they bought land southwest of Walsenburg, renting a place in Walsenburg until they could put a house on the land and move to the property in January 2001. Bob and Shelley continued to worship and be actively involved at Calvary Baptist Church of Walsenburg. From the time that Shelley joined CBC in 1982, she attended faithfully, had sang in the choir and other music events, was involved with VBS every year and taught children’s Sunday school for several years. She was also involved in a Ladies’ Community Bible Study that met in her home from 1994-99. Their second child, Zane, was born May 1, 1998. Bob and Shelley also have another child, Ivan Pacheco, who they say was “adopted in love” at age 16. In about 1994, with former Walsenburg teacher, Chuck and Christine Terrell, plus mutual friends, Alan Tinsley and daughters, God paved the way for them to launch the annual community Thanksgiving Feast in Walsenburg. From 1992-96 Shelley sponsored the wrestling cheerleaders/managers of John Mall High School. She helped organize the National Day of Prayer for some years, served on the local library Board of Trustees (1991-94), was Walsenburg Women’s Club Secretary for a couple of years (1991-94), and volunteered with Dorcas Circle from 1994-2008. Shelley always had a heart for pre-born babies and their parents, believing that human life begins at conception. So it seemed a natural thing for her to complete the PRC (Pregnancy Resource Center) Training Workshop in the summer of 2008, to begin volunteering at Open Arms Pregnancy Resource Center in November 2008, and to become director in August, 2009. Reluctantly, Shelley resigned her position in February 2012, due to declining health. In January of 2011, Shelley and her family began attending The First Baptist Church of Raton where she remained active as long as possible. A favorite book was Safely Home by Randy Alcorn, and now Shelley Kay Barber is truly “safely home”. A Memorial Service celebrating Shelley’s life will be held at 11 am, Saturday, February 7, 2015 at the John Mall High School Gym. 355 West Pine Street, Walsenburg, CO. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Johnson-Romero Family Funeral Home.