Cover photo for Barbara J. Haile's Obituary

Barbara J. Haile

March 18, 1942 — June 10, 2022

Shawnee

Barbara Jane Haile, age 80, passed away peacefully on June 10 at her home surrounded by her loving family. She had battled Alzheimer’s and declining health for several years with grace before walking through the Pearly Gates to be reunited with so many of her family and friends. She is survived by her beloved husband (Peter Haile), her pride and joy (daughter, Jenny Haile), nieces, nephews, and two precious dogs that were treated as grandchildren.

Barbara was literally an Okie from Muskogee, even though she was not a big fan of Merle Haggard’s music. Soon after her birth, the family moved to Lawrence, Kansas where her brother (Glen), sister (Beverly) and she attended Lawrence Public Schools. Her father was known for building dozens of houses in Lawrence over the years, and her mother worked at Weavers after all the children had moved out of the house. Barbara was a member of Lawrence High School’s Class of 1960. She eventually moved to Topeka, KS and earned her Education degree from Washburn University. While at Washburn, she met and married the love of her life. After graduation, Pete and Barbara moved back to Lawrence to raise their daughter. Their 53-year marriage was a beautiful love story that taught so many about respect, devotion, partnership, and persistence.

During the 70+ years she lived in Lawrence, Barbara worked various places as an accountant and office manager. She loved the years working at KU for Dr. Todd Risley in the HD&FL department where she helped manage the Infant & Toddler Centers, graduate students, and research projects in developing Applied Behavior Analysis. She also found time to give back to the Lawrence community through First United Methodist Church, Girl Scouts, and Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

For Barbara, family always came first, but she also had a love for supporting youth. Her influence and insights can be found in so many people that grew up in her Girl Scout troops, Sunday school classes or the Haile home. She was known to many as “Mom Haile”, and the house was always open to Jenny’s friends or anyone who needed a shoulder to lean on. Her smile, generous spirit, mentorship, absolute caring and providing of a safe place, will be remembered by many.

The family will not be holding services, per her request. She never liked being the center of attention and would have preferred that we all spend time focusing on family, sharing smiles and laughter, and of course, saying “I love you” frequently in conversations. So please honor her by making time in the coming weeks to have special, intentional, focused family time either in person or from afar. The family has requested that remembrances be made to the following organizations. We appreciate all donations made to honor her and help those that made such a difference to our family. Feel free to choose the one that speaks most closely to your heart.

  • Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care ( www.KCHospice.org/tribute )
  • KU Endowment for KU Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at KU Med – please indicate donations are for “Barbara Haile Memorial” ( www.kuendowment.org/give or send to 3901 Rainbow Blvd, Mail Stop 3012, Kansas City, KS 66160)
  • Alzheimer's Association, Heart of America Chapter (checks with “Barbara Haile” on memo line can be sent to 3846 W. 75th Street, Prairie Village, KS 66208)

Even though dementia/Alzheimer’s progresses over several years, the last few months saw a quick decline in Barbara’s health. The family would not have been able to fulfill her wishes of staying at home without the help from Hospice, extended family, friends and God’s grace. The family thanks everyone for the generosity and support that was given. The outpouring of love has been comforting, meaningful and truly appreciated. Yes, there is sadness, but we are so fortunate that we lived life with Barbara for so many years.

The poem below, entitled To the Passing of a Friend, was written by her father, G.A. Roberts. We hope it brings comfort to all that knew her. So raise a glass of iced tea to her, know that she remains in our hearts, and bid a fond farewell. If you would like to share a story, memory or express condolences, please add to the online Tribute Wall.

There comes a time old friend

When we must say adieu,

This life on earth must end,

Leaving only fond memories of you.

Our great loss is His gain

You were loaned for awhile

Now you must return again

To grace Heaven with your smile.

So I’ll say adieu old friend

Go with the blessings of the Lord.

To have known you has been

Our great and just reward.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara J. Haile, please visit our flower store.

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