Barbara Ann Mihlbachler
Barbara Ann Mihlbachler

April 21, 1938 - July 22, 2016
Born in Terre Haute, IN
Resided in Greenwood Village, CO
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Obituary

BARBARA ANN MIHLBACHLER

Barbara Ann Mihlbachler, 78, passed away peacefully on July 22, 2016 after several years of struggling with Alzheimer's disease. She was born April 21, 1938 to Marion and Greta Caserotti of Terre Haute, Indiana; owners of a small, rural neighborhood grocery store.

A loving and devoted marriage of 58 years to Gerald (Jerry) Mihlbachler of Greenwood Village, Colorado, produced four children – Brian (wife Cathryn), Elizabeth, John (wife Angela), and Rosann (husband Shane). Sadly, daughter Elizabeth preceded Barbara in death, passing away suddenly at age 54 on December 2, 2015. Barbara also leaves behind six grandchildren whom she loved and treasured immensely – Erin and LCpl Thomas Mihlbachler, J. Caserotti (Caz) and Zachary Mihlbachler, and Mackenzie and Hunter Bryant. Her only sibling, Marilyn Kostenski, age 80, resides in Decatur, Illinois, with her husband Elmer.

Barbara was a gentle and caring person; eager to engage in conversation, nurture a friendship, or lend a helping hand. She had a flair for bold, vibrant colors in her home decorating and clothing selections. Although occasionally sporting a fashionable evening dress and high heels, her preferred attire was fleece, wool, or down, often accessorized with a pair of Birkenstock's, Teva's, or hiking boots and a daypack. As promised, Barbara was interred with her hiking boots so she can hike all of Heaven's trails. Keep those laces tight!

Barbara loved and cherished the outdoors and nature. As a child she relished hunting squirrels, mushroom hunting, and fishing for bass or bluegill with her father. Later in life her outdoor interests turned to the mountains – especially Colorado – and travelling the world to experience other cultures and wonders of nature. Together, Barbara and Jerry climbed all 54 of Colorado's Fourteener's (14, 000-foot mountains) and Mount Kilimanjaro (19, 341') in Tanzania. Numerous other camping, hiking, backpacking, and sightseeing trips took them to 33 foreign countries and many state and national parks and monuments throughout the U.S. Barbara also enjoyed skiing, snowshoeing, rafting, llama trips, and pampering herself at a day spa.

After many years of dedicating herself to family, Barbara retuned to college to finish her education, receiving a BA in Colorado History and Outdoor Recreation from Metro State University (Denver) in 1984. Following a college internship with the Aurora Senior Center, Barbara persuaded the Center to hire her to increase their outdoor adventure program offerings. Quickly she was in high demand for her planning and guiding of interesting and challenging hikes, tours, and other recreational activities, managing to turn her talents into a 22 year career. Highlights included touring her "seniors" throughout Colorado, and taking them to Switzerland, Hawaii, and Ireland.

Barbara also shared her knowledge and passion for learning by volunteering for many years with the Colorado Historical Society. There she offered programs on Native Americans, Colorado history, mountain men, mining, and other topics of interest. As a volunteer, she also provided public tours of the Governors' Mansion.

Barbara's family and friends will miss her presence, but we will forever be reminded of her strength, adventurous spirit, and determination whenever we see the mountains alpine glow, hike a dusty trail, ski fresh powder, or smell a wildflower. Her life inspired many others to recognize and appreciate these small gifts from God and Nature – it's what she lived for!

A celebration of Barbara's life will be held at Risen Christ Catholic Parish (3060 S Monaco Pkwy, Denver, CO) on August 2, 2016 at 10am, with viewing at 9am. A reception will follow in the church hall.

The family requests that donations be sent to the Alzheimer's Association (www.alz.org).

Short Hiker's Prayer - Step, Breathe, Gawk, Praise, Smile!

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Services

Visitation
Risen Christ Catholic Church
3060 S Monaco Pkwy
Denver, CO USA 80222
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Funeral Mass
Risen Christ Catholic Church
3060 South Monaco Parkway
Denver, CO 80222
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Reception
Risen Christ Catholic Church
3060 S Monaco Pkwy
Denver, CO US 80222
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM