Barbara S. (Johnston) Eitel

Barbara S. (Johnston) Eitel


Barbara S. (Johnston) Eitel, 82, of western Adair County went to be with her Lord and Savior Friday, September 6, 2019. Barbara was born the eldest of three children to C.M. and Helen (Frisbee) Johnston on their family farm northwest of Madison, MO, March 8, 1937. She enjoyed her youth and her life on the family farm. Barbara graduated from Clarence High School in 1955 as valedictorian of her senior class.

After high school, she attended the University of Missouri at Columbia. During her freshman year, Barbara met a well-known Angus cattleman by the name of Kenneth Eitel, who swept her off of her feet. They were married on June 2, 1957 at the First Baptist Church, Paris, MO. Kenneth and Barbara proceeded to raise five children together. They were married for over 53 years, until Kenneth passed away in January, 2011.

Barbara was a devoted, loyal and loving daughter, wife, mother and grandmother, who will be sorely missed, until we see her and Dad together again in heaven. She was unwavering in her Christian faith, praying and reading the Bible every day for most of her life. She enjoyed teaching children about Jesus through Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and most recently, the AWANA program, where she helped children learn Bible verses. Barbara was active in women’s Christian and Bible study groups in the Kirksville area. She was an active member of the Pure Air Baptist Church for all of her married life. Barbara truly enjoyed being with family, and attended their activities and special occasions when she could.

Although Barbara left the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1957 to become a wife and mother, she resumed her college education after her children were older, and received her bachelor’s degree from Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University), in May, 1983. She then worked as a full-time high school teacher, and also as a substitute teacher at various high schools in the Kirksville area for several years.

Barbara was a project leader and club leader for the Liberty 4-H Club in western Adair County. She and Kenneth were involved in their children’s school activities at Adair County R-I (Novinger), and vigorously followed Novinger’s high school sports, when their children were participating and attending school there.

Barbara worked hard to raise a large garden to feed her family, canning and freezing produce from the garden, as well as maintaining the family home over the years. She prepared and cooked meals for her family three times a day, seven days a week, in an era of time when not many people went out to eat, particularly a family of five children. She enjoyed sewing, and made several clothes for her family and herself while the children were growing up.

Barbara was very involved in the Eitel family registered Angus cattle operation, which was known as Catalpa Grove Angus Farm. She did the bookkeeping, and most notably, the registration process of their Angus cattle. Barbara enjoyed following the pedigrees of the cattle in the registered Angus cattle business. She also enjoyed going to Angus cattle shows and sales with her husband, Kenneth. Barbara had the responsibility of planning and managing all of the auction sales for Catalpa Grove Angus Farm from the time she married Kenneth until their dispersal sale December, 2006.

Barbara’s interest in the pedigrees of registered Angus cattle dovetailed with her interest in her family genealogy. Over a period of time, she researched her family history and prepared a detailed genealogy book. Barbara was a member of the Ann Haynes Chapter of the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) in Kirksville. She also had extensive knowledge and appreciation for Missouri (the greatest state in the Union) history and American history.

In November, 2010, Barbara moved from the family farm to the community of LaPlata, MO. Then in August, 2016, she moved to Kansas City, MO Northland, to be closer to some of her children.

Barbara was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; her father and mother-in-law, Frank and Ollie Eitel; brothers-in-law, Reuben Eitel, Nile Eitel, Harold Parsell, Dr. Harvey Swords, Kenneth Burns and John Case; sisters-in-law, Veneta Burns, Betty Swords, Aldean Eitel and Leora Case; a niece, Jill Burke; nephews, Steve Burns, Fred Swords, Johnny Case and Jerry Case.

Barbara is survived by her brothers, Larry (Betty) Johnston of Creve Coeur, MO and Col. James L. (Norma) Johnston of Madison, MO; and a sister-in-law, Faye Parsell of Jerseyville, IL. She is survived by all of her children, Kenneth (Kent) Eitel, Jr. of Kansas City, MO Northland, Ann Paris of Huntsville, MO, Lee Eitel of Jefferson City, MO, Layton (Katherine) Eitel of Kansas City, MO Northland and Chanda (Rod) Argotsinger of Peculiar, MO.

Barbara is also survived by ten grandchildren, Brittany Paris (Ryan Newmyer), Cybil Paris, Faith (Joel) Beller, Emily (Brandon) Jungling, Matthew Argotsinger, Joshua Eitel, Elisabeth Eitel, Isabella Eitel, Ashley Eitel and Austin Eitel. Barbara was proud of the recent arrival of her first great-grandchild, Greyson Beller. Also surviving are several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews and cousins.

Funeral services will be held at Travis-Noe Funeral Home in Kirksville, MO, with visitation on Thursday, September 12, 2019, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, and funeral service on Friday, September 13, 2019 10:00 am, with Reverend Larry Thomas officiating. Interment will be at Ringo Point Cemetery in western Adair County.

Expressions of sympathy in memory of Barbara may be made to Pure Air Baptist Church or to the North American Mission Board, and may be left at or mailed to Travis-Noe Funeral Home, P.O. Box 306, Kirksville, MO 63501.

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