Betty Lou Barber


September 4, 1926 - November 7, 2016


Betty Lou Barber was born to Thomas E. and Anna (Saugstad) Harrison on September 4, 1926 on a farm 13 miles northeast of Mitchell, SD.  She grew up in the Plano area.  She was baptized and confirmed at the Rock Creek Lutheran Church near Plano.  Betty Lou went to the Plano Consolidated School and graduated in 1944.

She married Donald O. Barber, the only man she ever loved at the First Lutheran Church in Mitchell, SD October 14, 1950.  They spent their life together on the farm 2 ½ miles east of Mitchell until Donald became ill.  Prior to his death they were married 61 years.

Betty Lou acquired a teaching certificate and taught school for ten years, 2 years in Plankinton and 11 ½   years at the Plano Consolidated School and several country schools.  She was a 4-H leader for 6 years, Farmers Union Youth Leader for 5 years.  She taught piano and guitar lessons for 5 years.  She was a member of the Hanson County Extension Club for 25 years.

She and Donald had several fun years dancing.  They square danced and also did polka with the Corn Palace Polka Club.  They spent many weekends practicing dance steps with her sister, Josephine Van De Wetering and husband, Wally.

Throughout the years Betty sewed clothing for her family.  As the years passed her sewing skills became professional.  In the 1970’s she started teaching sewing classes.  Many of the ladies in the Mitchell area have taken one or more of her classes.  She moved an old school house to the farm and established Betty Barber’s Sewing Shop where she had classes, sold fabric, sewing notions and Pfaff sewing machines.  She retired from this business after 18 years.  She continued with her sewing hobby and made over 60 quilts.  As her eyesight started to fail she then began to knit afghan blankets.  Many of the family members have one of her quilts or afghans.

She enjoyed the birds, flowers and other wildlife on the farm.  During her early retirement years she and Don planted wildflowers which lined their driveway.  Betty Lou spent many hours pulling weeds and identifying the flowers.  She also had a pretty yard with flowers which she enjoyed.

Survivors are her three children:  Donna Lou Meyer (Dale) of Pollock, SD, Robin Barber (Wendie) of Mitchell, SD and Scott Barber (Dawn) of Chester, SD; 7 grandchildren; 17 great grandchildren; two sisters, Josephine Van De Wetering of Howard, SD and Shirley Adams of Mitchell, SD; and numerous nieces and nephews. 

In heaven she will be joining her husband, Donald Barber, infant brother, Robert; brother, Norman Harrison; parents, Thomas and Anna Harrison.


Memorials may be directed to First Lutheran Church for music.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Bittner Funeral Chapel
805 West Havens
Mitchell, South Dakota


Thursday, November 10, 2016
10:30 AM
First Lutheran Church
411 North Duff Street
Mitchell, South Dakota


American Legion Cemetery
Mitchell, South Dakota

Posted by AseraCare Hospice on November 14, 2016
During this time of loss, we at AseraCare Hospice, would like to extend our condolences to you and your family. The nurses and staff at AseraCare thank you for the privilege of being able to serve you during these difficult times. May the Lord bless you and keep you.
- The AseraCare Hospice Team
Posted by Orchard HIlls Staff on November 10, 2016
Sympathy to all of your family from all of ours. We all miss Betty very much and have very special memories of her. Your family will be in our thoughts and prayers on this sad day. May God give you comfort.
Posted by Greg & Kathy Shroyer on November 9, 2016
Our condolences to our dear neighbors & friends. I am so sorry we will not be able to attend. We will toast her in the valley soon! Love you Rob!
Posted by Pat Krull (Brakke) on November 9, 2016
Betty was my first grade teacher and I remember her fondly what a great teacher and person she was. My condolences to your family.
Posted by Pat Johnson on November 9, 2016
Dawn and Scott - my sincerest sympathy to you and your family. We are thinking of you at this difficult time and are here for anything and everything that we can do to help you through this time.

Jena and Pat
Posted by Bill & Barb (Bruske) Mecham on November 9, 2016
All our sympathy to Betty's loved ones. We are praying for comfort & peace. Betty was my (Barb's) First Grade teacher at Plano Consolidated. She was a great teacher whose story telling skills I will always treasure. I was blessed to visit her recently & even though she was not well, she still had that wonderful friendly smile. She will be greatly missed. May Betty rest in Jesus arms.
Posted by Marie Kurth on November 8, 2016
So sorry for your loss.

Posted by Chastity & Terry High Bear on November 8, 2016
We send our condolences to Betty S. family and the family is in our thoughts and prayers.
Posted by Richard & Mary Goudy on November 8, 2016
Condolences to Betty s family,. She was a kind and friendly person.
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