Wanda Hyde Barnard, age 92, passed away in Lawrence, Kansas, on Sunday, August 16, 2020.
Wanda was born on October 22, 1927, in Nauvoo, Alabama, to Joseph and Cora Hyde. She spent her early years in Alabama, among a family of two sisters and a brother, along with many nieces and nephews, with whom she remained close all her life.
While working as a telephone operator, she met Harry V. Barnard. The couple married three months later, on December 7, 1950, and began a mobile and busy life together by moving to Denver, CO where Harry was stationed while in the Army. Wanda and Harry gave birth to two sons, Philip (b. 1951) and Timothy (b. 1963) and spent the next decade and a half moving their family around the country, from Denver to Orlando, FL, Washington D.C., and Highland Park, NJ, before settling at the University of Kentucky in Lexington from 1966 to 1991.
As was true for many middle-class women in post-World War II America, Wanda was a household manager and parent. She provided support and partnership for her husband in his successful university career and raised and educated two sons who likewise went on to university careers.
In addition to her unfailing dedication and reliability in taking care of family business through years of unpaid labor, she took pleasure in a range of social and leisure activities––golfing, bowling, playing bridge, early morning walks, and various arts and crafts––with her many women friends. She volunteered as a poll worker on election days, was a life-long Democrat, and, along with Harry, was engaged in the Civil Rights and Anti-War movements of the late fifties and sixties.
Wanda was also an avid traveler and crucially encouraged her family to travel and study internationally. Beginning in the seventies, she frequently travelled outside the U.S. with her husband and lived in Indonesia for two years in the eighties. At home in the U.S., she could be found reading a novel or supporting the basketball team at the University of Kentucky. In the early 1990s, after Harry’s retirement from teaching and administration, the couple moved to Columbia MO, another college town, where they engaged in many of the same activities, albeit at a slower pace, and eventually to her final college town, Lawrence, KS (where she never became a Jayhawk fan).
Wanda is warmly remembered as a caring spouse and parent who always provided unconditional support and sound advice, not to mention an endless supply of addictive cookies, for her husband, children, and granddaughter Julia, as well as her close circle of family and friends. Everyone who knew her valued her guidance and advice, rooted in Southern stoicism, given with a sly disciplinary wink and without drama or coercion.
She was survived for four months by her husband, Harry Barnard. She leaves behind her son Philip Barnard and daughter-in-law Cheryl Lester (Lawrence, KS); son Timothy Barnard and daughter-in-law Claudia Ting (Singapore); and granddaughter Julia Barnard and granddaughter-in-law Jordan Wade (Durham, NC). Wanda and Harry will be fondly remembered by the many people whose lives they touched, and we will miss them dearly.
Memorial contributions to support childhood literacy in her memory may be made to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, the Guntersville Museum, or the charity of your choice.