Lena Vivian Skaggs Barnes Duncan, lovingly known as “MeMaw,” passed away in her home on her beloved farm in Mulberry Canyon on Sunday, April 5, 2020. Burial will be in White Church Cemetery. The family will have a Celebration of Life to be announced at a later date.
Lena was born in Derby, VA on February 12, 1924 to Grover Cleveland Skaggs and Carrie Maxie Kirk Skaggs. She graduated high school from Pennington Gap, VA and moved to Kingsport, TN to live with a brother and sister-in-law. There she worked at the Holston Army Ammunition Plant in an effort to help support her parents and baby sister. She enlisted in the United States Navy on March 28, 1944 and traveled to USNTS, in Bronx, NY for Boot Camp. She was then stationed in Washington, D.C. and served until October 6, 1945 as a Specialist (Q) Third Class (N) (T) at the Communications Annex. She was always very honored to serve her country during WWII.
When the war was over, she used her G.I. bill and completed two semesters at King College in Bristol, VA. The young soldier, Almer D. Barnes from Merkel, TX she met in Washington, D.C. before he shipped out to the South Pacific came courting when he returned home from the war. They married on November 2, 1946 and moved to the farm in Mulberry Canyon, where she has spent the last seventy four years.
Her husband, Almer Doyal preceded her in death in 1986 and she later married W.L. Duncan who also preceded her in death. She was preceded in death by her two sons Almer Barnes, Jr. and Bobby Barnes; one granddaughter Tammie Lynn Hill; and son-in-law Brooks Dean.
Lena is survived by her two daughters and their spouses; Wanda and Ron Ruppelt, and Jody and Dub Hawkins; two daughters in love Shannon Bagby Barnes and Kathy Barnes Ford; a chosen son Ricky and his wife Cecelia Minze; three stepchildren: Curtis and Jeannie Duncan, Rhonda and Bill Hale and Johnny and Treesha Duncan.
MeMaw has many grandchildren; David Barnes, Matt Barnes, Amy White, Zach Barnes, Tory Dean, Jamie Dean Parsons, DJ Barnes, Bo Barnes, Ricky Barnes, Thomas Barnes, Krystal Ruppelt Garred, Vivian Ruppelt Weston and Jerry Ruppelt, Vera Durham, April Bown, Deana Vaske, Cody Minze, Christy Bearden and Brice Duncan. MeMaw has 36 great grandchildren and 5 great-great grandchildren.
Lena was a long time member of the First Baptist Church in Merkel and then the Pioneer Memorial UMC in Mulberry Canyon.
Memorials may be made to: Butman Methodist Camp, White Church Cemetery, Pioneer Memorial UMC or Hendrick Hospice.
The family would like to thank Hendrick Hospice for the wonderful care and support they provided to Lena over the past two years. We would also like to express sincere appreciation for Darla Reed C.N.A. who helped us care for MeMaw this past year. It was with her love, care and support that we were able to continue to keep MeMaw in her home where she wanted to be.
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