On February 1, 2012, Barbara Corinne Inch, entered heaven's gates, having triumphed daily in a 15 month battle with cancer. Born on October 1st, 1962, she is the daughter of MSgt (Ret) Carroll H. Tatley of Hitterdal, Minnesota and Chieko Miwa Tatley of Suwa, Japan. Barb was raised a military brat through 8th grade. She then moved to Dilworth, Minnesota upon her father's retirement from the U.S. Air Force. She graduated from Dilworth High School and attended Moorhead State University, where Barb was a member of Gamma Phi Beta. She moved to Portland Oregon in 1983 and joined the Oregon Army National Guard. Following Basic Training and AIT at Fort McClellan, Alabama as a military policeman (Alpha-10, hooah!), Barb continued to serve in the Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves for 21 years, completing her uniformed service as a Sergeant First Class. At her first annual training at Camp Rilea, Oregon in 1984, Barb met her unit's evaluator and future husband, 1LT Mark Inch. They were married on September 14th, 1985 and her National Guard unit passed their training evaluation. For the next 27 years, Barb was the consummate military spouse, mother, and steadfast friend to so many.
Barb will be remembered for her warm smile, soothing voice, soft and accepting heart, and a natural and infectious state of happiness that bubbled over at military balls and parties. She possessed the true spiritual gift of hospitality; that unexplainable ability to make anyone feel welcome in her home, and feel better for having visited. She possessed a deep well of unconditional love, always putting the needs of family and friends before her own. One son called it "stubborn" love. Family and friends (and believe, she considered the Soldiers and Spouses of the military both!), were two of her passions. She chose to prioritize her time with raising four wonderful children, supporting her husband, and volunteering in every military community she lived in (she did possess the ability to say no, but never did!). Though her humble heart was always embarrassed of recognition, her awards were many, to include the President's Call to Service Award, the Martha C. Corbin Award, the Order of the Vivandieres, and numerous Department of the Army Civilian Service Awards.
Barb's third passion manifested itself in the last 15 months, that being her special bond to cancer survivors (and especially her BCFFs) and an intense desire to eradicate cancer, a disease that also took her father and mother. Though initially Barb was very private in her dealings with breast cancer, it was not long before she was walking through the front doors of Walter Reed Army Hospital, rocking a pink wig, boa and high-heeled shoes to raise awareness for the fight against breast cancer. She was always reaching out to those struggling with this terrible disease-she understood the struggle!-and often gave out copies of Dr. Michael S. Barry's book, A Reason for Hope. If you read this book, you will understand that her fight with cancer was a spiritual journey, and as she drew so close to God, it was such a short step from that hospital room to Heaven's Gate. Barb was a Christian, and is experiencing unbounded joy right now with God!
Barb is survived by her husband, Brigadier General Mark S. Inch of Wheaton, Illinois (who credits the rise from First Lieutenant to General Officer to her!), and her four children, Army Specialist Matthew A. Inch, Army Specialist Michael H. Inch, soon-to-be Army Second Lieutenant Kaitlin A. Inch, and college sophomore, Karilyn C. Inch, whom all call Fort Leavenworth, Kansas their home. She is also survived by her sisters and brother, Rumiko Tatley McGuire, Army Major Susan Singalewitch, and SFC (Ret) William Tatley, and a close-knit clan of nieces and nephews, many also serving in the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
Barbara was laid to rest at the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery, Kansas, on February 8, 2012. In lieu of flowers, Barb desired that you make a donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Arrangements were under the direction of Memorial Chapels and Crematory of Waynesville, Missouri. Online condolences can be sent at www.memorialchapelsandcrematory.com.
Published by Clovis News Journal and Portales News-Tribune on Feb. 10, 2012.