Lois Jean Barnes, daughter of Celesta and Clifford Lucas, passed away in Caldwell on Saturday, May 22nd. At 97 years old, she was living on her own at home and still active.
Born April 6, 1924 on the farm in Grant County, Oklahoma, Lois lived with her parents and brother, Clifford. Her second brother Bill was born after her Dad died unexpectedly when Lois was just 10 years old. She went to New Hope Country School, along with 11 other students, 3 miles from her home, often riding her horse Beauty to get there. She transferred to Caldwell to go to school upon entering the 7th grade and graduated from Caldwell High School in 1942. Lois farmed all her life; however, during World War II, she worked as a riveter at Boeing in Wichita. Darwin Barnes, her future husband, served in World War Two in Eastern Africa and Europe. They were both very proud to serve their country.
Lois married Darwin in 1946 and they were married for 58 years. They built a house north of Caldwell where they raised wheat and hogs.
While their children, Charles and Sue Ann were growing up, they spent summers at Blackwell Lake enjoying boating, water skiing and fishing. The family traveled throughout the U.S., and always included Lois’s mother, Celesta, in their travels.
She and Darwin spent many summers in Colorado, to live near their kids, but especially their grandson, Joshua, in Leadville, CO. They lived several summers at the Leadville Golf Course, serving as caretakers, then eventually became volunteers at the Leadville National Fish Hatchery, sometimes giving tours.
Every winter, she and Darwin became “snowbirds." For 30+ years, they would go to southernmost Texas to the La Floresta RV Park in Mercedes, TX to spend their winters. After Darwin died, Lois continued going there, where she had many life-long friends, with whom she golfed, played cards and generally enjoyed the good life.
But her heart was always in Caldwell. While in Texas she had the Messenger mailed to her there. She was very proud of Caldwell and took part in as many community events as she could. She loved playing cards and board games at the Senior Center with her friends. She was as excited as a little kid during Caldwell’s 150th Anniversary, watching the Caldwell Stampede and eating Czech Bratwurst.
Very active into her 90’s, she and Sue climbed the 296 steps at the Kansas State Capital to see the “best view in Kansas” when she was 92 years young.
Lois is preceded in death by her brother Clifford and wife Imogene. She is survived by her son Charles and his wife Fran of Lakewood, CO; daughter Sue Ann Davis and her husband Dallas and grandson Joshua of Leadville, CO; and her brother Bill Lucas and his wife Doris of Cheyenne, WY, and numerous loving nieces and nephews. Graveside services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, May 28, 2021 at the Caldwell City Cemetery, Caldwell, Kansas.
Memorials may be made to the Caldwell Senior Center or to the Caldwell Food Bank and sent in care of the mortuary.
Visitation will be held 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday & Wednesday and 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday.
Dianne Unruh Lanier
What a beautiful and bountiful life of sweet kindness Lois lived! An inspiration of tackling each challenge of life gracefully. Her kindness blessed my life many times, usually with her encouraging smile and thoughtful ways. Lois, the riveter, I didn't know. At her size, that took grit and determination she used later to smooth life for the rest of us. She has been welcomed to her Heavenly home, honored and loved. Bless you, Sue, Charlie, and family at this time of separation.
Charlie, Sue and families. So sorry to hear of your mother's passing. I didn't know until reading the obit that she did riveting in WWII, but it seems a perfect match with my image of her as a real trooper. She not only led our Cub Scout troop but I have so many fond memories of her during camping trips to Salt Plains and Roaring River. A super lady with nearly saint-level patience - she'll be missed by all who knew her.
Sue, Charles, and family, I was so sorry to hear of your loss. I remember growing up that Lois was always there to support you in your activities at school and church. She was so gracious to open her home to Connie and me when we attended our 45th Homecoming with Sue. She will be missed by many.
Condolences to the Barnes family for the passing of a truly fantastic lady. Lois and I became good friends while we were at LaFloresta for the winter. We liked talking about Kansas and shared the same birthday, April 6. She really loved the dominoes, cards and Thursday lunch bunch. She had already quit golfing when we met but I knew she missed it. Sometimes we would just ride on the golf cart to checkout the course. I'm so glad I got to visit with her this last season. She will be missed by all who knew her. Rest in peace dear friend.
Connie Dawson Sue, Charlie, and family, Lois graced the earth with quiet strength and trueness. She was hardworking and always giving of herself. Lois was steadfast in her loyalty. As she likely did for many others, in times of sadness in my life she would just appear to stand at my side. She made all the difference. I doubt that Lois ever did anything wrong in her life. She was a treasure. How we'll all miss Lois. Our thoughts are with you.