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Friday, December 1, 2023
11:00 - 11:00am (Mountain time)
Barbara Marilyn Zirkelbach, age 96, passed away on election day, Tuesday November 7, 2023. She was a passionate democrat in both lower- and upper-case D, and so it is fitting she died on voting day - one of America’s most important rights.Barbara was born on August 23, 1927, to Grace Litmer Foley and William Foley in Denver Colorado. She attended St Philomena Grade School and graduated from Cathedral High School.
One evening as Barbara with her Mom, Grace Litmer Foley, and sister Betsy were at home, Uncle Buddy (Frederick) brought home two young men both named Harry for a home cooked meal. The joke was on them, with a working single mother, and four very busy 20-year-olds, there was always coffee and some crackers, but rarely a home-cooked-meal at 745 Steele. Sparks flew and Barbara married Harry Zirkelbach and Besty married Harry Schnibbe. Going from Foley to those names, the “Harry-s” must have been charmers.
Barbara and Harry were married at St Philomena and started their lives in a home near Stapleton Airport. After 7 children, they moved in with Grandma Grace at 745 Steele, taking care of her until her death. Barbara held various jobs throughout her life including, working for the DA Dale Tooley, Keep Colorado Beautiful, Trout Unlimited, Docent for Denver Art Museum and retired from Janus Funds
Barbara loved politics. She was well read, and very active. She was a Democratic Precinct Captain- helping many good people get elected, including Patricia Schroeder. As well as working in many elections, she also encouraged her children to work elections. In addition to politics, she also loved tennis and bridge. Some nights she would come home with as much as 35¢ after a winning night at bridge. She also cherished being outdoors. On a not-so-long-ago birthday, the family got up before dawn, sought out a picnic space with a grill, and over an open fire prepared a western breakfast, bacon, eggs and all the fixings. She was in heaven.
Barbara is survived by her husband, Harry Zirkelbach, with whom she shared 72 years of marriage. Of her nine children, she is survived by 7, including David, (Sharon) children, Stetson Zirkelbach, Ellen (Colby) Jarrett, Nathan (Emily) Zirkelbach, Wendy (Ryan) Womack, Erica Lamm (Rob St. Marie); daughter Grace Zirkelbach (David Nichols)- children Amanda (Zack) Podmore and Milena (Greg) Kothe; daughter Josephine Zirkelbach- children Geoff (Amica) Budzius and Emily (Jayson) Villagrana; daughter Amy (Mike) Stevens– children Philip (Danielle) Stevens, Paris (Matthew) Prestridge, Zac (Annika) and Jay Stevens; daughter Julie Kamrath (Anke), children Christopher (Daphne) Ward, Annastasia and Nicholas Von Tilius, Isabella Kamrath; son Albert Zirkelbach and daughter Treesa Zirkelbach. Barbara has 18 great-grand children with another due early next year. Barbara is preceded in death by two sons, Paul and Thomas, parents, Grace and William Foley; her two brothers Severin and Frederick Litmer Foley, Frederick’s son William Joseph Foley; sister Betsy Schnibbe, her husband, Harry Schnibbe, and their son John Schnibbee.
Barbara’s Colorado lineage goes back to the late 1800s. On her father’s side, grandfather William H Foley (1857-1889) was a stonemason for the Ohio State capitol. Once that building was completed, he and wife Alice, (1859-1947) moved to Denver to work as a stonemason on the Colorado State capitol. They had two children, Barbara’s father, William J (1889-1980) and Maytie (1884-1877). On her mother’s side, Frederick Litmer and Elizabeth Geis married in Cincinnati OH on 1/22/1884, registered their brand in Park County, CO in 1884 and bought a ranch around 1894. Frederick and Elizabeth had eight children, Clara (1884), Ralph (1886), Blanche (1888), Fredrick (1890), Grace, Barbara’s mother (1892), Salome (1894), Marie and Irman (1900). The wheat they grew was so fine, it was even exported to Europe.
In lieu of flowers, VOTE. If you’re not registered, please register at Colorado Secretary of State - (coloradosos.gov). Then go find a cause you feel passionate about such as anthropogenic climate change, reducing gun violence, women’s rights, good paying jobs, lower taxes, keeping ACA, protecting social security; vote to protect your interests. If you asked Barbara, she would say, vote blue. As her long-time bumper sticker espoused “If you want to live like a republican, vote democratic”.
Rosary will be held Thursday, November 30, at 6:00 at Good Shepherd Church, which is located at 2626 E. 7th Ave Pkwy, Denver Co 80206
Catholic burial mass will be held at Good Shepherd, Friday December 1 at 11:00. Reception to follow, details later.