Barbara J. Ackley
1941 - 2021
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Barbara J. Ackley

Mercer, MO - 1941 - 2021

Barbara J. Ackley, 79, Mercer, MO passed away Saturday, February 20, 2021, at NE Regional Medical Center in Kirksville, MO.

Barbara, a born again Christian, was born in Kirksville, Missouri to Harold Eugene "Little Red" and Irene Marie (Gulling) Adams on December 22, 1941. She graduated from Kirksville High School in 1958.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Gary Ackley; son, H. Clinton Hays and great-grandson, Chase Lavely.

Barbara started the Midwest Country News Newspaper in 1986. She was inducted in to the Professional Musicians and Entertainer's Club of Iowa's Hall of Fame in in 1994 and into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000. She was also inducted into the Country Music Showcase International Hall of Fame in 2007. Barbara Started the Avis Awards, an awards show that gave special recognition to Midwest Entertainers from 1988 through 1998. From 1987 to 1990 she hosted two different radio shows in Iowa and was a special guest on the 12-week television series on KTVO. She did stage work, published 2 books and met and interviewed hundreds of famous musicians and entertainers through the years. Barbara had an open door policy at holiday dinners for anyone who did not have somewhere else to go. He door was always open at any time for her children, her children's friends and other family members and their friends as well. Barbara touched many lives throughout her life with her kindness, generosity and unconditional love. She helped many musicians with their careers throughout her years publishing the Midwest Country News from 1987 to 2019.

Survivors include her children, Debbie (Dale) Myers, Princeton, MO, Tanna (Curtis) Hays, Kirksville, MO, and Rodney Weir, Unionville, MO; 11 grandchildren (along with many others whom called her Grandma Barb); 13 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Nancy (Rex) Jordan and Kathy Stover; brother, Terry Stover and two nephews.

Private Graveside Service and Burial will be held on Tuesday, February 23, 2021, in Princeton Cemetery, Princeton, MO under the direction of Roberson Funeral Home, Princeton, MO. There will be no visitation. Online condolences may be left at

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Published in the Des Moines Register from Feb. 20 to Feb. 22, 2021.
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