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“My mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and more intelligent than college professors.”
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  Volume No. 14 Issue No. 8 August 2017  

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Angie Morlan

  Her heart is in Colorado
  By Angie Morlan

   Barb Dyess has moved numerous times over the years and experienced many different climates and cultures, but Colorado won her heart and Falcon became the last stop.
   
   At 2 years old, Dyess moved with her family from California to Rifle, Colorado, where her dad worked as a chemist for Union Carbide. Two years later, they moved to Palisade, outside of Grand Junction; and, later they moved to Connecticut before returning to Colorado. Dyess attended middle school and high school in Leadville, Colorado.
   
   In the spring of her junior year, Dyess’ father had a heart attack; and, because of the lower altitude, the family moved back to the Grand Junction area. However, 14 months later, her father had another heart attack and died — just two weeks prior to Dyess’ high school graduation.
   
   Much like her father, Dyess enjoyed science and wanted to become a doctor. “I loved astronomy, science and biology,” she said. “But I had a real hatred for math, and discovered you had to take all these higher math classes to be a doctor.” Avoiding math meant a change in her career path.
   
   Dyess attended Mesa Junior College in Grand Junction, where she met her husband, Bill. In 1975, Dyess earned her associate’s degree and the following year she and Bill were married.
   
   Dyess eventually returned to Mesa Junior College to study deaf education. She then attended the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, where she earned a degree in elementary and special education for the deaf and hard of hearing. She accepted a job in Clinton, Iowa. Six months later, her husband decided to join the United States Army — after 20 years in the Marine Corp. They moved four times before settling in Enterprise, Alabama.
   
   In 1981, Dyess and her husband welcomed their first child, Stephany, and the following year, they moved to Oklahoma. Her husband took a civil service job after leaving the Army, and they moved to Arlington, Texas. Over the next 12 years, they welcomed three more to the family: Ryan, Summer and Brad.
   
   After Bill Dyess took a job at Fort Carson, the family moved to Colorado Springs. Her husband retired in 2008; and, in 2011, they built a home in Falcon. Dyess has taught American Sign Language courses at church and in the Falcon community. She enjoys music, photography, gardening with the Falcon Garden Club, and writing fiction. She has written four manuscripts, with one near completion.
   
   NFH: Name three famous people you would like to have dinner with (alive or deceased)?
   
   Dyess: Jesus, J.R.R. Tolkien, Albert Einstein
   
   NFH: Name something you would change about Falcon; is there something you think is missing?
   
   Dyess: King Soopers, Barnes and Noble and a Starbucks
   
   NFH: What do you like about Falcon and Colorado?
   
   Dyess: It is basically quiet out here and the people are friendly - we like our neighbors. There is a sense of peace. I love Colorado. I haven’t ever wanted to live anywhere else. My heart is in Colorado.
   
   NFH: If you were just starting out in life, would you stick with the same career path?
   
   Dyess: I would have found a way to become a doctor because I still regret it. And I think I would have been a good one.
   
   NFH: If you had to choose one food to eat every day for the rest of your life, what food would choose?
   
   Dyess: Steak! I love steak!
   
   NFH: Who is your personal hero?
   
   Dyess: My dad: There is a lot about him I didn’t get to know, but he was always there for me. He was a wonderful father despite not having his own dad. He was a great guy, and he didn’t do all he wanted to do. But he worked hard, and he was kind and super smart.
   
   NFH: How would you spend $1 billion?
   
   Dyess: I would use it to help stop childhood hunger and poverty. I can’t stand to see children go hungry. And some of them are so poor that they go for days without anything to eat.
   
   NFH: What is your greatest achievement?
   
   Dyess: My kids. They turned out to be good people.
  
Barb Dyess has lived all over the country, but home is where your heart is — and hers is in Colorado. Photo submitted
 
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