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.