Mabel Irene (Higgins) Barnett was born January 25, 1915 in Page County, Iowa to James Marsh Higgins and Maude Mabel (Guthrie) Higgins. She was the first daughter, the 3rd of 7 children with 3 brothers: Harold, Guy and Archie; and 3 sisters: Verla, Ella Mae, and Ruby. She grew up in the rural southwest Iowa, northwest Missouri area with one memorable year spent with her family in Loveland, CO, at age 6. During childhood she enjoyed rural life with special interest in sewing, cooking, reading, playing violin and roller skating.
After graduation from 8th grade, Irene began working various jobs as cook, housekeeper and aid to those in the community who were sick, disabled or just needed extra help. On one such occasion she went to help her neighbors, the Barnett family of rural Braddyville, with cooking and to make bread for them. A few years later on June 14, 1941, she was united in marriage to Arthur Merrill Barnett. She and Arthur continued to live with his family on the family farmstead throughout their married life. They were blessed with 3 children, twin boys Lee Carrol and Lyle Carl, and a daughter, Connie Kay.
Irene worked the farm at Arthur’s side and also spent a few years cooking for the State Hospital in Clarinda. She spent some years cooking and helping at the Braddyville State Line Café which was managed by her son, Lee and his family. After Arthur’s passing, she joined the kitchen team at the senior meal site in Clarinda.
Irene delighted in sewing, gardening, canning, and cooking. Her daily family activities were her joy. She will be fondly remembered for her one-of-a-kind homemade bread which she continued to make from “scratch” until her passing.
As a child, Irene learned of her Savior through her Seventh-Day Adventist maternal grandparents and was baptized in her early married life. She was a devout Christian and faithful member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. She is remembered by those who knew her as a giving, gracious person who humbly lived her life for the Lord.
Irene remained on the family farm after Arthur’s passing until 1984.
Then she moved to Clarinda where she lived for 10 years. In 1994 she moved to Lincoln, NE where she remained until she fell asleep in Christ on March 14, 2013 at the age of 98.
Irene was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers, sisters, husband, and son Lee and grandson Kent.
She is survived by son Lyle Barnett and wife Gayle of Valley, NE; daughter, Connie Tuckerman and husband David of Lincoln, NE; daughter-in-law Ona Barnett, Mesa, AZ; 7 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, a great-great grandson and many beloved nieces, nephews, extended family members and friends.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at Eickemeyer Funeral Chapel in Clarinda with interment at Maple Hill Cemetery, College Springs, IA. Visitation with the family present will be one hour prior to the services. Following the committal service a fellowship meal will be served for those who wish to reminisce. Memorials are suggested to the Barnett Family. Eickemeyer Funeral Chapel, Clarinda, 712-542-4200, is in charge of arrangements. www.MemoriesOnline.com