Obituary: Beverly Warburton
March 08, 1935 — December 16, 2017
After enjoying another fine local theater performance, Beverly Brown Warburton, 82, of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, left on her final trail ride during the early morning hours of December 16, 2017. Throughout her life, Bev was always passionate about life and truly lived “life to its fullest.” Although she was small in stature, she was big at heart and loved her family, community, and horse.
As a spirited youngster, she grew up in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, where her outdoor spirit was nurtured by family and friends. In the 1940s, her love for horses and the Colorado mountains was fostered at Cheley Colorado Camps where she was a camper and a counselor. Her love for travel and learning about other cultures was sparked during a student exchange trip to Switzerland in high school.
As a young woman, she attended Stanford University. Stanford was a major turning point in her life, not only shaping her career, but also laying the foundation for community work and a life-long love of learning. Her friends remember her “cheerful outlook”, “bouncing blonde curls” and “smart blue eyes”. At Stanford, she received a degree in economics and eventually, she became a Certified Public Accountant. She also met her first husband, Lawson Warburton, whom passed away in 1985.
In 1960, Bev moved permanently to Colorado, first living in Boulder, then in the following communities of Gold Hill, Frisco, and Silverthorne. In 2000, Bev and her new husband, Ed Haynes moved to Pagosa Springs. Over the 50+ years in Colorado, Bev did more than operate her CPA business. In Boulder County, she was instrumental in helping secure what is now “green space” as well as started her work with the League of Woman Voters. In Summit County, she opened a CPA business and spent many hours volunteering for the Forest Service, Bristlecone Hospice, and League of Woman Voters. She also learned to telemark ski at 47 years old and spent many hours enjoying the backcountry. In Pagosa Springs, she and her kindred spirit horse, Princess, spent numerous days in the Weminuche Wilderness monitoring trails and assisting visitors as a San Juan Mountain Association Ghost Rider. Bev was a huge part of the horse community in Southwestern Colorado. Known to her colleagues as the “energizer bunny,” she was recognized for nearly 500 cumulative hours of volunteering. She was a founding member and regular contributor to the Southwest Colorado Trails Roundtable, a collaborative effort between volunteer groups and land managers. She also served on numerous not-for-profit boards of directors.
Although Bev had difficulty breathing, she lived by her life motto of “why not?” and her illness did not constrain her energetic spirit or hinder her participation in the things that were most important to her. Bev was a loving, engaged, and generous grandmother to her four grandchildren and never missed a chance to meet up with them for a trip that always included birding, camping, hiking, swimming, cooking, and fun evenings around a campfire. One of the amazing personal feats that Bev accomplished was riding two sections of the Colorado Trail, mostly above 10,000 feet in elevation, and with her horse Princess and a pack horse to carry her oxygen equipment. In October of 2017, she completed her final, epic road trip to California with her daughter to attend her 60th Stanford class reunion. Just before her passing, she was making plans to lead a group for the local Christmas Bird Count and to start volunteering for another organization because she no longer could do the trail rides or wield a chain-saw.
Bev left behind her husband Ed and her two children: Janet and Doug Warburton; brother Bill Brown; four grandchildren: Landon and Kalena, Victoria and Gabrielle; a vast network of extended family and friends; and her beloved horse Princess. On June 9, 2018, we will celebrate the rich life of Bev in Pagosa Springs. In the spirit of a life of volunteering, the family of Bev encourages everyone to contribute to their charity of choice.
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