Phyllis Ann Barber, 95, a resident of Water Tower Place, passed away Dec. 14, 2020, at Northbrook Manor Care after fracturing her hip on Nov. 24. A private inurnment will be held at a later date.
Phyllis was born at her home in rural Keswick, Iowa, to the late Fred M. and Opal (Messenger) Smith. She graduated from Keswick High School and served in the U.S. Civilian Service in World War II as a Naval Inspector at Collins Radio. While at Collins, she met Harold Barber and they married in 1944. She was employed in numerous positions at Linn County Rural Electric Cooperative (Linn Co. REC) in Marion. She retired after 41 years of service in management.
Phyllis loved the outdoors and flying. She spent time with the family canoeing, rock and fossil hunting and some cross-country skiing. She was a leader in Campfire Girls with the support of her husband. Phyllis was an avid bird watcher and a member of the Audubon Society for years. She pursued her passion of flying after the girls were both in grade school. She was a member of the Flying Farmers of Iowa and The North Central Section of The International 99s which is a Women's Flying Organization. She was a co-pilot in a 99's race from Clearwater, Fla., to Africa. She assisted with two flying caravans from Iowa to Alaska with Harold as her navigator. Phyllis earned her private, commercial and international ratings through the years logging 2,500 hours in the air.
After Harold's death, she moved to Water Tower Place near the New Bohemia District. She will always be remembered by neighbors, local business owners and artists as the little lady with her little black poodle. She spent winters with her daughter Jeanna and son-in-law, Larry in Southwestern Arizona over 10 years. She and the family enjoyed learning Indian history from a retired professor who specialized in leading trips to many archeology sites to view petroglyphs. She could tell you the names of most birds, trees and wildflowers. She had many interests and supported them in her own way throughout her life.
Phyllis is survived by daughters, Cheryl (Albert) Bogdanowitsch of Winter Park, Fla., and Jeanna (Larry) Sager of Hiawatha, Iowa; grandsons, Alexander (Kathryn) Bogdanowitsch and Jay Bogdanowitsch; granddaughter, Wendy (Russell) Dunn; great-grandsons, Tycho, Skylar, Jonathan; and great-granddaughter, Jordyn.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to the Audubon Society, the Nature Center, Trees Forever or the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation.
Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries.