Patricia Jane Dunn was born to Alva and Leonore (Neumann) Dunn on December 4, 1933, at their farm home 17 miles southwest of Greensburg, Kansas. She attended Hillside County School through eighth grade, and then Greensburg High School, where she graduated in 1951. In high school she met Crawford Allen Barber, her future husband. Patricia was close to her family, and her father was her hero. He doted on her and even built a pretend radio studio with a pretend microphone actually a tin can he punched holes in and attached it to a fence post - no dolls or doll houses for Patricia!
Following high school Patricia attended Emporia State Teachers College on a vocal music scholarship and on August 3, 1952, she and Crawford were married at the First Methodist Church in Greensburg. Patricia and Crawford first lived in Wichita, KS, where their son Craig Allen was born in 1953. Crawford attended Wichita State University, and served two years in the U.S. Air Force. After this, in 1957, they returned to Greensburg where Crawford joined his father in the family business, Greensburg Equipment Company. They were thrilled to be moving back to their hometown with family and they felt it was a wonderful place to raise a family. Patricia immediately became involved with the community and her many friends. She was very active in her church, the First Baptist choir, Sunday school, and Baptist Women. She also belonged to the FYI club for many years, bridge club, a book club and the American Red Cross.
Everyone who knew Patricia knew of her beautiful voice. Singing must have been important to her at an early age as she spent many recesses at her desk in the first few weeks of school for singing out loud when she shouldn’t have been. She sang her first solo at the age of 11 at a Christmas program and after that for secular and religious occasions. Many have been touched by her singing at funerals, weddings, or a program, as she was more than willing to share this God- given talent.
Pat always said she was the happiest being a wife, homemaker, mother, grandparent, and singer. She adored being surrounded by her husband, son, grandchildren and large family of aunts, uncles and cousins - many of whom lived very close. In this setting she really shined like a beacon and reveled in the fun-filled gatherings, where you could always hear her infectious laughter above all others. A funny story or tale was frequently forthcoming, adding to the joy. She also loved her many, many friends and would meet with them at a moment’s notice. Her quick wit and bright smile brought joy and comfort to all.
Page 2 of 2 - Tragedy struck in 1983 when the two greatest loves of her life, her husband of 31 years, Crawford, and her 10-year-old grandson Rigel was killed in an airplane accident. Following this Pat regained her composure and ready smile, but it was never quite as bright.
Following the accident Pat moved to Cripple Creek, Colorado for a year. She felt this was to put things in perspective in the mountains that she and Crawford loved so much, and where she had spent most summers. This was a difficult period in her life. Not only had she lost these two people but she also had to give up the home she had lived in most of her married life. They also closed the farm equipment business that had been in her husband’s family since 1949. After her time in Colorado Pat moved to Wichita, as she wanted to be close to her son and granddaughter. She went to work for the United Way of Wichita and was there until her retirement in 2000. She developed many new friends through the 15 years she worked at United Way. She showed genuine interest in and touched the lives of all around her. One of her best friends said everybody loved to be around her, and she lifted everybody’s spirits, regardless of how low she might be feeling herself. She helped others see the joy in her life.
Tragedy came again for Pat in 1999, when Craig, her only son, friend and confidant, died at the age of 46. Pat again called upon her great faith in God and personal strength to cope. She soon felt the mountains calling, and moved back to Colorado. There she had close relationships with members of her brother’s family. She experienced life in the mountains living in Woodland Park, Victor, and in a little log cabin in Cripple Creek. She was a member of the Victor Baptist Church and a faithful follower. Her granddaughter, Mira, was always close in her heart, but not close enough geographically. Patricia decided to follow her heart and move back to Wichita in January 2011, to be with her granddaughter Mira and great-granddaughter, Sadie Belle. She made a beautiful little home in Wichita, but her health continued to decline. She left us on this Earth on November 4, 2012. A funeral service is planned for Friday November 16th at 2:00 in the afternoon at the First Baptist Church of Greensburg. Memorials are suggested to the Sjorgen's Syndrome Foundation, in care of Fleener Funeral Home, 514 S. Main St., Greensburg, Kansas, 67054.