Barbara Ann (Bobbie) Counihan

Date of Birth

April 5th, 1927

Date of Death

June 30th, 2012

Memorial Meeting

Boulder Friends Meeting


Barbara Ann (Bobbie) Counihan, 85, died peacefully on Saturday, June 30, 2012.

Bobbie was born in Washington, D.C., on April 5, 1927, to Vivi Johnson Ormerod and Frank Howarth Ormerod. She grew up in northern New Jersey and graduated from Milburn High School in the same class as her late husband, Richard George (Dick) Counihan.

Bobbie considered herself fortunate because she knew from her earliest years that she knew what she wanted to do with her life: teach young children. She was able to do just that in a career that spanned more than forty years. She received an associate's degree from Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., and a bachelor's degree from New York University, both in early childhood education. Career highlights included teaching preschool at Vassar College, serving as one of Boulder County’s first Head Start teachers, working on a Navajo reservation with teachers of young children, and supervising the early childhood program at Red Rocks Community College in Golden, CO.

Over the years, Bobbie was honored many times for her community service. She was particularly pleased to receive the Hawkins Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 from the Boulder County Association for the Education of Young Children and Boulder’s Spunky Women Award in 2007.

Bobbie was a member of the Boulder Meeting of Friends (Quakers) for more than 45 years, and served twice as the clerk of the Meeting, as well on about every committee we have. She is best remembered among Quakers for her common sense, her direct approach to people and concerns, and her work with the Meeting's children.

Bobbie took delight in being a parent and grandparent. She taught her granddaughters about cooking, sewing, and the value of a sincere thank-you note. She shared with them and others her personal motto: "Say what you mean and mean what you say."

For her last eight years, Bobbie happily lived at Frasier Meadows Retirement Center, where she built friendships, welcomed new residents, and volunteered as her abilities allowed.

Bobbie was preceded in death by her husband. She is survived by her children, Kevin Counihan of Lafayette, Colo.; Rick Counihan of Takoma Park, Md.; and Wendy Underhill of Boulder, Colo.; and her grandchildren, Vivian, Audrey Elise, and Renee Underhill, all of Boulder, Colo.

A memorial service was held at Frasier Meadows Retirement Center, July 21.