Peaceful 10

Donald R. Scharf

June 18, 1957 ~ December 1, 2021 (age 64)


Donald Robert Scharf was born June 18, 1957 to Alma and Robert “Dusty” Scharf. He passed away on December 1, 2021 at the age of 64.  He spent most of his life living with his parents in Las Animas, CO. Don, or Donnie Bob as many called him, was a sensitive and gentle person who loved hunting and the outdoors, making artwork, and going on many adventures with his closest companion, his dad.

Following graduation from Las Animas High School, Don and his dad opened Scharfs’ Body Shop. The two repaired countless vehicles and hosted many friends and any passerbys for regular coffee breaks and long conversations in their little shop on Bent Avenue. During slow times at the shop, Don busied himself fashioning whimsical sculptures from scraps of wood and metal depicting birds, fish, deer, and other animals that would animate the homes and gardens of many neighbors and friends.

He loved children and enjoyed teaching them to fish, hunt, and make art. He was the best of uncles to his niece and nephew, Libby and Kris Barbee, providing hours of fun teaching them to throw a hatchet, shoot a gun, make fires with magnifying glasses, and leading them on wild adventures chasing imaginary creatures. He was an incredible marksman, and enjoyed skeet shooting, hunting trips, and participating with friends in muzzleloading competitions. He spent Sunday afternoons on long country drives with his parents and neighbors or trekking through fields and river bottoms looking for deer, pheasants, and ducks. He and his father enjoyed regular afternoon rounds of golf at the Las Animas golf course followed by a trip to Dairy Queen for ice cream cones. 

Don lived with and cared for his parents until they passed away in their 90’s. He spent his last decade living in skilled nursing facilities in Denver, where he was a minor celebrity amongst his fellow residents and caregivers. He was loved for his mischievous sense of humor and his tendency to give away anything he owned. His nurses lamented that they couldn’t keep him in a decent coat or pair of shoes because he was forever giving away the literal shirt off of his back to people living on the streets near his nursing home; but his fellow residents always appreciated the gifts of candy and artwork that he loved to dole out.

In his later years, he dedicated most of his waking hours to making artwork. To accommodate his art practice, the administrator of his nursing home allowed him to set up an art desk in her office. She admitted that over time, it really became his office; but Don generously allowed her to work there. Don made paintings and sculptures wherever and with whatever he could, painting animals and landscapes on cardboard scraps and directly onto the walls and sidewalks around his neighborhood. He was known to decorate nearby trees and streambeds with small cardboard sculptures of animals, and even handmade floating duck decoys.

Don loved and accepted all people. Throughout his life, he was surrounded by friends and family with whom he shared jokes, wild stories, fun adventures and tons of love. He is survived by his sister Susie Scharf Barbee and husband, Ron Barbee; niece, Libby Barbee, husband, Brandon Laird, great-niece, Emerson Barbee-Laird, and great-nephew, Etienne Barbee-Laird; nephew, Kris Barbee, wife, Kelsey Miller Barbee, and great-nephew, Lane Kenneth Barbee; as well as many friends and extended family.

An informal service will be held at the Las Animas Fire House, 435 Fifth Street, at 11:00 am, Saturday, December 11, 2021, followed by lunch. A memorial skeet shoot at the Las Animas Gun Club will follow lunch, everyone is invited.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to either:  
Las Animas, Bent County Trap Club in care of Gene Ramsey 107 East 4th, Las Animas, 81054
Las Animas Helping Hands, P.O. Box 576 Las Animas, CO 81054 
Las Animas Presbyterian Church, 546 Sixth Street, Las Animas, CO 81054

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