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Memories & Candles

“Uncle Dusty, in a class of his own, always had time to make me feel important and loved. When visiting Susie and Don in Las Animas in the summers, it...Read More »
1 of 11 | Posted by: Becky Bilyeu - Odessa, TX - Neice

“Uncle Dusty was a living gift from God for me as a role model.With joy and thanksgiving I will remember him and give thanks to God.J. Bailey Bitner,...Read More »
2 of 11 | Posted by: J. B. Bitner - San Angelo, TX

“May God be with your family during this time of loss and sorrow. ”
3 of 11 | Posted by: Wiley and Sheeda Balkum - Tow, TX

“Dusty was my math teacher and our mother's employer. His influence was partially responsible for me becoming an engineer and physicist. Lovely guy! ”
4 of 11 | Posted by: Gene barbee - Monterey, CA

“It's hard to think of a time that you were not there for me and my family. You were more than my dad's (Earl Balkum) friend and hunting companion,...Read More »
5 of 11 | Posted by: Jan Mitchell - Buena Vista, CO

“There are so many things to say, so many memories, and so little space. As well as being employed with the LA School District while Mr. Scharf was...Read More »
6 of 11 | Posted by: Peg and Kent Miller - Las Animas, CO

“Alma, Ron, Susie, and Don, I first met Mr. Sharf as my high school math teacher. What an excellent teacher he was! I will always remember him saying...Read More »
7 of 11 | Posted by: Linda (Groendyk) Fenster - CO

“Mr. Scharf was a good man. Always friendly. He will be missed. God comfort you at this sad time. ”
8 of 11 | Posted by: Pam (Howerton) Leinweber - CO

“I have so many fond memories of Mr. Scharf "Dusty" going back to childhood when my parents bought a car from him and Alma would watch us kids while...Read More »
9 of 11 | Posted by: Phyllis Sinclair - Las Animas, CO

“My thoughts and prayers aour with Dustys family during this time of sorrow. I remember him starting as my elementry principle at Memorial 45 years...Read More »
10 of 11 | Posted by: Randy Losey - Las Animas, CO

“Mr. scharf was my high school bookkeeping teacher. Then years later I worked with him in the school district. He will be remembered as such a kind,...Read More »
11 of 11 | Posted by: MaryJane Losey - Las Animas, CO

Army Emblem

Robert Bailey Scharf passed away on June 25th, 2013 at Arkansas Regional Medical Center. He was better known by most people as "Dusty," and was born October 29, 1916 in Spokane, Washington to Hugo Arthur and Helen Bailey. He grew up an only child in the Northwest. He graduated from high school in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho and then received a degree from Reed College in Portland Oregon.
Dusty wrote the following excerpt for the 14th Edition of the Bent County Chronicle in 2009. "When I was at Reed College in Portland, Oregon in 1940 , we referred to the summer of 1940 as the summer before the war. We missed it one summer. It was evident that we would soon enter the war against Hitler 'to save the world for democracy.' I was ready, but didn't relish the idea of walking. I applied for and was accepted into the Army Flying Cadet Program in February 1941. I graduated with the Class of 41-H from the Army Advance Flying School at Luke Field, Arizona in October as a Second Lieutenant with pilot rating. Along with a number of my classmates, I was kept at Luke Field as an instructor in the Western Flying command. I served the major part of the war with this Command, in various places and with various assignments.
Near the end of the war, I was assigned to the South Pacific and joined the 232nd Squadron as a fighter pilot. I had the dubious distinction of ending World War II in Korea. When I returned from overseas, I came to La Junta and then to Las Animas where John Walters and I started Walters and Scharf Motor Co. Some time after the war, the Army Air Corp was converted to the Air Force, and I continued for some time in the reserve.
My bonus from the war was meeting my future wife Alma after the war. She had spent the war as a civil service purchasing agent at Camp Barkley, Texas. I had served with her brother, Earl, at several different bases and we had become friends. Following the war, Earl had been assigned to Germany and his wife Marian was staying with his sister, Alma, in Abilene, Texas, until she could join him in Germany. The two of them made a trip to Denver so Marian could visit her parents. On the way they stopped in Las Animas to see me, and I met Alma in the lobby of the Palace Hotel. I pursued her to Denver and subsequently to Texas on weekends until I talked her into marrying me. We were married in Abilene, Texas, August 16, 1947."
Alma and Dusty spent the next 66 years together in Las Animas. Dusty served as a math teacher, and principal of Memorial and Rixey schools before becoming the superintendent of Las Animas school system. He was an active member of many civic organizations and endeavors for the community throughout the years. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church for 66 years.
Dusty is survived by his wife Alma of the home, one daughter Susie Barbee and husband Ron of La Junta, one son Donald Scharf, of Colorado Springs, two grandchildren, Libby Barbee and husband Brandon Laird, from La Veta and grandson Kris Barbee of Rocky Ford.
Services will be held on Friday, June 28th at 11am at the Las Animas Cemetery Pavilion. In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer contributions be made to the Bent County Preservation Society for the restoration of the Old Bent County High School. If you would like to make a donation, please call (719) 456-0207, or mail to: Bent County Society, 706 3rd Las Animas, CO 81054. The family would also like to request that donations be made to The First Presbyterian Church of Las Animas, or Arkansas Valley Hospice.