October 1, 1940 - August 1, 2021
Marlys Jo (Nelson) Barrett was born in Minneapolis, MN, on October 1, 1940, to Ellsworth Gerald Nelson and Mabel Lucille (Johnson) Nelson. During the war, the family moved to Wyoming, Butte, MT, and Ramsey, MT, before settling down in Spokane, WA. Marlys and her younger sister, Linda Nelson Rossmann, attended Jefferson Grade School and Lewis and Clark High School, before returning to Missoula to attend the University of Montana. She loved being a Grizz and especially loved being a Kappa Kappa Gamma, where she was the house president. She has maintained lifelong, special friendships with these sisters. During this time, she honed her skills for polite society (which she later attempted to instill in her children) while simultaneously participating in memorable antics with her friends. She then traveled throughout the U.S. assisting KKG chapters as a field secretary, before marrying her husband of 57+ years, Ford H. “Barry” Barrett, on November 2, 1963. They moved 14 times throughout Ford’s 29-year Air Force career including: Mather AFB, CA; Castle AFB, CA; Westover AFB, MA; Williams AFB, AZ; Tyndall AFB, FL; Randolph AFB, TX; Hurlburt AFB, FL; Griffis AFB, NV; Offutt AFB, NE; Laughlin AFB, TX; Randolph AFB, TX; Yongsan Army Garrison, South Korea; and Reese AFB, TX; before retiring to Wenatchee, WA. Ford would describe her as not only patient, organized, and resilient while enduring all of those moves, but also extremely thoughtful, loving, and beautiful. Marlys was still in contact with friends from each of these places. Her Christmas card list couldn’t be any longer or her cards more perfectly written! Marlys and Ford have lived in Wenatchee for the past 29 years, where she loved participating in and assisting community groups. She absolutely loved teaching at WVCC in both the English department and with the Hispanic Orchard Employee Education Program. She has supported and served on numerous boards including the Literacy Council of Chelan and Douglas Counties, the Numerica Performing Arts Center, the University of Montana Foundation Board, and the Wenatchee branch of the American Association of University Women. She also truly enjoyed her involvement in and friendships made in the Women’s Service League of Wenatchee, Bookworms book club and PEO. She was the most fabulous mother to Andrew Nelson Barrett and Melinda Ann “Mindy” Barrett Smith and an amazing mother-in-law to Elizabeth Barnecut Barrett and Steve Edward Smith. She has five grandchildren who she spoiled with books, ornaments, grammatically correct cards and letters, and most importantly, her love. As labeled in one of her picture files, her “five beautiful grandchildren” are Madeline Alice Barrett, Luke Nelson Barrett, Jack Warren Barrett, Max Nelson Smith, and Josie Marie Smith. She was also fortunate to have a great relationship with her younger sister, Linda Nelson Rossman of San Diego, CA. They both cherished their summers together at Newman Lake and enjoying the summer theater in Leavenworth, WA. We will be having two celebrations of her amazing life. The first will be this Saturday, August 7, 2021, at the Pybus Event Center, 3 N. Worthen St., Wenatchee, WA, from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, with loving words shared about 10:30 a.m. The second celebration will be in Spokane, WA, in the Isabella Room at the Davenport Hotel, on Sunday, August 8, 2021, from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. We welcome all her friends and family to come and celebrate her life with us. We are all so grateful to have had her in our lives and thankful to all of her friends and family who made her life fuller by being a part of it. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made to the Wenatchee Humane Society, 1474 S. Wenatchee Ave., Wenatchee, WA, 98801, an organization close to her heart.
Marlys Jo (Nelson) Barrett was born in Minneapolis, MN, on October 1, 1940, to Ellsworth Gerald Nelson and Mabel Lucille (Johnson) Nelson. During the war, the family moved to Wyoming, Butte, MT, and Ramsey, MT, before settling down in Spokane,... View Obituary & Service Information
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