Barbara Briggs (Briggs) ShelbyAugust 27, 1949 ~ October 25, 2017 (age 68)
August 27, 1949 – October 25, 2017
Barbara Briggs-Shelby, daughter of Dorothea and William Briggs of Madison Wisconsin, died peacefully at home on October 25, 2017. Both parents preceded her in death. “Love is for people,” her Mother taught, “fondness is for things. We may be fond of things, but we love people.” It was a lesson that paved the way for Barb’s life.
Barb's cousins and friends from childhood admired her strong and sassy manner and remember her infectious smile, her adventurous spirit and her youthful beauty, qualities that naturally drew people to her throughout her life. Her friends from her years in Oklahoma witnessed her fight with COPD, her 2011 lung transplant, 2014 lung cancer, and final battle with a second round of respiratory failure, amazed by her strong will to live. As Barb put it, “if I have to kick the bucket, I’m just going to keep kicking!”
Barb’s reason for living was her joy of people and having fun. Wherever she went, she drew people out, listening to their concerns – their triumphs and troubles – and telling them her own. Her friends included neighbors, residents of apartment complexes she managed, her rediscovered birth-mother Beverly Timm, who also preceded her in death, and other birth-family members, camping buddies, fitness pals, and the pastors and members of churches she attended and served. She celebrated and lamented with each of us. Then she called the rest of us to spread our joys and sorrows, always with emphasis so we would get it, as in – “Isn’t that just the best thing you ever heard!” or “That is just the worst!” By sharing it all, the good and the bad, she bound us together.
Barb died in the secure surroundings of her living room, aware until the end of the comforting words of her sister, Bette Briggs, and adoring husband Gerald Shelby. She is also survived by her loving uncle Carl Trettin, aunt Jean Trettin, cousin Carl Trettin and his wife Lillian Trettin, brothers-in-law Lee Higbie, and Sherman Shelby, his wife Terri Shelby, step-children Angie Shelby, Kenneth Shelby, Kieth Shelby and his wife Valerie Shelby, numerous cousins and step-grandchildren, and the circle of aunts and cousins-in-law who fell in love with her fun-loving spirit.
Even as she drifted between her living room and the great beyond, Barb reached to heaven, arms outspread, and said, “I just love everyone…I love all my people!” Those words surely sum up her life, devoted and caring for so many people, the sparkle of love shining to the end.
The family thanks the doctors, nurses and aides of Saint Francis Hospice for their support. A special thanks to ‘step-birth-dad’ Bob Timm, friends Mary Sue Johnson and Jo Stansbury and neighbors Monica and Bill Chavez for their support and love, and to caregivers Patsy and Angie Lovett, and Gloria Burkhalter, whose care, concern and compassion are forever appreciated.