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LaViece Barker

Vera LaViece (Main) Barker, (known to everyone as LaViece), was born on February 27, 1920 on the Main family farm in Liberty Township in Ringgold County Iowa. She was one of 11 children born to the late Corwin Ernest Main and Mabel Mae (Wood) Main. She attended country school through the eighth grade and graduated from Mount Ayr High School in 1938, having the honor of being the class valedictorian.

After high school LaViece worked a year as a housekeeper and cook for the Bennett family in Mount Ayr, who at the time had a child 4 months old who grew up and became a long time Ringgold County Sheriff. The next year LaViece took a job in the Ringgold County Courthouse as assistant to the director of the welfare office. She kept that job for three years until she was married and her younger sister, Doris, took over her position.

On November 3, 1941, in a simple ceremony in the Methodist Church in Maryville, Missouri, LaViece was united in marriage with Clarence A. Barker. They lived for a short time in Mount Ayr where they both worked. Their first child, a beautiful daughter named Barbara Kay, was born there. Soon after, Clarence and LaViece left the "city" to take over the job of farming the Harry Barker farm west of Benton, Iowa. From 1945 to 1951, they were blessed with five more children-David Clair, Karyn Anne, Dan Allen, Lana Marlene and Rita Kathleen. There are memories of hard work and disastrous weather, but ultimately the memories are uplifting and involve the healthy freedom to explore, the ability to learn something new every day, and the unconditional love we always received from our hardworking mother.

LaViece was always kind to anyone and everyone. She wasn't shy, but may have seemed so, at times. She was quiet and observant, but when she spoke, she could heal aching souls and calm misunderstandings and fear with just a few well phrased words. She never failed to know just the right thing to say. Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren know that exceptional lessons were learned just from her patient, unconditional love, and humble example. LaViece believed in the human spirit, in redemption, and in the non- judgmental action of putting oneself in another's place to gain an understanding of their needs. She taught us that sometimes our own selfish needs aren't the most important. And she was a great teacher because she taught by example without a drop of ridicule or humiliation. Though small in stature, she could reach the heavens with her spirit.

LaViece got great joy out of helping with community activities such as church and 4-H in Benton and Mount Ayr. She loved baking, cooking and sewing for others. She will always be known for her pies (she could whip up six pies-no problem), brownies, melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin bread, angel food cake, homemade noodles-and the list of great culinary delights is endless.

The quilts she embroidered for newborn family members are priceless treasures.

LaViece Main Barker passed away peacefully on July 12, 2015 at the age of 95. Preceding her in death were; Clarence A. Barker-her loyal and loving husband of 59 years (1912-2000): parents Corwin and Mabel Main; sisters Phyllis Louise-who died in 1934 at the age of two, Maxine L. Kendig in 1996; Arlene Marie Kimball in 1998; Mildred H. Sobotka in 1998; and Doris Mae Rule in 2014; two brothers Marvin in 2011 and Virgil in 2013; grandsons Nathan Wesley Hunter and Mark Allen Stone; infant granddaughter Lila Mae Barker (daughter of Dan & Jeannie Barker); son-in-law Raymond Stone and a special brother-in-law Marshall Barker.

She is survived by her six children: Barbara (Garold) Canny, David (Carol) Barker, Karyn Stone, Dan (Jeannie) Barker, Lana (Richard) Gibson and Rita (Larry) Hunter: fifteen grandchildren: Linda (Gary) Klejch, Monica (Steve Reppertinger) Stone, Brian (Jennifer) Canny, Stephen (Shelly) Gibson, Lisa (Jon) Han, Leslie (Ramez) Salamah, Lance (Jill) Barker, Malinda (Kevin) Thomas, Stephanie (Curtis) Reinke, Heather (John) Veach, Erin (William) Sylvester, Allison Hunter, Michelle Marchesano, Michael (Kimberly) Barker, and Sean (Song) Barker; one sister, the California artist Juanita Shaffer (who is one year older than LaViece); and two brothers Larry (Fran) Main and Lyle (Virginia) Main. Also left to honor her memory are seventeen great-grandchildren and one great-great grandson; two very special sisters-in-law Lucille Main and Guelda Barker; many nieces and nephews-every one of whom she loved dearly.

A few years ago LaViece answered some questions about her favorite things and wrote them into a little book and these beg to be shared. Ten of LaViece's favorite things: Flower-the rose, Color-blue, Song-Whispering Hope (Soft as the Voice of an Angel), Dessert-ice cream (especially Dari Sweet), Food-vegetables (the best ones were from her huge garden), Sport-basketball (especially Iowa State and Iowa-she missed very few of those games), Activity- embroidery, Bible verse-John 3:16 (For God So Loved the World), Clothing-a light green voile dress with white polka dots and a tiered skirt (her mother made it for her eighth grade graduation and she treasured it and wore it for years), and Animal-dogs (which surprised us since she fed an army of cats and kittens every day on the farm and knew the personalities of each one).

Memorial funds have been established in her name with HCI Care Services in Mount Ayr, and the Mount Ayr Senior Citizen Activity Center.

  • Open Viewing

    July 19, 2015
    12:00 PM to 8:00 PM

    Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home

    205 West Monroe St
    Mount Ayr, IA

  • Family Will Be Present

    July 19, 2015
    5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

    Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home

    205 West Monroe St
    Mount Ayr, IA

  • Funeral Service

    July 20, 2015
    10:30 AM

    Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home

    205 West Monroe St
    Mount Ayr, IA

  • Burial

    Monday July 20 2015

    Benton Cemetery

    Benton, IA

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of LaViece Barker, please visit our flower store.


I have fond memories of being welcomed into the Barker home for Benton Rainbow Girls 4-H meetings. LaViece was always so sweet and kind to me. She was one of those people you were always glad to see because she had a way of making you feel special. She was blessed with the ability to provide an ''uplifting'' experience for everyone she met.

Heaven has claimed another earth angel!

Vickie Butler Pierce
(formerly of Benton, Iowa)

Posted by Vickie Butler Pierce - Las Vegas, NV - Friend and Former Neighbor   July 19, 2015

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Prayers be with you and your family.

Posted by Bluegrass Internal Medicine - Owensboro, KY - Physician Office   July 15, 2015

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Growing up practically within "spitting distance" of the Barkers, many of my childhood memories involve LaViece and her family. Her Scotcheroos were a favorite treat, and her brownie recipe made with a can of Hershey''s chocolate syrup was without equal. In addition to being a marvelous cook, she always had the best (and first) garden in the area. Dad would tease Mom after coming in from the field saying "LaViece''s garden is up already!" She was a gentle gracious lady and blessed all she touched. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Posted by Sharon Lesan - Ankeny, IA - Childhood friend and neighbor   July 14, 2015

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

The Barker family has an important place in my childhood memories. As neighbors, I walked many times to the Barker home to play, and LaViece always make me feel welcome, and never batted an eye at another child at her table! As a fellow New and Few Club member, LaViece and Mom remained friends through the years. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Posted by Jacque Lesan Defenbaugh - St. Joseph, MO - childhood neighbor   July 13, 2015

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

La Viece opened her home to my siblings and myself after my Mom passed away. She made snacks for us and we played pitch with the Barker children. She made a difficult time in our lives so much easier. I will always remember her kindness.

Posted by Norma Stringham - Benton, IA - neighbor and friend   July 13, 2015

Nov 30 0001 12:00 AM

Friends and Family uploaded 1 to the gallery.

Friends and Family Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM