Madeline Joan ‘Jan’ Barkey Carr: April 9, 1925 – March 24, 2020

Madeline Joan Barkey Carr, “Jan Carr,” was born on April 9, 1925 and died on March 24, 2020. She was 94 years old when she died in the presence of her husband, Ed, and two daughters, Susan Marney and Barbara Carr.

Jan was preceded in death by her eldest daughter, Lynn.

Jan was born in the home of her grandmother in Beatrice, Neb. to Leo and Dorothy Barkey. Her growing up was a tale of the 1920s and 30s in the Midwest. She started out as a farm girl, beginning the first grade at the age of 4 in a small country school. Because of hard times, the family moved to Grand Island, Neb., where Jan, now a small town girl, graduated from high school at the age of 16 amidst the Great Depression.

After high school, and during the war, Jan moved with her parents to Vancouver, Wash., where she became a “young working lady” so she could afford to attend college at the University of Washington. During her years at the UW, Jan was a member of the Alpha Xi Delta Sorority, experiencing college life during WWII when men were a rare find on campus, and also experiencing the joy of their return. She earned a bachelor’s of arts degree in sociology, obtained her teacher’s certificate, and met the man of her dreams, Edward Carr.

Ed and Jan married on June 29, 1947, and, despite the fact that Jan forgot her suitcase on their way to San Francisco for their honeymoon, requiring a frantic call home, the couple remained happily married for 72 years.

Other than the early 1950s, when she was home with her young children, Jan worked as a school teacher, primarily teaching language arts and social studies to junior high school students. She retired in 1985 from the Lake Washington School District. She would describe herself as a “strict” teacher, but one who believed each child had the capacity to learn and succeed. Following retirement, Jan and Ed moved from Kirkland to Coupeville, Wash., and Jan became involved and integrated into the community that is “Whidbey” by being an active member of the First Methodist Church in Coupeville, United Methodist Women, PEO, and acting as a legal advocate for CADA.

She and Ed traveled extensively together and with friends. Jan was known and appreciated for her hard work, leadership, being a good friend, her witty sense of humor, being an outspoken feminist, animal lover, and her appreciation for a good vodka martini (one olive, please!). Jan described her years in Coupeville as the best of her life. When she and Ed moved to Port Townsend, Wash., in 2008, she would always wish she could “go home” to Whidbey Island. In January 2020, she did just that, spending her last days in the care of the Regency staff, and with Ed by her side every day.

Jan is survived by many family members, including grandchildren Eric Petterson, Joshua Skinner, Blythe Buchan, Dylan Marney, Luke Marney, and Samantha Miller; and three great grandchildren, Zoe, Rhys and Draco.

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