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Katherine Clark Barnett

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Katherine Clark Barnett May 30, 1927 - July 29, 2011 Katherine Clark Barnett gently left this earth on July 29, 2011. Born Dorothy Katherine Clark in New Concord, OH on May 30, 1927, she was the first child of Edwin and Dora Clark. Affectionately known as "Kate" to her five siblings, she was called "Kathy" by her husband Jim Barnett, and "Katherine" by most who knew her in her adult life. Katherine maintained her faith in God and an independent, can-do attitude in a remarkable way throughout her life. Her motto was pray, pray and plug away and she lived it daily. Not only was she a member of the Greatest Generation who endured the Depression and World War II, she also survived tuberculosis as a young girl, spending more than 4 years at South Mountain, a TB facility in Mont Alto, PA. After her release from the hospital, she finished high school, and in 1947 went to Mt. Pleasant, MI to live with her Auntie Frances and attend Central Michigan College where her aunt was a professor. At the end of that year, her health dictated that she be in a warmer climate so she went to San Antonio, Texas to stay with her Aunt Isabelle and Uncle Haslen Sellers. The following fall, she reenrolled at Central Michigan. It was during that time that she was engaged to David S. Nickerson. In the middle of the year her health again required a milder climate, so the two drove to Huntsville, Texas and enrolled at Sam Houston State College. They were married in Huntsville and eventually lived in Corpus Christi, Texas, becoming parents of three children. In the 1960's, as a single working mother, Katherine completed her college degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and attained a Master's degree in Education. She taught elementary school in Corpus Christi, TX for more than 20 years until she retired, giving many first graders the best possible start to their education with her focus on reading skills. After her eldest son Mark's death in 1986, Katherine and her husband Jim played an especially important role in the lives of their grandsons Michael and David Nickerson. After she retired, she volunteered at her church and with other charitable organizations, including tutoring young parents in reading, helping those who struggled with illiteracy to improve the lives of themselves and their children. She is survived by many that loved her, including her daughters, Lucy Nickerson Frost and Brenda Barnett Moore; her son, James V. Barnett Jr; her grandchildren, Michael Nickerson, David Nickerson, Ashley Moore, Shelby Barnett, Jason and Marc Ramirez, Matthew Alexander "Max" Frost; sons in law, Al Smithson and Joe Moore and daughter in law, Trish Barnett; and her great-grandchildren, Katherine Alyssabeth and Annelise Mae Nickerson; her siblings and their spouses; Peggy and Jerry Maguire, Alan Holsinger, Martin and Eileen Clark, Ed and Jean Clark, Susan Craig and Jack Borowski; all of their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She is also remembered by her neighbors and her many friends from the congregations of Parkway Presbyterian Church in Corpus Christi and St. John's Presbyterian Church in Austin, including Elizabeth and Ray Falk and Mary Lou and Charles Geron. Her husband James V. Barnett, her parents, Judge Edwin Clark and Dora Martin Clark, her sister Elizabeth "Nikhi" Holsinger, and her sons A.J. and Mark Nickerson preceded her in death. She is greatly missed. Still, we rejoice in the sure knowledge that she rejoins those she loves who have gone before and her Lord, whom she served so well. Memorial services and a celebration of Katherine's life will be held on Saturday, September 24, at 10:00 a.m., at Seaside Memorial Park in Corpus Christi, TX. In lieu of flowers, please commemorate Katherine with a gift to a charity of your choice in her honor.


Published in Austin American-Statesman on Aug. 14, 2011
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