Sheridan Celebrates - Family Ties II

Forward - written by Roger Rowland.

"Sheridan Celebrates" has been held each year since the city centennial in 1990. There is a theme for each year and a booklet is published containing information about the City of Sheridan, the activities and sponsors for the day, and history. The theme in 1995 was "Family Ties II." In 1995 biographies were included for four Sheridan families.

The Yarbrough Family

Originally written by Bonita Hutcheson and edited by Thea Hutcheson
for Sheridan Celebrates in 1995.

This page updated: October 23, 2015.

Rowena Yarbrough was born Rowena Lorraine Irish, on April 10, 1933, on an Indian Reservation in Yakima, Washington, to her parents, Hollis and Bertha Irish, she and her brother Louis grew up in that area until around the 3rd grade or so. After a short time in Kanarado near the Colorado-Kansas border, Rowena came with her family to the Denver area, which she called home the rest of her life.

Rowena grew up on South Bryant Street and attended College View Elementary school and Lakewood High School. Growing up, she learned to play the accordion, playing it in a Baptist church and downtown on the street corner, and eventually playing it for Amazing Grace Church.

Rowena married her childhood friend, Donald Yarbrough, had their first son, Douglas. The three of them moved to Washington State while Don was in the Air Force. While at McCord Air Force Base, they had their second son, Daniel,in 1955. After returning to Denver, they had their third son, Kenneth, in 1956.
Don got a job at Stanley Aviation where he worked his way up, staying there for the rest of his working life. At that time they lived on South Clay Street.

Rowena served "as President of Petersburg Association of Mothers" and she and her husband "were active along with the boys in Scouts-Don was Cub Master and [Rowena] was a Den Mother." Don has the distinction of "getting soccer started in this area." He also served on the "the volunteer fire department" as an officer and Rowena continued to serve her community, branching out to serve as president of the Auxiliary. The Fire Department was integral to the recovery of the community after the [1965] flood. Everyone in the community pitched in to rebuild and Don was no exception, helping "when the new building was built."

Rowena remembers that "we used to have picnics [at the park] where Cinderella City is now [before it was removed]." They "participated in Tri-County events also," founding "many long standing friendships."

In 1968 the Yarbrough's "moved on South Hazel Ct." She remembers "One year when Bear Creek was very high and expected to flood, our house was the meeting place for those firemen on the South side of the river. In those years, Rowena became a school cook at Ora G. Oliver school, eventually becoming the head cook , serving for many years.

Don Yarbrough "passed away in 1989." Rowena says, they "always enjoyed the feeling of the country in the city." And like many long time residents, she has enjoyed watching "the changes that have taken place over the years." She believes "the Sheridan Recreation Center and Park is an asset to the neighborhood as well as the trail along Bear Creek and the Platte River."

She was soon surrounded by close friends, especially a group of old friends from Amazing Grace Church including as LaVaughn Gillespie, Edna Stanfield, Arlene White, Ted Curry, Mary Campbell, and many others.

She went on to become a core member of the church family during those years - serving in various ministries and Bible studies, cooking on Wednesday nights, and much more. Florence, Betty, Pearl, Shirley,Ruby,Vern, Karen, and others benefitted from her presence in the group.

Rowena loved her family most of all, she loved to take care of them, She also loved her cats, her country music, crafts (she knitted, crocheted, quilted, potted ceramics, and other creative endeavors).

Rowena had a great sense of humor - which she kept right up until the last few days. No matter how uncomfortable she became - her humor remained intact. Some of her son Dan's favorite memories was watching her joke around with Ted Curry making fun of him and all of his female admirers. WhenTed and Rowena went over to the Albertsons, all these girls would scream out Teddy's name. So Rowena would later mimic them to Ted... "Teddy! Teddy!!!"

Rowena Yarbrough passed from this life on Thursday, August 6, 2015, at the age of 82 years. She is survived by her three sons, Douglas Yarbrough of Napa, Idaho; Daniel Yarbrough of Sheridan, CO; Kenneth Yarbrough of Littleton, CO; several grandchildren; and great grandchildren; and several other friends and relatives.

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