Mary Frances Barlow, of Marlinton, entered the eternal gates of heaven at the age of 102 on Tuesday, March 10, 2020.
Mary Frances was a beautiful woman whose love and friendship was an inspiration to all who knew her. Born December 8, 1917, she was the youngest daughter of Guy and Josephine Faulknier.
In addition to her parents, Mary Frances was preceded in death by her husband, Ivan, brothers, Merl (Froggy) and Marion; sister, Kathleen; nephew, Eddie; and niece, Janice.
She is survived by her brother, Kenneth Faulknier; many nieces and nephews; and very special friends, Roy and Evilene Beverage.
Mary Frances was a devoted Christian, a woman of strong faith and a faithful member of Marlinton United Methodist Church her entire life. She was the oldest living member until her death.
She received her education in Marlinton, graduating from Marlinton High School in 1936. She worked at Pocahontas Grocery for a short time, then spent the remainder of her career working for the State of West Virginia in the Welfare Office.
Mary Frances met and married the love of her life, Ivan Neal Barlow. They were married in a simple wedding officiated by Dr. Fred Wyand, a family pastor friend, in Cumberland, Maryland, on April 16, 1938. They began their marriage with Ivan serving in the Navy. They established their home at Hepsedam Farm, where they resided for more than 50 years, raising and showing horned Dorset sheep. Together they “stuck pretty close together, just the two of us,” as Mary Frances said. They enjoyed 60 years of marriage.
Mary Frances’ interests were always close to home – in the care of her property, in the goings on of her extended family and her church. At the young age of 85, she sold her farm and built a house just down the hill. She was very proud of this accomplishment and enjoyed nearly 15 years living independently in that location. She loved listening to the waterfalls, mowing her grass and breathing in the mountain air. Her independence allowed her to stay in her own home until a month shy of her 101st birthday.
She was an amazing aunt to her many nieces and nephews and treated them all as her own children. Their memories of the farm, Uncle Ivan’s sheep, state fair trips, fried chicken, the big white farmhouse, salt rising bread, swinging on the front porch, the chicken coop, Socks, her kitten, and Shep, the dog, will stay with them forever. She loved visits from the family and always had a list of things written down she wanted to talk with them about. She had a laptop computer which she used to look at pictures of the family on Facebook and read the newspapers in the towns where they lived. She continued to use her laptop until a few weeks before her passing.
Mary Frances lived by the word of God, prayed and read her Upper Room devotionals every day. She loved talking about her faith. She never judged, and she loved her family unconditionally.
She will forever be in our hearts.
The family extends their gratitude and appreciation to the staff and doctors at Genesis Pocahontas Center for the excellent care and friendship they provided to Mary Frances during her 15-month stay.
The family will receive friends Saturday, March 14, from 1 to 2 p.m. at Marlinton United Methodist Church.
Funeral service will be at 2 p.m., with Rev. David Merryman officiating.
Interment will be in Mountain View Cemetery.