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 Ethel Retha <I>Wood</I> Barber

Ethel Retha Wood Barber

Henderson, Rusk County, Texas, USA
Death 25 Oct 1997 (aged 77)
Longview, Gregg County, Texas, USA
Burial New London, Rusk County, Texas, USA
Memorial ID 10462928 · View Source
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My Aunt.

Ethel Retha Wood Barber was born on Friday, September 24, 1920 in Henderson, Texas to Dallas Franklin Wood and Bessie Gladys Smith.

She had three siblings: Helen Francis Wood Deel, Ruby Florence "Tootsie" Wood Boswell DeBruhl and Dallas Eugene "Bill" Wood.

Her paternal grandparents were John Franklin Wood and Dora Belle Avant and her maternal grandparents were James Monroe Smith and Mary Jane Powell.

She married William Clifford "Buddie" Barber on Friday, February 21, 1941. They were blessed with four children: William "Ronnie" Barber, Steven Jeffery Barber, Tony Wayne Barber and Tonia "Jane" Barber Mashburn.

She died on Saturday, October 25, 1997 at her home in Longview, Texas. She was 77 years old.

Just like her sisters, Helen and Tootsie, Ethel was a very kind and gentle person. She loved the Lord and her life was centered around God and her beloved family.

The following was written by Ethel's daughter, Jane Barber Mashburn.

My mother was a lover of music. She enjoyed listening to the radio. I remember listening to the radio and my mother mopping the kitchen floor when we lived on Old Tyler Highway. It was at this same house that she told my brothers Steve and Tony and me not to go outside and get dirty after we all had taken a bath. What did we do? Steve encouraged us to go outside. We walked in the sand across the railroad tracks, using sticks to mark our way. We came across a snake and we ran back home. Mother was waiting for us with a switch. Steve, of course, went in first to get his swipes across the legs. Tony went next. My mother would always make us go inside for the spankings. Never forgot that memory. The music was still playing in the background.

With daddy being a pipeline worker, we traveled and moved frequently. In El Paso, we lived on some land that was dusty and hot. Mother indulged me with her pots and pans and canister sets. One day, I was playing in the dirt and sat in an ant bed. Screaming for help, she ran outside and rescued me, brushed the ants off my back and doctored the bites.

Probably one of the constant things I remember about my childhood is that mother loved her kids and tried to be the best mom. She could dance the jitter bug, and do the "twist". Mother would talk about dancing on the farm after a long day of picking cotton. She believed that music could liven up the soul. We always had the radio playing....I remember songs when Great Grandma Mary Jane lived down the road...."Oh where, oh where, can my baby be? The Lord took her away from me. She's gone to heaven so I got to be good, so I can see my baby when I leave this world". Tony and I would jump on the mattresses and sang songs to the radio when "mama" was away.

My mother had a difficult life with 3 kids at home. My oldest brother Ronnie helped raise us. Most of the time mother smiled. When she worked as a waitress, she would bring home leftovers, and show us all the tips she made. She really enjoyed being a waitress. I don't know how she did it being on her feet all day. Although she worked at restaurants, on Sunday, we would have fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy and ice cream for dessert. I was 11. On weekends, mother would give Tony and me 50 cents each. We would run off with our friends and walk to the Gibson's Discount store. We would buy a Cherry coke and Malt balls. Mother became friends with the Gibson family. We went to the same church, Alpine Church of Christ. I also would baby sit for them. When I was entering the 10th grade, Elaine Gibson went to "Market" and bought me a whole wardrobe of new dresses for high school. My Mom was so thrilled.

When my husband Doug and I lived in Marietta, Georgia, mother came to visit. She wasn't able to sight-see much, but we were able to visit the Whistlestop Cafe in Juliet and Stone Mountain, and even took a ferry boat ride. Mother smiled.

The Wood sisters smiled alot. They were so very thankful for their own upbringing, learning from hardships. The Wood sisters wanted to make life better for their kids and grandkids. We all have been blessed by them.

Family Members




  • Created by: Dennis Alan Deel
  • Added: 12 Feb 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10462928
  • Dennis Alan Deel
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Ethel Retha Wood Barber (24 Sep 1920–25 Oct 1997), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10462928, citing Pleasant Hill Cemetery, New London, Rusk County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Dennis Alan Deel (contributor 46590424) .