Alice Barnett, 92, of Winchester, Indiana, passed away Saturday, July 7, 2018, in Richmond, Indiana.
She was born in Fort Bayard, China, on Dec. 6, 1925, to Kita Nakashima and Antoine Kiodeti.
Her Japanese mother and French father met in China, where he was stationed as a soldier in the French Foreign Legion. Shortly after Alice was born, her family moved to Hanoi, Vietnam, where she spent the next 20 years. Alice had fond memories of her childhood and reminisced often about riding her bicycle on the wide Hanoi boulevards and rowing boats on the Hoàn Kiếm Lake in the center of town. She had a vivid memory of the B-29 bombers dropping their payloads onto Hanoi in 1945.
While growing up in Hanoi, which was then part of French Indochina, she went to French schools learning French as her basic language. Alice also spoke Vietnamese, Japanese and English. During World War II, she used her language skills as a translator.
After World War II, she returned with her mother to Japan to start a new venture. While in Japan, Alice worked at a U.S. Army Medical Dispensary in Sasebo, where she met her husband, Lacy Clayton Barnett, who was born on York Mountain in Empire, Alabama (Walker County). Lacy graduated from Dora High School in 1944 and attended Florence State Teachers College, prior to his enlistment in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 in March 1945. For 14 years, Alice relished her life as the wife of a U.S. Army officer. While they were stationed on the island of Okinawa, she learned to bowl, play duplicate bridge and to drive a car (an 11-year-old Studebaker). Alice excelled at bowling and bridge. She earned over 20 bowling trophies and became a master bridge player. As for her driving, it might be best to say that she never had a major accident. While in Okinawa, Alice took advantage of courses in Japanese flower arranging, Japanese doll making and Chinese cooking. She made delicious sweet and sour pork and fried rice.
Retirement from the military and a new job for Lacy in 1967 brought Alice and her family to Winchester, Indiana. They purchased the Randolph Hotel, which Alice managed adeptly. On several occasions, she had to take the night shift where she played the Ouija Board and told ghost stories with some of the permanent residents. After Alice and Lacy fully retired in 1975, they traveled to Europe, Russia and Asia.
During her life in Winchester, Alice worked tirelessly to rescue abandoned dogs and cats. Her lifelong love of animals began early in a childhood home that was full of animals, including dogs, cats and a pocket monkey. Alice spent over 10 years as a volunteer in Muncie for the Animal Rescue Fund (ARF) and at the Winchester Animal Shelter. Her home became a foster care center for injured and neglected animals, so much so that that she acquired a kennel license in order to continue helping them. Through her work with these animals, Alice found many treasured friends who shared her concern for saving abandoned pets. Alice and Linda Laudenbacher were a widely known “animal care team”, donating their time and monies to the shelters.
One of the joys of her life was spending time with her grandchildren. She loved them all!
Alice was preceded in death by her grandson, Michael Robert Barnett; and stepgranddaughter, Michelle Anne White.
Alice is survived by Lacy, her husband of 67 years and 11 months (July 28, 1950) (BGE Nebraska University 1961 and MA Ball State University 1973); son, Michael (Ball State University 1969); and daughter, Gwendolen White (BA Ball State University 1975; MBA Ball State University 1978; Ph.D. Indiana University 1989) (Gwen’s husband, Michael, BS Oklahoma State University 1970, MS Penn State University 1972, and Ph.D. Penn State University 1975). In addition, she is survived by her grandchildren, Kristy Barnett (BS Grand Canyon University 2016), Edward Barnett (spouse Danae – Edward earned AA Degree in Computer Sciences from ITT in 2011) and Alicia White (BS Northwestern University 2013). Alice’s surviving great-grandchildren, Eagle Scout Robert Brown (Indiana University 2017), Eagle Scout Mitchell Brown (Purdue University 2020), Eagle Scout Samuel Brown (Central Michigan University 2022) and Julia Barnett. The father of the Brown boys, Jonathon Brown, is a 1994 graduate of the University of Arizona, a 1997 graduate of the Indiana University School of Law and is currently serving as a Superior Court Judge in Hamilton County (Noblesville), Indiana. Alice realized the importance of education and was quite proud of the scholastic achievements of her family members.
There will be a private celebration of Alice’s life at the convenience of her family. Burial will be at the Arlington National Cemetery. Arrangements are being handled by Doan & Mills Funeral Home, 790 National Road West, Richmond.
Memorial gifts may be made to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), P.O. Box 96929, Washington, D.C. 20090-6929.
Condolences may be sent to the family via the guest book at www.doanmillsfuneralhome.com.
Doan Mills Funeral Home, Richmond, Indiana; (765) 966-0596