Marilyn L. (Blakey) Barber

July 26, 1930 ~ May 16, 2021 (age 90)


Marilyn L. (Blakey) Barber, age 90 of Centerville, Iowa passed away Sunday, May 16, 2021 at the Golden Age Care Center in Centerville.

She was born on July 26, 1930 in Frederick, Oklahoma, the daughter of James and Alta (Bellmon) Blakey.  Following her high school graduation, Marilyn received her bachelor’s degree in Education from Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma.  She would later earn his Master’s Degree in Music Theory from the University of Iowa.

Marilyn was united in marriage to Donald Barber in 1952 and to this union, the couple celebrated four children, Michael, John, Paul, and Phillip.  Donald preceded Marilyn in death on March 27, 1999.

Marilyn spent most of her thirty-nine years of teaching in the Centerville Community School district, beginning in Centerville in 1970.  She was a longtime music and choral director at the Howar Junior High Middle School, along with teaching two days a week at the outlying elementary schools in Appanoose County, including Mystic and Cincinnati.  Marilyn was an excellent music educator and genuinely enjoyed seeing her students get excited about music.  She retired as an educator in 1992.

Most importantly, Marilyn was a lifelong mentor to many church members and attendees at the Centerville Church of Christ.  She thoroughly enjoyed the church relationships she established through her efforts of character building and spiritual development.  As a longtime member of the Church of Christ, Marilyn believed that her relationship with her Lord and Savior was the most important aspect of her life. 

Left to honor her memory include her three children, Michael (Annette) Barber of Billings, Montana, Paul (Venessa) Barber of Enid, Oklahoma, and Phillip Barber of Centerville, Iowa; eleven grandchildren; and eleven great grandchildren.

Marilyn was preceded in death by her parents, James and Alta Blakey; her husband, Donald Barber; and her son, John Barber.

Private family graveside services will take place with Rev. Larry Hudson officiating.  A Public Celebration of Marilyn’s life will take place in the near future.  A memorial has been established to the Centerville Church of Christ and may be mailed to Lange Funeral Home and Crematory, 1900 S. 18th St., Centerville, Iowa, 52544.  Condolences may be shared online at or on Lange Funeral Home’s Facebook page.   

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Marilyn L. (Blakey) Barber, please visit our floral store.


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