April 9, 1927 – December 23, 2018
Barbara Ruth King Marcy was born April 9, 1927 in Amherst, Nebraska, one of five children, and the only daughter, of George and Myrtle (Harris) King.
Barbara King was introduced to Charles Marcy by her brother — and Charles’ fraternity brother — Keith King and his wife Betty. For the rest of their lives Keith and Betty proudly claimed credit for what proved to be an enduring marriage, partnership and friendship. Barbara and Charles married on January 29, 1955, and were life partners until Charles’ death in 2005.
Barbara King graduated from Amherst High School and Kearney State College, and pursued graduate study at the University of Wyoming. She taught as a schoolteacher in Lyon, Ainsley, Oshkosh and Chadron schools before moving to Marcy ranch in the Panhandle upon her marriage to Charles. She greatly valued education, and served as a Commissioner of the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education. This lifelong commitment to learning and appreciation of education extended to both formal pursuits and lessons from “the school of hard knocks.”
Barbara was an active partner in Marcy Brothers (later Marcy Cattle Company), where she managed the books and kept records for the registered Angus herd, as well as helping with outdoor work. She was a visible state and national representative of the industry, serving as President of the Nebraska Cow-Belles, Queen of Ak-Sar-Ben and Ak-Sar-Ben Goodwill Ambassador, a member of the Nebraska Beef Council, the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Historical Museum, along with Charles was a founding member of the Coffee Gallery in the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Museum, and was inducted into the Nebraska Agricultural Hall of Fame.
Barbara and Charles raised their family on a ranch in western Nebraska. She was an active member of the United Methodist Church and Banner Community Club, and Worthy Matron of Eastern Star. She also served on the Nebraska Rural Health Advisory Commission, the American Legion Auxiliary and helped with 4-H and school events throughout the state.
In 1989 the couple retired from full time ranching and moved to Chadron, Nebraska where they enjoyed easier access to Fort Robinson, the Black Hills, the many activities at Chadron State College, time with friends and family and travel.
In 2013, Barbara moves to Lincoln and appreciated the friendship and support of the community as Savannah Pines. In 2017l, Barbara moved to Country House in Lincoln, a facility that offered her kindness and professionalism through the end of her life. Hospice of Lincoln provided invaluable support and ensured she had a compassionate end to a long and full life, with her family present.
She remained curious about others’ life and work, the development and importance of agriculture, opinionated about politics, an avid reader, and an enthusiastic fan of Cornhusker athletics and Rockies and Royals baseball to the end of her life.
Barbara was preceded into death by her husband Charles Marcy. She was also preceded into death by her brothers Stanley, Keith, Clark and Theodore (Ted). She is survived by her five children: Tom Marcy of Hay Springs (Kim), Ruth Gerdes of Auburn (Myron), George Marcy of Fort Collins, Colorado (Andrea), Sara Andres of Portland Oregon (Gregg, deceased), and Mary March of San Rafael, California (Jan). She is also survived by sister-in-law (and matchmaker) Betty King, and by grandchildren, great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, and friends that were very dear to her.
Committed to service and to learning, Barbara donated her body to the University of Nebraska Medical Center for research. A private family service will be help at UNMC. Memorials may be given to the Eastern Masonic Children’s Home of the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Foundation Scholarship Fund.
Barbara will be cremated and interred next to Charles in the Hay Springs, Nebraska cemetery. A public celebration of her life will be held in the Panhandle at a later date.