Betty Jane O'Hara, 93, of Marion, formerly of Coggon, passed away on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, at the Dennis & Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy, surrounded by her beloved family members. A private graveside service will be held at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Coggon. Arrangements by Murdoch Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Marion.
Betty was born on Aug. 19, 1924, in Coggon, Iowa, the daughter of Wesley and Lola (Burnell) Barker. She grew up on the family farm, the middle of three children. Betty graduated from Coggon High School, where she was a member of the girls' basketball team and loved attending Friday night dances at the American Legion Hall in Coggon.
She married her longtime classmate, James (Jim) Paul O'Hara, on Sept. 28, 1947, and together they raised seven children in Coggon. The couple had 25 wonderful years of marriage before Jim's untimely death in 1972. In addition to her role as a mother, she also worked for the family business, Barker's Café, in downtown Coggon.
Betty is survived by her sons, Gary (Julie) O'Hara of Cedar Rapids, Dennis (Pam) O'Hara of Gilbert, Doug (Tracy) O'Hara of Coggon and Chris O'Hara of Cedar Rapids, who devotedly cared for his mother until the end. She was blessed with four grandchildren, James O'Hara, Jacqueline (James) Teahen, Gina (Alex) Rogers and Olivia Klein; and two great-grandchildren, Henry and Adeline Teahen. The Barker nieces and nephews also always were dear to her heart. Other family members include a daughter, Jolene (Clifford) Klein of Marion; and a son, Kevin O'Hara of Masonville.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jim; daughter and son-in-law, Sherry and Derral Power; brother and sister-in-law, Kenny and Helen Barker; and brother, Charlie Barker.
Betty was a loving mother, an adoring grandmother and a sweet great-grandmother who enjoyed spoiling her family with home-baked banana bread and cookies, especially at Christmastime. Her family was her greatest pride and joy, with cherished memories of Sunday meals and gatherings, legendary picnics at Pinicon Ridge, long walks through Buffalo Bill Park and holidays filled with love and laughter.
She lived selflessly and loved unconditionally, always putting others' needs ahead of her own. Although her health was failing over the past year, she always managed to give a warm smile, a tender hug and an endearing wink of her eye.
Betty will be deeply missed by her family and friends, but her memory will live on in our hearts forever.
The family would like to thank the staff members of Dennis & Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy for the care and compassion shown to Betty. Special gratitude to Kim Leytem and Becky Scheetz of Hospice of Mercy for brightening the final moments of her life.
Please share a memory of Betty at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.