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Rita Barr

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Rita Barr, 83

Rita Barr, 83, a long-time resident of West Lafayette, died in her sleep on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at Heritage Healthcare where she had lived for the past three years.

Rita was born September 30, 1929, in Riga, Latvia, and immigrated to the United States in 1949 with her mother Lidija and her step-father, Adolf Venters.

Rita became a naturalized citizen in 1955 and completed her PhD at Purdue in the Department of Biological Sciences. Dr. Barr continued as a Research Scientist at Purdue University from 1963 until retiring in 1994. During this period she studied the bioenergetics of photosynthesis and the fundamental properties of cell membrane biochemisty. After retirement Rita was an active member of the Purdue Women's Club, and with them she often traveled to experience other cultures and cuisines, a favorite hobby.

Rita, known by many as the "bird lady of Purdue" for her daily feeding of birds and squirrels on the campus over several decades, was honored by the Purdue Animal Welfare Society with a Tony Award for exceptional kindness to animals. There will be no funeral service. Those wishing to contribute in her memory may do so with the Tri-County Trap-Neuter-Return.

Published in the Journal & Courier from Nov. 9 to Nov. 10, 2012
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