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Ardis Marie (Ardie) Barnes

Ardis Marie (Ardie) Barnes, 89, of Medford, Ore. quietly passed away on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 within the peaceful atmosphere of her home, surrounded by her family. Ardie, as she was called by most friends, was known by many people in Jackson, Josephine and Klamath Counties.

Ardie was born on August 7, 1925 in Rice Lake, Wis., to Leonard Hiram Kezer and Lillian Marie Langland. After graduating from Rice Lake High School and during the early part of World War II, she and her older sister, Doris, as young women decided to leave the warmth and love of their parents' home and seek out new horizons. They traveled to Seattle, Wash. where they worked for the Boeing Aircraft Company helping assemble military aircraft. Later on they sought further adventures by traveling to San Francisco, Calif. where Ardie worked for the U.S. Post Office. As the war was winding down, Ardie decided to return to her home and worked as a telephone operator.

In 1949, she sought new adventures in life and enlisted in the U.S. Navy as one of the W.A.V.E.S. Ardie subsequently attended Navy boot camp and graduated from the Navy Communications Technician School in Washington, D.C. Her first duty assignment was with the Washington headquarters of the Naval Support Group, part of the Navy's communications intelligence organization. Later on, during the Korean War, she was in the first contingent of Navy women to be assigned duty in the then Territory of Hawaii. She was stationed at a Navy radio station amidst the pineapple fields of Hawaii. Ardie was a communications intelligence specialist. It was during this tour of duty that she met her future husband, Jerry Barnes, who was stationed at Pearl Harbor. After dating him for over a year, Ardie and Jerry entered into a marriage that lasted over sixty-three years of wedded bliss. She served two-and-one-half years in the Navy and received an honorable discharge.

The care and nurturing of her five children was always a very high priority for Ardie. During her husband's many absences, on military assignments and ship deployments, she alone raised her children to be strong, productive, and upstanding citizens of our country. Ardie literally maintained the family's "home front" as a dedicated Navy wife. Wherever the family lived she was always at the forefront of volunteering in her community. She volunteered in the classrooms of her children in many schools across the nation. During her lifetime, she volunteered with numerous non-profit organizations helping young servicemen, their families, veterans, the poor and needy people.

Ardie served several times as a volunteer officer in many clubs and associations such as P.T.A. president, secretary of the county Republican club and treasurer of the military RV club and Girl Scout Brownies. In her earlier days she was a member of the Ashland Elks Lodge Elkettes and volunteered to help in many functions of the lodge. Since her husband's Navy retirement, she was an active partner and participant in the Southern Oregon Chapter, Military Officers Association of America. When Ardie and her husband owned and operated a business in Jackson County she was an active partner with her husband in managing the operations of the business.

Ardie enjoyed reading books, growing flowers, and gardening. She was an accomplished writer, having written and published a book of children's poems. Having served her country during the Korean War, Ardie never sought much recognition for her patriotic Navy service and instead always preferred to emphasize her husband's active duty military career. During all of their marriage, she was an ardent supporter of her husband, often putting her own ambitions behind that of her husband's governmental, legislative, business, ranching, and veterans betterment endeavors. On many occasions, husband Jerry would remark to others that his wife was truly the "wind beneath his wings." Ardie Barnes will be sorely missed by her husband, family and many friends in Jackson, Josephine and Klamath Counties. She was a wonderful, dedicated, and loving wife, mother, and sister.

Ardie is survived by her husband, Jerry; four daughters, Wanda Marie Custance (Gary) of Ruch, Ore., Sandra Louveda Barnes of Wilsonville, Ore., Amanda Ellen Valle (Ron) of Rogue River, Ore., Julie Dawn Moran (Mike) of Grants Pass, Ore.; and son, Bradley Gerald Barnes (Colleen) of Ruch. She is also survived by two sisters and a brother in Wisconsin, Doris West, Elizabeth Broome (Jim) and Eugene Kezer (Joyce); brother-in-law, Cloyce Barnes (Sue) of Klamath Falls; two sisters-in-law, Colleen Burroughs (Glen) of Visalia, Calif., and Delores Bourbanaisse of Needles, Calif. Her life was greatly glorified by her 10 wonderful grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren who live in Oregon, Washington, and Arizona.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, November 21, 2014 at the Conger-Morris Funeral Home, 800 S. Front Street, Central Point. Officiating will be retired Army Chaplain, Daniel Kinjorkski, Pastor, Family Life Church, Church of God, Medford. A funeral interment with full military honors will follow at the Veterans Administration National Cemetery, Eagle Point. Please be mindful that seating is limited.

Donations in Ardis Marie Barnes' name can be made to Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society, 875 N Randolph St, Ste 225, Arlington, VA. N.M.C.R.S. is a tax exempt organization, under the auspices of the Secretary of the Navy, dedicated to providing emergency financial and other assistance to young Sailors and Marines and their families.

Ardis Marie (Ardie) Barnes