Deanna (Barlow) Harris, Age 79, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, following a brief battle with cancer. She had recently moved to Sac City to be closer to her family after living in Lincoln, Nebraska for over 50 years.
She is preceded in passing by John C. Harris (Husband), Jake Barlow (Father), Billie Barlow (Mother), Randall Barlow (Brother), Troy Waller (Nephew), and Mary Porter (daughter). She is survived by Nora Coleman (Daughter), Sonya Waller (Sister), Annette Blessington (Sister-in-Law), and Nephews and Nieces, Michael (Triny) Waller, Janelle (Mark) Becker, Cory Henson, Kristi (Jason) Gosch, Nicci (Kyle) Timmerman, Justin (Jodie) Barlow, Mercedes Barlow, and many great and great-great-nephews and nieces, extended family and dear friends.
Deanna was born to Jake and Billie Barlow on June 26, 1942, in Sac City, IA. It was in Sac City that she grew up helping her father at his grocery store, spending time fishing with her brother, learning from her sister, and getting involved in all kinds of shenanigans with her childhood friends. She graduated from Sac City High School with the class of 1960 and went on to attend Wayne State for Early Childhood Education. Following college, she moved to Gordon, Nebraska where she taught elementary education, special education, and helped create one of the first special education programs for Native Americans at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
Deanna cruised the streets of Gordon in her maroon 1967 Ford Mustang, often taking her young friends, Julie and Joni Buckles, to get ice cream as well as for joy rides (or not such joyous rides). It was well agreed upon that Deanna was one of the worst drivers that many people knew.
After living in Gordon for nine years, Deanna moved to Lincoln, Nebraska. Although she spent the next fifty years living in Lincoln, Deanna always considered Gordon her home and even maintained an active subscription to The Gordon Journal until her passing.
If asked what one word would describe Deanna, most would answer, “Workaholic!” She drove her accountant crazy, especially the year she showed up with nine W-2’s. She was very ambitious! Some of her many careers included: teaching, cosmetology, hospitality, healthcare, and food service work. Even with all of these under her belt, she eventually found that caregiving was her true calling. After working many years in long-term care centers, Deanna transitioned to in-home care, where she was able to enrich the lives of dozens of people with physical and mental disabilities as well as the elderly. Deanna loved and cared for her adopted daughter, Mary Porter, for many years until her passing, and in 1987 her pride and joy, Nora Coleman came into her life and became her world. Deanna cared for Nora (and Nora for her) right up until Deanna’s cancer diagnosis.
Deanna was truly a unique human being. She donated to dozens of charities on a monthly basis, gave of her time to the Matt Talbot Kitchen in Lincoln, and never forgot to send birthday cards or Christmas presents to any of her friends, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews - or even her great-great-nieces and nephews. Upon Deanna’s diagnosis, close friends and family spent time reminiscing of funny “Deanna” stories. Deanna loved the color red, often donning bright red glasses and her signature red Converse high-tops. She loved having her nails done and recently was a big fan of dark blue. She was an avid reader, reading multiple books per week, and equally loved Jeopardy. She even documented the answers and questions in dozens of notebooks that she had saved at her home.
Deanna loved to joke and laugh (often holding her stomach during tremendous outbursts of laughter.) She enjoyed both being entertained and entertaining, as she attended and hosted many soirees, where she was sure to whip up delicious desserts and hor devours! She also delighted in hosting friends and family for extended visits, all the while imparting her knowledge, instilling important values, and ultimately turning those cherished people into better citizens of the world. In fact, many are still grateful to Deanna for helping them become the people they are today. They will all miss her greatly.
Deanna could always spot a person in need, including the poor, addicted, unemployed, or people needing a place to sleep, or a helping hand.
Deanna continued her generous lifestyle by donating her body to science, where hopefully, she contributes to finding a cure for Multiple Myeloma, the disease to which she ultimately succumbed.
Deanna’s final wishes were to be laid to rest in the Sand Hills of Nebraska, followed by a joyous celebration of life with delicious food. All memorials will be directed towards the Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach in Lincoln, NE.
PO BOX 80935
Lincoln, NE 68501
Deanna’s life was spent doing so many wonderful things for people there isn’t enough room in just one obituary to pay the tribute she truly deserves. Her family and close friends invite you to share your favorite “Deanna” memory with them so they can create a book in her honor. Please send any stories, memories, or photos that you may have to email@example.com so they can create a book that can be shared with everyone.