Barbara Ann Brooks Aviles, age 80, died in Denver, Colorado on November 21, 2023. She was surrounded by close family and friends. Barbara overcame many difficult health obstacles in the last 10 years of her life, however late-stage lung disease combined with cancer was too aggressive to defeat. Throughout her life until her final days, Barbara was known and loved for being warm, smart, hardworking, creative, stylish and fun-loving.
Barbara was born in Ft. Worth, Texas on August 23, 1943. She graduated from R. L. Paschal High School in Ft. Worth and went on to attend Texas Tech University in Lubbock. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising in 1966. She then moved to Houston and began her career as a buyer for Foley’s when it was still a family-owned, department store headquartered in downtown Houston. She married her first husband, Ernie Koster, in 1968 in Houston and they had one child, Rachelle Koster (Folsom). As Foley’s grew into a large chain of store, Barbara evolved from an executive fashion buyer to a management training expert. She went on to become a high-level managerial trainer for Conoco/Dupont in the 1980’s. Barbara and Ernie divorced in 1981 yet remained supportive, respectful and friendly co-parents throughout their lives.
In 1986, she met and married her second husband, Dionel (‘Don’) Aviles. Over the course of their 30-year marriage, Don became a Major General in the Army Reserve, built one of Houston’s top geotechnical engineering companies and became a Regent of Texas A&M University. In 1989, Barbara partially retired, transitioning to a consultant role for Dupont to better support her husband’s many career endeavors. She continued to lead management training seminars for Dupont’s top executives until her full retirement in 2005. In addition to her successful personal career, she was recognized by the U.S. Army Reserve for creating a formal program to better support families of military reservists. Barbara was also an active member of Houston Junior Women’s Club (HJWC), a service organization that provides valuable support to non-profits throughout Houston. During her ‘retirement’, she served in many board roles including President of HJWC. Through her commitment to HJWC, she became a regular volunteer at Texas Children’s Hospital, which she considered some of the most rewarding ‘work’ of her career. Barbara also enjoyed supporting her husband’s beloved Aggies. For over 20 years, Barbara’s tailgate parties at Texas A&M were famous for great food and drinks, with large groups of friends often gathered long after the football game ended. As she and Don used to say, ‘We may not always win the game, but we always win the tailgate party’. Barbara and Don also enjoyed traveling regularly with friends and family for annual golf vacations, trips to Mexico, visiting grandchildren and exploring the world including trips to Antarctica, Alaska, Spain, Italy and more.
In 2004, Barbara’s focus shifted to her favorite role, devoted grandmother ('BeBe') to her three youngest grandchildren: Trip Love, Jacqueline Folsom and Leah Folsom. She created many special memories with the three of them including vacations to Puerto Vallarta, Beaver Creek, a Disney Cruise and more. She sought out and joined them in adventures like zip-lining and white-water rafting. After Don’s passing in 2016, Barbara moved to their vacation home in Silverthorne. She loved Colorado’s scenery, change of seasons and the cool mountain air. In Spring of 2022, Barbara became a part-time resident of Denver so she could spend more time with her close family and friends. In that time, Barbara enjoyed treating those she loved to wonderful dinners at some of Denver’s best restaurants, visiting the Botanic Gardens, Denver Art Museum, The Denver Zoo and watching football.
Barbara is survived by her daughter Rachelle Koster Folsom, Stepchildren Marta (Aviles) Hamilton, Dionel (Dino) Aviles, D’Ann (Aviles) Love and grandchildren Leah Folsom, Jaqueline Folsom, Megan Hamilton, Bridget Hamilton, Brian Hamiliton, Thomas Aviles and Joe Robert (Trip) Love III. Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, Charles Alexander Brooks and Stella (English) Brooks, her brother Charles Brooks and her husband Dionel Emilio Aviles.
A Memorial Service and ‘Celebration of Life’ for Barbara will be held on January 20, 2024 at The Clayton Members Club from 2-5pm in Denver, Colorado.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Barbara’s name to Children’s Hospital of Colorado. Please use this link: www.supportchildrenscolorado.org/donate
For donations to Children's Colorado Foundation, please see below for directions on how to fill out the donation form In memory of Barbara Brooks Aviles. For the boxes listed, fill in or check the underlined information below.
Select an Occasion: In Memory of
Name of honoree(s): Barbara Brooks Aviles
Personal Message: Please direct my donation to the Oncology Department
Notification Recipient Name: Rachelle Folsom
Notification Recipient Street Address: 846 Madison Street
Recipient City/State/Zip: Denver, CO 80206
Would you like to contribute to a specific fund:
Direct My Gift to: Specific hospital department or location (please enter in donation instructions).
Gifts can also be given via mail by check and mailed to:
Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation
13123 E 16th Ave B045
Aurora, CO 80045
In Memo Line of Check: In Memory of Barbara Brooks Aviles
Memorial Gifts can also be arranged by phone: 720-777-1760