Betty Rae Barnard


Betty Rae Barnard, 94, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Thursday, May 16, 2019, at her home in Norman, OK, after courageously fighting an unexpected battle with leukemia. Family members will be at Primrose Funeral Service, 1109 N. Porter, on Sunday afternoon from 2:00-5:00 for visitation. The celebration service will be held at 11:00 on Monday, May 20, at Alameda Baptist Church, 1503 East Alameda, Norman followed by interment at Blackburn Cemetery.
Betty was born on September 29, 1924 in Cleveland County, OK to Harley Thomas Barnard and Gussie Louise Starkey Barnard. As a child, Betty had one of Oklahoma's unique experiences. Her parents and three siblings moved from the Norman area to Oologah, OK near Will Roger's home. On the occasions when Will Rogers landed his plane in the Barnard's field, Betty and her siblings played on and around the plane while Will Rogers enjoyed some of their mother's favorite pies. A truly remarkable Oklahoma experience!
After her parents decided to move back to the old home place, a farm of just a few acres west of the Franklin Community (N.E. of Norman), they began the 154-mile journey in a horse drawn wagon. It was an adventure that took over a week, camping out along the way. Today, it's a trip that takes less than three hours in a car. Once back, Betty and her siblings began their schooling in the one-room schoolhouse, Pleasant Hill. At that time in Cleveland County, public education was limited to grades 1-7 for families living in rural areas. Since there were no school buses, parents either had to pay to board their children with families in town or accept the seventh grade as the state's commitment to public education. It was only after 1943, when the family moved into Norman, that additional education was possible for the younger Barnard children. By that time there were ten!
In the meantime however, Betty had met the handsome Arthur "Chief" Hutchins and married him in 1941. Chief was in the U.S. Air force which gave this young military couple an opportunity to travel within the U.S. They experienced the snow blizzards in Billings, Montana and the heatwaves in San Antonio, Texas. After the war, the couple settled in Norman. While Chief traveled a lot in his work, Betty was very much involved with her parents and the Barnard family.
After the loss of her husband, Betty's care-giving reached beyond the family and she began a life-long involvement of working mostly in hospitals and other health-care facilities. It was with the passing of her parents that Betty really became the official family historian and the driving force of keeping the family connected. She organized special occasions and wonderful dinners in her home where everyone attended. Later in life she especially stayed connected via phone; and looked forward to selecting toys and gifts for great-great nieces and nephews. Even during her recent stay in the hospital, she would insist whichever family member was visiting that they call one of the other siblings. Although Betty never had children of her own, she showed such a caring and loving spirit to so many people that we all became "hers." She also showed that same kind of care to her much-loved dogs, Tippie Lee and April.
Betty enjoyed crocheting and sharing completed pieces with family and friends. For many years, there was always a card table set up in the living room - not for cards, but for 1000+ piece jigsaw puzzles. She enjoyed all kinds of sports on T.V., but was an avid follower of the University of Oklahoma football team and never wanted to miss a Thunder Basketball game.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Chief; a brother, Joe Barnard; three sisters, Irene Riggins, Norma Allensworth, and baby Mary Lou. She is survived by five siblings and their spouses, Ted and Ruth Barnard or Norman; Wenona Barnard Bennett of Edmond; Dorothy Barnard Amrein of Norman; Bobby and Al Musgrave of Purcell; and Juanitta and Robert Goins of Norman; as well as numerous nieces and nephews, including great and great-great.
The family especially wishes to thank their niece Donna Vaughn for her exceptional care of Betty over the last year; and to all their friends for the many expressions of kindness during the brief illness and death of a beloved sister. The family also extends its appreciation to the medical staff of Norman Regional Hospital and the Oklahoma Hospice Care members.
As a loving sister and a friend, Betty will be greatly missed.
Published on May 18, 2019
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2 posts

Mildred Cornelison Tally
May 21, 2019
As a child my family lived two houses south of the Barnard. Ted and Juanita played with my sister Dorothy and I. I remember Betty as she cared for her parents. As I read her obituary it brought back to mind many wonderful memories. Mildred
Primrose Funeral
May 18, 2019