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Barbara (Boyd) WICKERT

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Barbara (Boyd) WICKERT Obituary
WICKERT, Barbara (nee Boyd)

Barbara Wickert (nee Boyd) died on December 10, 2013 at age 89. Barbara, whose friends called her Barby, lived much of her adult life in Austin. Daughter of an Army dentist, Barby was born on the kitchen table in her family's quarters at Fort Worden, Washington on May 18, 1924.

Barby spent her Army brat childhood traveling the world. In her travels, she learned how to adapt to constantly shifting circumstances. She became good at making friends quickly wherever she went and holding onto those friendships when life took her somewhere new. She cultivated an appreciation for all different kinds of people and became adept at making a home.

When she was six, Barby met a fellow military kid, the son of an Army doctor, on the Philippines' Corregidor Island. His name was John Wickert. Over the years, the two kept encountering each other as their families were stationed at the same posts. In 1943, on the day John graduated from the United States Naval Academy, Barby and John married. Barby, 19 at the time, was a student at The University of Texas and a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority.

Throughout their married life, Barby and John continued their childhood tradition of frequent moves. Whether in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (where John worked and completed his electrical engineering degree), in Austin (where the couple designed and built a house in Rollingwood), in the San Francisco Bay Area (where John and Barby both worked in "the city by the bay"), on the Guadalupe River (where they built a house and later lost it to a flood), or elsewhere, the Wickerts collected friends and explored each new locale with a sense of adventure.

Barby was a vibrant participant in life. While raising John's and her three daughters, she worked as a nursery school teacher, a secretary during the Texas State Legislative session, and a Brownie Scout leader. Tolerant and warm-hearted, she was an empathetic listener and a great talker-one dear friend described her as an "industrial-strength" talker. When Barbie loved you (and she loved many), you knew you were loved.

After John died in February 2013, Barby moved to an independent living facility in Austin. There, she enjoyed her family, delighted in her pretty apartment and new friends, and looked forward to reconnecting with old friends.

In November 2013, Barby received a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. She was gone in a little more than three weeks.

Barby Wickert lived well and long with resilience, gratitude and joy. If you were her friend or family member, please know she loved you dearly and would have loved to spend more time with you.

Survivors include daughter and son-in-law Gay and Terry Chapman, daughter Jeannie Cleveland, daughter and son-in-law Julie Wickert and Mike McIntosh, four grandchildren and their families, and many friends (although many have gone before).

Arrangements provided by Neptune Society. Donations to honor and celebrate Barbara Wickert's life may be made to Hill Country Conservancy's Violet Crown Trail (www.violetcrowntrail.com). A private memorial service will be held. Visit Barby's online memorial: http://www.ilasting.com/barbywickert.php. Visit John's: http://www.ilasting.com/johnwickert.php.
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Dec. 22 to Dec. 25, 2013
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