Norma Barnes


Norma Effie Barnes, age 100, a loving and caring soul, was born on May 31, 1923, in Eldorado, Iowa, in Monroe County to Vern Amber and Sadie “Pearl” (Barnhill) Baker. She passed away on March 1, 2024 at her home, under the care of EveryStep Hospice having lived a rich and fulfilling life that touched many. Norma, as she was affectionately known, was a beacon of ambition, compassion, courage, and wit, illuminating the lives of all who were fortunate enough to know her.

Norma was a lifelong resident of Lovilia, Iowa. She married her high school sweet heart in 1939 and together, they built a life filled with joy, love, and faith. Norma was a dedicated teacher, starting her career in one room school houses. Teaching at Mt. View, Hamilton, and Hinton, she finished her career at Lovilia Elementary, where she inspired countless young minds until her retirement in 1985. The embodiment of ambition and courage, she embraced each day with vigor and a thirst for knowledge, always eager to foster the same drive in her students. Norma’s compassion was evident in her commitment to her community. She was a proud member of the Albia Retired Teachers Association, the National Education Association, and the Lovilia United Church, where she taught Sunday school until she was 97 years old.

Norma’s life was a testament to her unwavering faith and love for her family. Her hobbies were as diverse as her interests and included flower gardening, embroidery, crossword puzzles, painting, and reading. She found joy in the simplest pleasures, like watching Wheel of Fortune, and having coffee with friends. Norma was a hard worker, and always ready with a charming quip or wise advice. She will be remembered for her radiant smile, her nurturing spirit, and her enduring faith.

Norma is survived by her children, William “Bill” (Sheree) Barnes III, Christy (Merlin) Newman, Pamela (Kirby) Selby, Loita (Bob) Williams; 17 grandchildren, 39 great grandchildren, 3 great great grandchildren, with 1 on the way; one sister, Lola Ivins; sister-in-law, Lorena Bowman, and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Vern and Pearl Baker; husband, William “Bill” Barnes Jr.; daughter, Judith Geno; father & mother-in-law, William F. (Frank) Sr and Maggie Barnes; son-in-law, Jerry Geno; daughter-in-law, Connie Barnes, granddaughter, Megan Selby; grandson-in-law, Joseph Lennie; brothers, Forrest Baker, James Baker, Donald Baker, Merrill Baker; sisters, Doris Shelford, Gayle Hastings; sisters-in-law, Betty Baker, Hazel Baker, Cleo Baker, Helen Baker, Beatrice Dorr, Frances Waters; brothers-in-law, Jack Shelford, Bob Ivins, John Hastings, Rev. Harold Knight, Earl Moyer, Harold Waters, Max Bowman.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, at 2:00 pm at Sinnott Funeral Home in Albia with family present from 5-7 pm at the funeral home Tuesday evening. The funeral service will be conducted on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, at 10:30 am at Cornerstone Community Church, Albia, Iowa with Pastors Raymond Doser and Ryan Smith officiating. Interment will be in Woodlawn Cemetery in Lovilia. Memorials may be directed to EveryStep Hospice, with special appreciation given to Michele and Brittany, or to family wishes.

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