Virginia Rose Carstens Barr
March 14, 2013 ~ November 1, 2013
Our mother, Virginia Rose Carstens Barr, 86, passed away November 1, 2013, her long years of suffering from arthritis at an end. Mom started life on March 14, 1927 in Wenatchee, the daughter of John and Winona Miles Carstens. She joined an older sister, Barbara. She was a lifelong resident of Wenatchee, living on the family property in South Wenatchee (Appleyard). The land was purchased in 1922 by her grandfather, Joseph Green Miles. The Carstens moved to the property in 1923 from Leavenworth. Even though it was the Great Depression, mom still had lots of fun outings to Lake Wenatchee and dancing the Jitterbug. She loved dancing and would sneak into the USO Club dances during the war years. In her senior year of high school, her parents purchased a fishing camp at Fish Lake; Carstens Resort. Mom graduated from WHS in 1945. She briefly worked for the railroad and then National Bank of Commerce (Keybank). In 1946, friends introduced her to Eugene C. Barr and they married on January 18, 1947. They lived in one of the three homes on the family property for 58 1/2 years of married life. Her sister, Barbara and husband and her parents occupied the other two homes. From this marriage, two daughters were born, Karen Jean in 1948 and Joanne Lee in 1950. Mom left her job at the bank to devote herself to her husband and daughters.
In the early 1950’s mom and dad purchased a lot from her parents at Fish Lake and dad built a cabin. Her sister, Barbara, husband and two sons, also built a cabin across the road from ours. We spent fun filled weekends and summers at Fish Lake; fishing, swimming and waterskiing behind our boat, the Karen Jo. The resort was sold in the early 1970’s after the passing of our grandparents, but we still had our cabin, which dad enlarged after retirement. They split their time between the cabin and their Wenatchee home. When we entered junior high, mom went back to work as an apple sorter in various warehouses in the valley, retiring after 25 years. Mom and dad travelled extensively, visiting many states, the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, the South Seas, including Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, Figi (twice), Australia, New Zealand, and her favorite, Hawaii (15 times). Mom was proud of her Miles family heritage. She was a direct descendant of Col. Samuel Miles, a Revolutionary War patriot who fought in the Battle of Long Island. Mom visited Milesburg, PA, named for Col. Miles. She was treated like a VIP and shown the historic records at the old Courthouse. She also visited Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA, of which Col. Miles’ grandson, Joseph Green Miles, was a founder and which her grandfather was named after.
Mom had many friends and loved to tell jokes and laugh often. Her main hobby was reading and was a comfort to her when she became physically disabled with arthritis. She was diagnosed with spinal stinosis and underwent surgery 21 years ago. Doctors said she wouldn’t walk after a year, but she defied the odds and continued to walk until her final illness. She struggled with constant pain but never complained, keeping an upbeat attitude.
Dad passed away July 29, 2005 and mom missed him every day since. The family property was sold in 2004 and mom moved to Columbia Heights in an apt. next to her sister, subsequently both sisters moved to side-by-side apts. at Colonial Vista until 2009, when mom moved to Karen’s home, residing there until her final illness. Family meant everything to mom. She had an extra special relationship with her sister, Barbara Fox, the two always living close to each other. She cherished her grandchildren and was thrilled that a granddaughter was named for her mother, Winona and a middle name of Virginia. She was excited to have a great-granddaughter share her middle name of Rose.
Mom was preceded in death by her husband; parents; infant brother, Miles Keith Carstens; niece, Debbie Buralli; nephew, Dick Moss; and grandnephew, Howard Lyda. She leaves behind her sister, Barbara Fox; daughters, Karen (Terry) Johnson, Joanne (Rick) Gilbert; grandchildren, Nels (Brittany) Johnson, Winona Johnson, Staci (Pete) Anderson; step-grandchildren, Raymond (Carrie) Johnson and Christina Johnson; great-grandchildren, Nellyah, Maciah and Nylah Johnson; step-great-grandchildren, Kyle Santos and Ryan Johnson; many nieces and nephews (special nephews, Jim and Pete Fox).
Graveside Services will be held Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at the Wenatchee Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Humane Society of Wenatchee and the Arthritis Foundation.