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Dorothy Mills Barnett

Born in Stanley Co., NC on Apr. 12, 1923.
Departed on June 16, 2017 in Melbourne, FL.

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Visitation: Thurs. June 29th at 9am-10am
St Paul Un. Meth. Ch. , Melbourne, FL
Service: Thurs. June 29th at 10am
St Paul Un. Meth. Ch. , Melbourne, FL
Cemetery: Fri. June 30th at 1pm
Brooksville Cemetery , Brooksville, FL

Dorothy May Mills was born on April 12, 1923, in Stanley County, NC, east of Charlotte. She was the youngest of ten children. Her formative years encompassed the depression, and her family adapted by raising livestock, producing much of their own food, and making things like clothes and furniture. She was raised in the Primitive Baptist faith, and vividly recalls her own mother singing shape-note hymns and traditional songs. She attended schools in Stanfield, NC, and began attending the Methodist church in high school.

After high school, she attended business school in Charlotte. This allowed her to secure secretarial work with the Air Force during the war years. It was while living and working near Langley, VA that she met Reed Barnett. He was immediately impressed by her red hair and her black eye. She had suffered minor injuries when her bus slid on icy roads as she was returning home from her father?s funeral in Stanfield.

Dorothy, or Dot, was very proud of her chosen profession of Homemaker. However, she was a capable secretary and a careful manager. Her earnings from her secretarial job paid for their first house after she married Reed Barnett in November of 1948.
Reed pursued his career as an engineer, working at the wind tunnels at Langley Field, and later in the early space program at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL. Their first two daughters were born in Virginia, and the third was born in Huntsville. She cheerfully followed wherever Reed?s job took him, including a stint in California. Reed also worked with private industry in Orlando, Florida, where their son was born. He eventually returned to work with NASA and the federal space program in Brevard County.

Dot loved gardening, cooking, and doing craft projects with her children. When her brother decided to cut down the walnut tree growing at the home place in Stanfield, she signed up for woodworking classes through the local high school so that she could work the lumber into a kitchen table that is in daily use today. She enjoyed carrying ballast lumber home from the beach to make occasional tables. She sewed many of the outfits her children wore.

In later years, Dot and Reed purchased a lot in North Carolina, in a remote area north of Asheville. A contractor built the shell of the house, but Dot and Reed did much of the interior work themselves. They installed hardwood floor recycled from an old schoolhouse. Their living room featured maple paneling that they purchased locally. Dot also created a beautiful garden there, featuring native vegetation, peonies from her mother?s garden in Stanfield, and a wide variety of wild and cultivated flowers and shrubs.

Dot enjoyed the natural world. She delighted in watching deer, grouse, and turkeys in North Carolina, or pelicans, porpoises, and herons in Florida. She sometimes gave the local blue heron fish, so that he would stalk up into the yard and look in the window searching for his handout. She once carried an injured heron home on the handlebars of her bike.

Things were not always easy. Dot was afflicted with trigeminal neuralgia, a disease which affects the facial nerves and carries a suicide rate of about 25%. She underwent successful surgery, but only after struggling with the disease for months.
At one point Dot developed an acute abdominal illness which developed over several days, with severe pain and nausea. On the night of that Easter Sunday, her physicians in North Carolina determined that she needed emergency surgery. However, when the surgeon arrived to explain the plan, she refused care. Because that surgeon previously incorrectly told Reed that he had liver cancer, she refused to allow him to treat her. The hospital was forced to find her another surgeon for her emergency surgery.
She rarely complained and tolerated a lot of pain. Even when in the physician's office for routine care, she was reluctant to admit to pain without cajoling by Reed. When she shared the problem with her physician, the physician determined that it was serious enough to justify immediate hospitalization for cardiac care. Fortunately, this care was successful.

Dot demonstrated on a number of occasions that she had no fear of death. But - to quote a friend - we will really miss that little spitfire.

 
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