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Barbara Kay Canny (née Barker) passed away in Des Moines, IA on April 7, 2022.
Barbara was born December 31, 1941, on a cold New Year’s night in Mount Ayr, IA to LaViece and Clarence Barker. She grew up on the Barker farm in Benton, the oldest of six, and excelled in school, home economics and 4-H. She graduated from Mount Ayr High School in 1960, then went to Morningside College in Sioux City and then the University of Iowa, to get an advanced degree in social work.
Barbara met her (late) husband, Garold Canny, on a blind date, through a mutual acquaintance. They married on August 13, 1966, and had a son, Brian, in 1973. She worked as a social worker throughout Iowa, settling in Cedar Rapids, IA and the family moved to Montgomery, TX in the mid-80s, where they lived for nearly 30 years. In Texas, Barbara enjoyed the warm winters and volunteered at a suicide-prevention hotline.
Barbara enjoyed reading and was prolific in making lists of books to read and movies to watch. She admittedly watched too much TV but gravitated to more “elevated” programs, favoring PBS programs such as Doc Martin, Downton Abbey, and Victoria. She was a lifelong Anglophile and spoke fondly of her trip to England and Ireland and kissing the Blarney Stone. Barbara and Garold also traveled across the US early in their marriage, spending many summers driving up and down the East and West Coasts to visit extended family while stopping at any spot with a historical marker or tchotchkes for sale.
Barbara is survived by her sisters, Karyn Stone, Lana (Dick) Gibson, Rita (Larry) Hunter, and her brothers, David (Carol) Barker and Danny (Jeannie) Barker and her son, Brian (Jennifer) Canny. She also has many cousins, nieces and nephews who adored and admired her.
Donations in her honor can be made to the Food Bank of Iowa (, the Animal Alliance Rescue of Mount Ayr (515-520-7748) or any PBS station.
Visitation will be held at Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr on Saturday, April 23 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. with services beginning at 1:00 p.m. Burial will follow in the Benton Cemetery, Benton, IA.

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