Mrs. Willie Mae Barnett

October 6, 1920 - April 5, 2004

Mrs. Willie Mae (Wood) Barnett passed away Monday morning, April 5, 2004, in McKinney. She was born October 6, 1920 near Wills Point, Texas, to Lee and Annie Wood, third of nine children, and the first in her family to obtain a college education. She began a long career as a school tecaher in 1943, and also married Stanley Orvan Barnett in December of that year. As a long-time resident of Allen, Willie Mae’s big smile was familiar to the hundreds of students who passed through her classroom. She was equally devoted to her activities at First Baptist Church of Allen. Willie Mae started a private kindergarten in Allen and taught for eleven years, until it was integrated into the public school system. In 1974, she was recognized as a Outstanding Elementary School Teacher in America. After 28 years of teaching, she retired in 1986. Shortly after retirement, Mrs. Barnett moved to East Texas, where she enjoyed countless hours of handcrafts, antique collecting and travel. She ultimately visited 46 of the 48 contiguous United States. While living in Van, she was again very active in her church in Lindale, in addition to providing lodging to ministry participants in transit to and from Mercy Ships. In 2001 Willie Mae moved back to McKinney. Mrs. Barnett is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Carla and Don Gerken of McKinney, four sisters, Christine Haines of Seagoville, Texas, Geneva Chapin of Allen, Texas, Peggy Jean Livesay of Wills Point, Texas, and Audrey Olds of Holly Lakes, brother Carrel Wood of Irving, Texas and brother and sister-in-law G. L. and Alice Wood of Quitman, Texas. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, brother, Thomas and sister, Ruth Lea. Funeral services will be at 2:00 P.M., Wednesday, April 7, 2004, in the Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Chapel with Rev. Charlie Tuttle officiating. Interment will follow at Restland Memorial Park. Visitation will be from 1:00 to 2:00 P.M., Wednesday, at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Funeral Home.

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Mrs. Barnett was my very first teacher (1979-1980 school year at Rountree Elementary). My mother just sent me a clip of her obituary; I'm very sorry to hear she has passed. I remember her as being very kind, patient and persistent. When I think of Mrs. Barnett, I always remember her squatting next to me while I practiced tying the laces on this wooden shoe she had in her classroom. She stayed on me until I mastered that skill. I still have a little heart-shaped pillow that she sewed for all the students in our class for Valentine's Day. My daughter now uses it as a pillow for her dolls. Sincerely, Dr. Sean Crosson Stanford University School of Medicine Beckman B351 Stanford, CA 94305 Sean David Crosson, April 6, 2004 Carla, We are so sorry to hear of your great loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you! Your church family, James and Dean Burnside Jack and Denice Webb Denice Webb, April 6, 2004