Past President of Keep Sedona Beautiful Barbara Litrell passed away recently due to complications from breast cancer.
Fittingly, Barbara wrote her own obituary, which we include in full below:
Barbara loved this “babe” shot from 1996 and kept it in a file marked “obit photo” and used to say the obit would read, “she died at 102 and looked this good!”
Actually, Barbara was 77 and died on July 4, 2021, from complications from breast cancer.
Barbara Jean Gallichio Litrell was born in New York, attended public elementary school and Preston High School, a Catholic girls’ school in the Bronx. She majored in French and minored in Education at Good Counsel College in White Plains, New York.
Barbara taught French for 7 years and then joined the New York Times in the Advertising Department in 1972. She always said the New York Times career experience was a PhD in life. She moved to magazines and was Publisher of McCall’s, Publisher of Working Woman and Working Mother magazines. Her experience in magazines launched her dedication to women’s empowerment which continued after retirement in 2000.
Barbara and Michael Litrell, married in 1972, moved to Arizona in 2002 to play golf every day! Not long after moving here she became involved in community service. In addition to becoming a real estate agent, Barbara served as President of Keep Sedona Beautiful, University Women of Sedona, The League of Women Voters Greater Verde Valley, and the Mental Health Coalition Verde Valley of which she was a founding member. She always viewed retirement as “rewirement” to use her gifts and skills in community service to others. She served on Sedona City Council 2010-14.
She is survived by her husband Michael and her beloved dog Lula; her brother, James Gallichio (Raiona) of North Babylon, New York, along with 7 nieces and nephews and 10 great nieces and nephews, plus many cousins and dear friends.
No service is planned. Contributions in her honor can be made to The League of Women Voters Greater Education Fund, 661 Brindle Dr., Clarkdale, AZ 86324, or your favorite charity.
To plant a tree in memory of Barbara Litrell, please visit Tribute Store
Many of us at KSB had the pleasure and honor of working with Barbara.
From Jan Wind: “Barbara was a cherished past president of Keep Sedona Beautiful having served from 2006-2007. Being the office manager at the time, I remember what a pleasure it was to work with her. I learned many things and watched in amazement during this time and beyond at what she was able to accomplish. She was interested in and actively participated in every function of KSB while creating new events and programs with an ease never seen before. Two programs that stick out in my mind were the important Environmental Workshop Series and KSB’s invitation to the community to Celebrate the Wonder of Sedona in an unusual way. She arranged an evening with Gloria Henry and the showing of the restored made in Sedona 1948 film starring Gloria titled The Strawberry Roan. There are many beautiful and amazing wonders in Sedona, she was truly one of them.”
From Peggy Chaikin: “Barbara will continue to shine for me as one who showed how to live life to the very fullest with great personal warmth and with skills that fit each endeavor; all aimed at the greater good. She made advocacy work roll-up-your-sleeves fun!”
From Craig Swanson: “Barbara was, in the finest sense of the phrase, ‘a force of nature’. Her passion and energy touched almost all of us in Sedona, either directly or indirectly, and she will be greatly missed.”
From Carla Williams: “I worked with Barbara last October on a Sedona Women monthly program on resilience. She found and organized speakers for the Zoom event in record time. When Barbara called, people volunteered. I was impressed with her attention to detail and how many people she knew in the area. Even though I heard she was ill, it was difficult to believe given her energy. She was thoughtful, funny, kind and generous. She is one of those extraordinary people you meet once in a lifetime. She was an inspiration to me and I’m sure to many.”
From Past President Bill Pumphrey:“KSB mourns, with family and many, many others in Arizona, California and New York, the passing of Barbara Litrell. Barbara served our Sedona Community in many ways, including serving on the Sedona City Council. A joy to be with for those she touched, Barbara was President of Keep Sedona Beautiful from 2006-2007. She dealt with major issues facing us, including lighting along SR 89A and long term protection for the National Forest. In many ways, she set high standards for the top KSB Executive post.”
While such things are often said but seldom accurate, in her case we can say confidently that Sedona will not see another Barbara Litrell. While we’ll be a lesser community with her passing, we’re a significantly greater community because of her.
Thank you Barbara!