|Birth: ||Aug. 1, 1933|
|Death: ||Apr. 20, 2007|
Barbara Handley was born to Walter and Ollie Handley in Reese, Texas on August 1, 1933.
Ms. Handley grew up in the Depression, but even so, was in a loving and resourceful family despite the economic conditions of the time. She would blossom in her semi-rural surroundings. Her extended family were regular church-goers just down the road at the Church of Christ in Reese. Ms. Handley had a beautiful singing voice, and she found her favorite church hymn to be 'How Great Thou Art'.
Ms. Handley attended school first in a frame schoolhouse in Reese, but by her high school years she would attend school in nearby Jacksonville. She found herself being elected to or named to several positions of popularity, including Christmas Queen, Valentine Queen, and by her senior year, Senior Class Favorite. Ms. Handley also helped with the high school's newspaper, then called the "War Whoop". She had many friends and very much enjoyed her time with them.
She attracted the attention of a few young men in those days as well. Not long after Ms. Handley graduated from high school in 1951, she would get married to one, James "Jimmy" Farrow. They would go on to live in several parts of south Louisiana with his job on a seismograph crew. During their short married life, Mr. Farrow and the former Ms. Handley would have 2 daughters together.
After a time, the former Ms. Handley would find herself dating the man who would become her second husband, John R. Detwiler. He was a US Air Force veteran and well into a career as a radio field engineer for Collins Radio (now Rockwell Collins), a defense contractor. In 1960, they got married by a justice of the peace in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Mrs. Detwiler would go on to share her new groom's love of traveling, beaches, and seafood. She found herself sharing a workplace with Mr. Detwiler also. After they settled in Marion, Iowa, a suburb of Cedar Rapids, Mrs. Detwiler would work for several years as a PBX-switchboard operator at Collins Radio. She was even featured in an issue of 'Pulse', the Collins company newsletter at the time.
After having their one son in December 1964, Mr. and Mrs. Detwiler would get transferred a few months later to Collins' facilities in Richardson, Texas, north of Dallas. They found a home in nearby Plano that they would share for the next 6 years. During this time, Mrs. Detwiler enjoyed a taste in hairstyle and clothing, in part influenced by fashions made popular by former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Mrs. Detwiler would depart her Collins job some time later, then go on to help her husband when he left the company to start a TV repair business. She had been employed in other capacities as well by this time including; a clerk at a dress shop, working in the office of Dallas' Restland Funeral Home/Cemetery, and selling cosmetics for Avon.
Years later, Mrs. Detwiler and her son would find themselves in the east Texas of her childhood. During this time (early- to mid- 1970s), Mrs. Detwiler's career consisted of mainly secretarial work. In 1977, the Detwilers would divorce after 6 years of separation. She would later take on odd jobs: alterations, ironing, and upholstery were what Ms. Detwiler tried primarily. Her circle of friends and clients were a source of renewed inner strength for Ms. Detwiler in those years. She also enjoyed the times she got to see after a nearby nephew who was physically and mentally challenged.
In the late 1980s, Ms. Detwiler landed a job for a short time at a bridal shop in nearby Tyler. She liked her position as she would get to interact with prospective and current clients as well as doing intricate alteration and beading work. Before and during this time, Ms. Detwiler also helped a longtime friend with acquiring inventory and with sales at a Jacksonville boutique the friend had launched.
In her rare leisure time, Ms. Detwiler would enjoy taking in a TV show now and then; Little House on the Prairie and The Waltons were favorites, as well as daytime dramas like The Young and the Restless, Days of our Lives, and Another World. By far though, she always enjoyed a Dallas Cowboys game on TV every weekend. Ms. Detwiler cheered for every touchdown, and was let down for every injury suffered or interception the other team would end up with. Her enthusiasm waned somewhat, with the news of the team's sale in 1989 and the departure of their coach Tom Landry, whom she admired greatly.
Meanwhile, Ms. Detwiler relocated to Amarillo in the late 1980s and was helpful to her older daughter and son-in-law with their several foster children. She landed a job with the state's MHMR offices and in a couple of their local group homes later on. Due to privatization of the MHMR in Amarillo, Ms. Detwiler returned to Reese in 1996 to be a caregiver for her mother. In 2000, her mother passed away, which left Ms. Detwiler to choose another place to move. When the word came that Mr. Detwiler died in 2002, it was up to Ms. Detwiler to break the devastating news to her son. She was a source of strength for him in that sad time.
In mid-2003, Ms. Detwiler suffered a stroke which left her in a nursing home. Not long afterward, Phyllis, her older daughter, passed away, leaving Ms. Detwiler's other daughter and her son to be her caregivers. Her daughter would eventually find a more suitable and closer nursing home for her; this would be where Ms. Detwiler would spend her last years.
During the pre-dawn hours of April 20, 2007, Ms. Detwiler would breathe her last, with her daughter and one of her granddaughters by her side.
Many of her remaining family members and friends came to the graveside service, arranged through Wallace-Thompson Funeral Home of Rusk. One of Ms. Detwiler's nephews, a preacher, presided over the service, while other nephews and family members were pallbearers. She was laid to rest in a grave directly in front of the graves of her parents. A reception was held after the service at the nearby Reese Community Center.
Appreciation and thanks go to the tireless and loving employees of Birmingham Care Center for their care of Ms. Detwiler in her last years; as well as to the ladies of the Frankston Church of Christ for organizing the reception after the graveside service.
Ms. Detwiler had been a member of the LaPoynor Church of Christ, west of Poynor, since returning to east Texas in her later years. She left behind a daughter, a son, two granddaughters, three great-grandchildren, two sisters, and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
Ms. Detwiler was 73 years old.
Walter Franklin Handley (1894 - 1974)
Ollie Anita Etheridge Handley (1907 - 2000)
James Everett Farrow (1930 - 1990)*
John Robert Detwiler (1930 - 2002)*
Phyllis Anita Farrow Wells (1952 - 2003)*
Nora Dean Handley Myrick (1924 - 2002)*
Alma Nadine Handley Ingram (1926 - 2011)*
David Franklin Handley (1929 - 1999)*
Barbara Anita Handley Detwiler (1933 - 2007)
GPS (lat/lon): 32.02406, -95.40054
Created by: jazzyjohn
Record added: May 17, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 26893436