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1937 Barbara B. Buskirk 2024

Barbara B. Buskirk

September 30, 1937 — May 23, 2024

Lindsborg, KS

Barbara Blanche Buskirk was born September 30, 1937, to Wm. Alexander (Alex) Richards and Dorothy (Dresher) Richards in Hutchinson, KS.  Barbara died May 23, 2024, age 86, in Marquette, KS, where she resided at the Riverview Estates.


Barbara’s childhood years through high school were in Hays, KS. She excelled academically and in music, graduating valedictorian of her high school class. With scholarships, she attended and graduated from the University of Kansas and served in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica.


The Peace Corps experience was the highlight of her life and further instilled a desire to serve and aid internationally. Barbara would fondly recall meeting Robert F. Kennedy, brother to the President of the United States, and Sargent Shriver, Director of the Peace Corps, as they visited the inaugural sites of the Peace Corps in the early 1960s.


Barbara continued her education in anthropology and archeology at a graduate level at the University of Kansas, Mexico, and at Exeter in England. And outside of formal structured education, Barbara traveled with her parents for archeological digs in Southwest United States and Mexico.


Barbara’s life was surrounded by her Native American heritage and belief system.  Her love of nature, the imperative of protecting the earth, climate and all of creation were primary influences for her decision making. Barbara loved animals, and they were important companions to her at every stage of her life. From a 40 year old mare at the western Kansas farm of her father’s family, to the milk cows at the central Kansas farm of her other grandparents, and her faithful loving cat, Victoria, by her side in the final years of her life, she lived in harmony with nature and thrived in those relationships.


Barbara later taught at Baker University and Ottawa University in Kansas.  On December 27, 1981, Barbara married Leroy Buskirk, and they made their home near Lindsborg, KS. They raised a big garden and marketed produce in the area.  Both Barbara and Leroy were talented singers and for many years, sang with the Bethany College Oratorio Society in performances of Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s St Matthew’s Passion.  She continued her love of singing until her death. 


An important mission of Barbara’s, as long as she was able to knit, was, with the help of others she recruited, to make dozens of pairs of mittens for children related to the Haskell Indian Nation in Lawrence, Kansas.  Barbara was a member of the First Baptist Church of Lindsborg, where she sang in the choir and participated in study groups and worship.


Barbara was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Leroy who died June, 1995.


Barbara was buried in the Heart Land Prairie Cemetery, New Cambria, Kansas.  Notes of condolence may be sent to Stockham Family Funeral Home, McPherson, KS.


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