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Barbara Joan Casey Carpenter
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Birth: Apr. 15, 1931
Death: Mar. 5, 2011

Barbara Casey was born in 1931 and from a young age lived in Marshall, Texas. She had three younger brothers, Gene, Jan, and Coy. She worked at Adam's Drug Store and Zachary's Florist for several years, and graduated from Marshall High School in 1948. She married Claude Barlow in 1950 and had two children, Claudia and Mark. The Barlows joined Fairview Baptist Church in Grand Prairie, Texas in 1952 where they served in Sunday School, VBS, choir, and WMU.

Barbara enjoyed painting and eventually taught hundreds of art students over the years from her home studio. She won many Best of Show awards for her original artwork. Later she began expanding her talents to include writing. She wrote clever proverbs that she felt God had inspired her with and eventually they were featured in the Grand Prairie Daily News as "Barbs by Barbara." She collected so many of the "barbs" until friends began encouraging her to publish them in a book. "Prairie Proverbs", "Prickly Proverbs and Other Points," and "Living Kaleidoscope" were her three self-published books that contained proverbs, poetry, devotionals and original illustrations. Her books have been sold in Baptist bookstores, other Christian bookstores, and featured on the nationally syndicated radio program "Joni and Friends" with host Joni Earikson Tada. Barbara has also been a guest speaker at Women's Clubs, Pastor's Wives Luncheons, and the Soroptomist Club.

Barbara's first husband, Claude, died in 1979 from cancer. In 1983 she married Joe Carpenter and added three more (adult) children, Linda, Dennis, and Dale. She now has six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Joe passed away January 29, 2011.

The greatest joy of Joe and Barbara's life was their bond with the church of Jesus Christ. They were members together first at Calvary Baptist Church and later at First Baptist Church. The friendships they formed there over the years and their commitment to the ministry of missions was dear to their hearts. Because of them sharing their love for Jesus the kingdom of God grew. It is the wish of Barbara's family that in lieu of flowers that memorials be made to the Annie Armstrong Mission Offering through First Baptist Church in Grand Prairie, Gideons Bibles, or the Alzheimer's Association.


For the entire month of March 2013, the second anniversary of Barbara's passing, the Marshall Texas Visitors and Convention Bureau conducted an exhibition of her paintings which was highlighted by a reception held March 25, 2013 and attended by Barbara's two children, Claudia and Mark.

The following biography was published as part of that exhibit:

April 15, 1931 - March 5, 2011

Artist Barbara Carpenter grew up in Marshall, Texas on 200 Young Street with her parents Joe and Hazel Casey and three younger brothers, Gene, Jan, and Coy. Barbara Casey graduated from Marshall High School in 1948 and held two jobs during her teenage years. She worked for Adams Drug Store during her school lunch break, running down Houston Street to work through the lunch hour for a quick cheeseburger and double malt as her pay. Then she worked at Zachry's Florist, learning to create beautiful floral arrangements from Mrs. Zachry who encouraged Barbara to use her natural talents. Barbara married in 1950 and moved with her husband, Claude Barlow, to Grand Prairie where they raised a family, daughter, Claudia (Lowery), and son, Mark Barlow.

While her children were young, Barbara took art lessons and discovered a love for painting. After taking lessons for several years her teacher asked her one day, "Barbara, don't you think it's time you graduated?" So Barbara began working on her own, sometimes studying the methods of more experienced artists, and she began entering local art shows. Every show she entered, she won. Next she began selling art to friends and through referrals. When requests for her to teach lessons increased the decision was made to build a studio onto the house and the art lessons began. For many years hundreds of students came through the Barbara Barlow art classes. Each year her student art show was a highlight in the community and many of her students went on to win art shows and further their own love of art. When Barbara's husband died of cancer in 1978 her classes and the love of her students helped carry her through the grieving. In 1983 Barbara married Joe Carpenter. Their new home had a garage conversion perfect for a studio and so the lessons continued until she retired in the late 1990s. Throughout her career she was a guest judge for multiple art shows including returning to her hometown and judging shows for the Marshall Art League.

Barbara discovered another hidden talent for writing and through what she called "divine inspiration" she wrote clever proverbs and sayings that were published at the top of the Grand Prairie Daily News as "Barbs by Barbara." Over time it was suggested she put all the "barbs" into a collection and her first two books, "Prairie Proverbs" and "Prickly Proverbs and Other Points" were born with Barbara authoring and illustrating the self-published books. Well-received, both books were available through Baptist Bookstores, area book stores and gift shops. Her final book, "A Living Kaleidoscope," was a year of devotions. By 2006 when the book was ready for distribution Barbara was diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's. It was not an easy thing for her to accept and she remained creative for as long as she was able. Her devoted husband, Joe, died in January 2011 and her children, Claudia and Mark, brought her home to Marshall, where she lived out the last twelve days of her life. On Saturday, March 5, 2011 Barbara entered heaven and met Jesus face-to-face... something she had always longed for. Her legacy of creativity and her Christian faith lives on through her children today. Ironically, both her children are now residents of Harrison County. Her love for Marshall was deep and long-lasting. It was her heart's desire to have her remains placed under the pines of East Texas and her wishes were fulfilled on the privately owned property of her daughter. Now, two years after her passing, the art of Barbara (Casey) Barlow Carpenter is still being shared within the town she loved so much and it would give her great pleasure to know that someone is still enjoying it today.


Cremains have been buried on private property under pine trees between Marshall and Waskom, Harrison County, TX at 671 Leisure Lane and it is marked by a flat, engraved headstone with her full name, birth and death dates, the scripture Romans 8:38, and the words Artist and Author. 
Family links: 
  Joe Taylor Casey (1902 - 1964)
  Hazel Gay Veasey Casey (1914 - 1995)
  Mark Alan Barlow (1954 - 2016)*
  Barbara Joan Casey Carpenter (1931 - 2011)
  Jan Taylor Casey (1938 - 1991)*
  Coy Ray Casey (1939 - 1995)*
*Calculated relationship
Cremated, Other.
Specifically: See note in biography.
Created by: Danny Grizzle
Record added: Jan 23, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 104038973
Barbara Joan <i>Casey</i> Carpenter
Added by: Danny Grizzle
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