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Barrington, Barbara

Barbara M. Barrington, 85, Wausau, died at home Friday, December 8, 2017 from complications of Parkinson’s disease.

She was born November 17, 1932 in Bristol, Wisconsin, daughter of the late Reverend Walter K. and Frances (Smith) Morley. On June 18, 1955, she married Byron L. Barrington at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Madison, WI.

Barbara’s academic and career accomplishments were many. She graduated from University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1954 majoring in Social Work. At UW-Madison, she was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa national honor society and the university’s then chapter of the Mortar Board Honor Society. For her academics, student activities and volunteer work, she was selected as the Outstanding Female Graduate, Class of 1954.

Barbara went on to earn a Masters of Social Work at the University of Chicago. She was certified by the State of Wisconsin as an Independent Clinical Social Worker, and certified as a School Social Worker Specialist by the National Association of Social Workers.

Barbara devoted her Social Work career to Wausau’s elementary school children. She served in almost all of the elementary schools in the Wausau School District across her nearly 30-year career, retiring in 1997. Barbara, along with husband Byron, was a founding board member of the Wausau Head Start program, now operating in the Barrington Head Start Center.

Barbara was active for many years in the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and League of Women Voters, holding various officer positions in the Wausau chapters over the years. She was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church, served on Alter Guild, and for decades baked a contribution of five pounds of Christmas butter cookies. Barbara’s appreciation for the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright inspired her to tour many of Wright’s buildings across Wisconsin and the U.S.

Always active in her children’s lives, she rarely missed a theater production, sports event, concert or other extracurricular activity in which they participated, and attended parent-teacher conferences at every opportunity. Her passion for the outdoors, camping, canoeing and cross-country skiing was shared with her husband, passed on to her children and supported in her nephews and nieces.

Barbara is survived by husband Byron Barrington, four children: Laura Barrington Cowan (Greg), Wausau; Lee Barrington (Barb), Reynoldsburg, OH; Linda Barrington (Alan Dye), New York, NY; and Lowell Barrington (Therese), Belgium, WI; nine grandchildren: Sarah Cowan, Sam Cowan, Brennan Barrington, Aubrey Barrington, Alana Barrington Dye, Alex Barrington, Colin Barrington, Tristan Barrington, and Quinn Barrington; one brother, Kenneth Morley, St. Petersburg, FL; and sister-in-law Barbara Morley, Alabama.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her younger brother Roger Morley, and sisters- and brothers-in-law: Gordon and Marge Barrington; Florence and Robert Barrington; and Shirley Morley (wife of Kenneth).

Funeral services will be at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday December 17, 2017 at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 330 McClellan St, Wausau. Rev. David Klutterman will officiate. Friends may call at the church from 2:00 p.m. until the time of the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are welcome to Wausau Head Start (Barrington Center, 616 Grant Street, Wausau, WI 54403, 715-845-2947), the Therapeutic Pool Campaign (North Central Health Care, 1100 Lake View Drive, Wausau, WI 54403), or the University of Wisconsin Alumni Association (650 N. Lake Street Madison, WI 53706).

Brainard Funeral Home – Wausau Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at

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  1. Judi Wtiikopf

    12/08/2017 at 6:25 pm

    Byron and Family,
    I was sorry to read about Barbara’s passing. We attended the same water exercise class for only a short time, so I didn’t know her well. However, I always thought she was a lovely lady, very pleasant and kind to everyone. My sincere condolences.

    Judi Wittkopf
    Retired from UWMC

  2. Sharon Seagren

    12/08/2017 at 6:25 pm

    Byron and Family,

    I’m sending thoughts of you on the passing of Barb. I enjoyed getting to know her while Linda and I were growing up. She was an active community member and when our paths crossed at events in Wausau, Barb was always smiling with a kind heart. She will be missed.


  3. Kay Gruling

    12/08/2017 at 6:25 pm

    What a wonderful soul! She will be missed. Our condolences.

  4. T. M.

    12/08/2017 at 6:25 pm

    My condolences to your family. May God’s promise of the resurrection bring you comfort and hope of the time when you can be reunited with her. (Acts 24:15)