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In Memoriam: Nancy Ethel Barnes (Oct. 2, 1942 – Jan. 26, 2023)

Nancy Ethel Barnes

In a small maternity home in Hubbard, Oregon, Nancy Ethel (Steffen) Barnes was born to Louie and Ethel (Reding) Steffen on Oct.2, 1942. Their first child, they brought her home to a farm just outside of Woodburn, Oregon. They eventually had two more children, Melvin and Bill.

Nancy went to St. Luke’s School in Woodburn, followed by Mt. Angel Academy and Mt. Angel College.

After receiving her Masters of Library Science, Nancy moved around as a professional librarian. She worked for the U.S. Navy in Alaska, along with
several other civilian posts in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

In 1969, Nancy married Richard Benton Barnes. They lived most of their lives in Idaho. Having met through square dancing, they spent their entire marriage perfecting their craft, traveling to different events and helping others learn to dance. Their visits to ‘The Valley’ were always looked forward to by Nancy’s family. She always had a beautiful square dance dress to show off. After her husband’s death in 2005, she moved back to Woodburn to live with her mother, Ethel Steffen, until her death in 2012; she then moved to Silverton.

A highly intelligent conversationalist, Nancy was voraciously interested in genealogy. She was also an excellent artist; favorite mediums were oils, wood, and fabrics. Her all-time favorite pastime, however, was reading. She loved just about any genre.

Nancy loved nothing more than visiting with people. Up until her last few years, when too much noise and too many people bothered her, she loved holidays and family gatherings. She really enjoyed being around her extended Steffen family; welcoming in new babies was especially fun for her. Having never had children of her own, this brought her great happiness.

Nancy made friends with neighbors while living in an apartment in Silverton, Oregon, especially Jose, Valeria and their children. She always enjoyed visits with her Schwan lady, Susan, and her favorite Meals On Wheels gal, Koreen. When Nancy moved to Mount Angel Towers in July, she made a few close friends.

Nancy died at Mount Angel Towers on Jan. 26, 2023.

Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and her youngest brother, Bill Steffen.

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