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Mildred Barney


1917 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Barney, Mildred
Mildred Barney was born on March 9, 1917 in Troy, Ohio. Her parents, Otto F. Spevacek and Marie Jane Opichkea were raised on dairy farms one mile from each other in Brillion, Wisconsin. After their marriage, Otto and Marie moved to Troy, Ohio where Otto worked at Maxwell Car Company. In a short time he went to work at McCook Field and helped outfit the Enola Gay and Doolittle's Raiders' aircraft and develop military aircraft for the war. Mildred had flying lessons on small planes and did gliding in a single seater owned by her father and another engineer. When the glider crashed, the men would rebuild the parts and Marie would sew new fabric for the wings. Mildred graduated from Miami University (1939) and went to work for Travelers Insurance Company in Dayton, Ohio. She worked with the fire department engineers in laying out safety and prevention recommendations for large estates, businesses, and factory property. During World War II, Mildred worked in a branch of WPAFB (Dayton) that bought training and photography planes. She married Paul J. Little on October 10, 1942 in Dayton. Their only child was Mildred Frances. As a stay-at-home mother, Mildred worked for a detective agency tracking delinquent debtors. She did volunteer work for the fight against infantile paralysis. She had a troupe of Brownies and Girl Scouts as her daughter grew through these stages. For eleven years she was a volunteer for the Glenmary Sisters & Brothers. Mildred returned to office work when her daughter was in high school. During this time, she volunteered at Kettering Hospital on the post operative floor. She also took art classes at the Dayton Art Institute and one year won the student award for evening class category. Mildred often said, "If I can do it, anyone can." And she did. She married Edward E. Barney at the Oak Creek United Church of Christ on September 1, 1973. They belonged to a vacation flying club based in Indianapolis and Thousand Trails. They travelled to many foreign countries, as well as much of the United States. Mildred died January 2, 2016 at Friendship Village in Tempe, Arizona. She is survived by daughter and son-in-law Frances and Thomas Booth (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA) , and step daughters and son's-in-law Patricia and Tony Stiner (Carrollton, TX), Anita and Jim Bartlett (Cable, OH), Pam and Tim Hammel (Englewood, OH), and Linda and George Schick (Merritt Island, FL), children, grandchildren and grandchildren.
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Published in The Arizona Republic on Feb. 7, 2016
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