Our loss was Heaven’s gain as our mom, Nita, passed from this life to the next on October 10, 2021. Nita Maria Wireman made her appearance as Clark and Elizabeth Wiremans’ second of seven children on February 17, 1929. The young family moved to Medaryville, Indiana when Mom was a young girl. Life was not easy on the farm in those days, as even the children were expected to do their part to help support the family.
Despite the long hours working on the farm, Nita excelled in school and was the valedictorian of her high school class. She went to Indiana University where she impressed E.A.J. (Jim) Barkley in the math class they were both enrolled in. They married on September 6, 1949, Jim’s birthday, and began a life that lasted almost 70 years together.
In 1961 the family moved from Vallonia, Indiana to Canon City, Colorado in a 1955 Ford with five kids, ages six months to ten years, and a full-size collie dog, while pulling a U-Haul trailer. Canon City was home for sixty years. Dad was a high school biology teacher and mom a homemaker until she went back to school and finished her teaching degree in elementary education when she was in her forties. She was hired at the neighborhood school down the street, McKinley Elementary School, and retired as a kindergarten teacher many years later.
Mom was a strong Christian. She loved her God, her country, her family, and her friends. She never tired of traveling, of seeing and learning about new places around the world. She made many trips both abroad and home, including favorite places such as the Holy Land, Ireland, Mexico, and Hawaii.
When asked about her life, she replied, “It was an ordinary life. We took care of our family, went to church, worked at our jobs, had high points and low points. Pretty ordinary.” In reality, it was much more.
Nita M. Barkley is survived by her brother, Ken; sister, Edna; children, Jim (Cathy), Kit, Richard (Sara), Michael (Jeri), and Mary (Tom); grandchildren, Kristen (Andres), James (Wei), Shane, Rachael, Joel, and Aspen; and great-grandchildren, Tucker, Ally, and Eli.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jim; grandson, Jacob; and four siblings.
Mom, thank you. You’ll be missed. May God be with us ‘til we meet again.
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