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1934 Iris 2016

Iris I. Barnes

February 9, 1934 — July 7, 2016

Iris Iona Barnes was born Feb. 9, 1934, to Asahel and Nettie (Birdsall) Gage in Palisade, NE, and departed this life July 7, 2016, in Brighton, CO, at the age of 82.

The youngest of four children, she spent most of her childhood in the Palisade area and graduated from Palisade High School in 1952, valedictorian of her class.

In 1953, Iris married Darrell Barnes of Hamlet, NE. They resided for a year in Junction City, KS, where Darrell was stationed following his return from combat duty in Korea, and then returned to Palisade, where they had two sons, Douglas in 1955 and John in 1960. In 1961, the family moved to Brighton, where Darrell was employed by the Rural Electric Association for 34 years. Iris was primarily a dedicated wife, mother and homemaker, though she worked briefly as a secretary at Gates Rubber Company, and, for a period in the 1970s, at a Denver law firm.

In 2004, the couple moved back to Palisade, where Darrell passed away in 2014. A year later, with health problems of her own, Iris returned to Colorado to reside with her son and daughter-in-law in Brighton, where she remained until her death.

Iris was a member of the Palisade United Methodist Church, the Women’s Auxiliary of the American Legion and a lifetime member of the VFW Auxiliary. She was a self-taught guitarist, a competitive bowler, an avid reader of mystery novels and a huge fan of college and pro football, especially the Denver Broncos. She loved cats. She will be remembered by many people for her beautiful and prolific crocheting, as she produced hundreds of homemade articles, including scarves, sweaters, vests, baby blankets, afghans, bedspreads and even a wedding gown. While many of these items were gifted to family and friends, dozens were donated to charitable causes, particularly for veterans and the disabled.

Like her husband, she made every financial sacrifice for her children, and helped them to achieve degrees in law and engineering at the University of Colorado. More recently, she helped her grandson, Dane, an anthropology student at Northern Colorado, to travel to Israel to participate in an archeological project at Tell es-Safi.

Iris was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 61 years, Darrell, her brothers Wayne and Johnnie Gage, a nephew, Johnnie Wayne Gage, brothers-in-law Harry Petsch and Wayne Borden, and sisters-in-law Betty Gage, Dwana Borden and Helen Gage.

She is survived by her sons, Douglas (Lorie Lee) Barnes of Brighton and John (Sarah) Barnes of Lafayette, CO, grandsons Dane Barnes of Brighton and Blake (Nicole) Ely of Aurora, CO, their son, Atom, and her beloved sister, part-time mother and full-time friend, Elsie Petsch of Palisade, and various other nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Memorial services will be held at the United Methodist Church in Palisade at 10:30 am on July 18, 2016 with Rev. Elias Mukindia, officiating.  Burial will follow in the Riverside Cemetery in Wauneta, Nebraska.

Memorials may be given in her name to whatever worthy organization the donor should choose and friends may send condolences online at or to her last address at the home of her son, Douglas Barnes, at 1358 Midland St. Brighton, CO 80601.

Carpenter Breland of McCook is in charge of the arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Iris I. Barnes, please visit our flower store.


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