Obituary: Thelma I. Barber

Thelma I. Barber

Thelma Irene Barber (nee Long), a longtime resident of Lemon Cove, Calif., passed away peacefully, on June 11, 2019. She was 94 years old. Thelma was born on Oct. 24, 1924, to Frank and Opha May Long, in Platts Mouth, Neb. Thelma’s family moved to Wisconsin and then to Missouri. In 1942, Thelma, her parents, and eight of her nine siblings headed west and settled in Lemon Cove. 

Thelma held many jobs in the Lemon Cove area. First, she worked as a waitress, a lady’s companion, and packing fruit. Then, in 1945, she married her beau, Fern Barber, who preceded her in death (1999). Together, Thelma and Fern owned and operated two grocery stores; raised oranges, cherries, and olives; grew and tended an annual garden; and built their forever home. Thelma continued to work outside the home in local packing houses until her retirement.

Thelma loved fishing, hunting, sewing, cooking, canning, and entertaining. She relished being behind the wheel of a vehicle–sometimes just to drive and enjoy the scenery, and when with Fern, to travel around the country, travel-trailer in tow. She also adored babies and children and spent over 50 years doting on her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

Preceded in death by her youngest daughter, Deborah Mendonca, Thelma is survived by her eldest daughter, Sandy Vincent of Three Rivers, Calif.; sister, Dorthea Perwin of Visalia, Calif.; 11 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and countless cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.

The family extends heartfelt thanks to Delta Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for their kind and loving care. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, June 19 at Evans Miller Guinn Exeter Chapel, 425 N. Kaweah Ave. in Exeter, Calif. Condolences may be sent to the family at Services entrusted to Evans Miller Guinn Chapel.

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