OBITUARY

Barbara Jean Henley

October 28, 1930October 8, 2021
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Barbara J. Henley passed peacefully in her Leawood home with her son and daughter by her side.

Just shy of 91, Barbara deeply loved her husband, Dick Henley, who passed May 28th, one day after they celebrated their 70th Wedding Anniversary. Barbara was devoted to her family, singing, church, and gardening.

Barbara was born in Springfield Missouri, the seventh of nine children. She remained close to her siblings throughout her life, celebrating holidays and holding reunions, including one during the first Moon Walk. Her older sisters, Fannie Champieux Hasenyager and Faye, were like second mothers to her. The youngest three, including Bob Ebling of Springfield, MO and Sue Russell of Overland Park, KS had a particularly strong bond. Sue was her Maid of Honor at her St Louis wedding.

Moving frequently as a child taught Barbara to make new friends wherever she went. She graduated from Cambridge OH one of the top students in the state, and rather than accept a state scholarship, opted to go to Southwest Missouri State as a music major and singing lead for the Bear Bops jazz ensemble. There she met Dick. They fell in love at first sight and married in 1951 in St Louis with her beloved mother Lena Howell and sister Sue at her side.

Within a year, Barbara and Dick had Rick, and then Bill, and Cindy, each two years apart, and Becki seven years later. They built their family home in Bridlespur where they lived for fifty two years. Her beautiful gardens grew from tiny mail order sticks to 90-foot-high trees. An active volunteer leader, she served as PTA President, Den Mother, Girl Scout Leader, and multiple other roles before returning to UMKC to complete her teaching degree in 1968, and later a master degree, both in education.

After completing her BA at University of Missouri – Kansas City, Barbara taught kindergarten at Santa Fe Elementary School in Hickman Mills for twenty-five years in part because she wanted to be the children’s first teacher. Sometimes she would teach a child and later teach their children, and often heard from former students about how important she was to them, the “Best Kindergarten Teacher Ever” for many. As an early member of Red Bridge Christian Church in 1960, Barbara continued her church activities for nearly six decades. She sang many solos for the church choir, and served as Youth Minister, Chairman of the Board, Sunday School Teacher, Elder, and Deacon. She was a proud member of the Red Bridge Lioness Club and long after they closed their chapter, she enjoyed monthly lunch outings with her dear friends.

Barbara was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Richard J. Henley, her dear mother, Lena Ebling Howell, and father, Benton Wilbur Ebling, son Richard J. Henley Jr, sons-in-law Gene Wuellner and Mark Ladd, granddaughter Alexandra Ladd, and eight siblings and their spouses. Surviving family are children William J. Henley and wife Linda of San Leandro, CA, Cindy Frewen Wuellner, Leawood, KS, Rebecca Henley-Booker, grandchildren Georgia Henley of Arlington, MA, Victoria Dawson and husband Chad, and great-grandchildren Silas, Vada, and Kadence of Lyons, Indiana, Tyler & Christian Ladd of Kansas City, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

A Visitation for Barbara will be held Thursday, October 14, 2021 from 10:00am to 11:00am followed by a Funeral Service at 11:00am at Mt. Moriah, Newcomer & Freeman Funeral Home, 10507 Holmes Road, Kansas City, MO 64131.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Barbara's name to Comfort Care Homes, 10205 Howe Dr., Leawood, KS 66206.

  • FAMILY

  • Benton Wilbur Ebling, Father (deceased)
  • Lena Ebling Howell, Mother (deceased)
  • Richard "Dick" J. Henley, Husband of 70 years (deceased)
  • Richard J. Henley, Jr., Son (deceased)
  • Gene Wuellner, Son-in-law (deceased)
  • Mark Ladd, Son-in-law (deceased)
  • Alexandra Ladd, Granddaughter (deceased)
  • Eight Siblings, & their Spouses (deceased)
  • William J. Henley (Linda), Son
  • Cindy Frewen Wuellner, Daughter
  • Rebecca Henley-Booker, Daughter
  • Georgia Henley, Granddaughter
  • Victoria Dawson (Chad), Granddaughter
  • Silas, Vada, Kadence, Tyler & Christian, Great-grandchildren
  • DONATIONS

  • Comfort Care Homes, 10205 Howe Dr., Leawood, KS 66206

Services

  • Visitation

    Thursday, October 14, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Thursday, October 14, 2021

    VIEW VIDEO

  • Committal Service

    Thursday, October 14, 2021

Memories

Barbara Jean Henley

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Richard Houston

October 14, 2021

To the Henley family -- I share with you your loss. Barbara and I worked together at Red Bridge Christian Church. She was a talented friend and worker. I could always count on her to help me with many projects that had to be completed. She had a pleasing voice and Marilyn enjoyed playing the organ or piano for her. Our son, Lynn, was in the Youth Group when Barbara was leader and enjoy her leadership and talents. May God hold you in his comforting arms is my prayer for each of you. Dick

Cindy Frewen

October 13, 2021

Fond memories of my sweet mom – She used to cut down the poison ivy in the backyard so I wouldn’t get it until she finally got allergic too. She made my dresses as I grew up and ones for my Barbie too, and finally one for my wedding day, a heroic act of love. Mom had busy hands, tirelessly working and cleaning and cooking. Summers meant “spring cleaning” and in high school, the Pentagon and Watergate Hearings blared through the rooms. Her passion for do-good activism was part of her legacy to me. In the evening, she graded papers for her kindergarteners and drawing happy faces and extra +++s for encouragement. As a beautiful young woman, she dressed in lovely preppy clothes and glamorous dresses, and in later years, wore sweaters and beads to amuse her young students and grandchildren. I had the benefit of caring for her more and more recently. With the voice of an angel, we began singing duets to sharpen her memory and ease discomfort. Her doctors knew us as the singing mother-daughter. Mom, thank you for always loving me and giving me strength, I love you forever. Birds fly over the rainbow, and now you do too.

Bill & Dee Boucher

October 12, 2021

Bill and I send our condolences to the Henley family. Many happy times were spent with Dick and Barbara at staff gatherings. Barbara's kindergarten classroom was across from my office; so we greeted each other often. After retirement we shared many rides to retirement lunches visiting all the way. We have missed her presence the last few years. May she be at peace as she joins those who have gone before.

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