Martha Elizabeth “Betty“ Barnes – Obituary

By  | October 30, 2017 | Filed under: McNeece Morris Funeral Home, Obituaries

Martha Elizabeth “Betty“ Barnes died Monday, October 30, 2017, at The Meadows in Fulton. She was born August 22, 1938, to to A.L. and Susie Mae Earnest of Mantachie. She graduated as Valedictorian from Mantachie High School in 1955 where she participated in many clubs and activities including four years of basketball. She was crowned Miss Itawamba in 1952. She graduated from Elmhurst Illinois College in 1961 with her Bachelor of Education degree and Illinois State Teacher License. She was employed as an English teacher at LaGrange Highlands, Illinois, Middle School for 31 years where she was Student Council sponsor for 20 years and seventh grade volleyball coach for many years.

She and her husband Joe, helped start a grass-roots Baptist mission (Welcome Hill Baptist Church) in Lemont, IL, where she played the piano for 11 years. They then moved their membership to Brainard Avenue Baptist Church where they worked with the Youth Department for 20 years. Betty started children’s choirs for various age groups and became a proficient linguist in sign language and started a deaf ministry at the church.

She is survived by her husband and childhood sweetheart, Joe R. Barnes; three sons, Greg of Portland, Maine, Gary of LaGrange, IL, and Glen (Joy) of Cochran, GA; eight grandchildren, Nikki Luo (Howard) of Chicago, IL, Betsy Van Brocklin (Dusty) of Jacksonville, IL, William Barnes (Maegan) of Ogden, UT, David Barnes (Sarah) of Macon, GA, J.D. Barnes (Emily) of Newport, KY, Tom Barnes of Charlottesville, VA, Andrew Barnes of Newark, NJ, and Ben Barnes (Quinn) of Boston, MA; seven great-grandchildren, Ruth Van Brocklin, Abraham Van Brocklin, Liam Joe Luo, Bella Barnes, Carson Barnes, Brooklyn Barnes, and Addison Barnes; one sister-in-law, Bettye Earnest; and nephews Ed and Scott Earnest.

She was preceded in death by her parents, A.L. and Susie Mae Earnest; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Chester and Josie Barnes; her grandmother, Josie Sims; and a brother, Joe Earnest.

Pallbearers are grandsons and grandsons-in-law. Honorary pallbearers are members of the Auditorium Sunday School Class and members of FBC-WMA.

Services will be at her beloved church, Mantachie First Baptist Church, at 11 a. m. Saturday, November 4, with Dr. John Adams, Bro. Andy Neal, Bro. Ed Earnest, and Dr. J.E. Sims officiating. Burial will be in the Center Star Cemetery. McNeece-Morris Funeral Home in Mantachie is entrusted with the arrangements.

Visitation will be at McNeece-Morris Funeral Home in Mantachie on Friday, November 3, from 5-8 p. m., and one hour prior to services on Saturday at the church.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip The Drive Service One Dynamic Staffing Singing River Dentistry
306 Barbecue Champy's OTR Ichiban
Designers Graphics

The Quad-Cities Daily