Michele Barrick


Michele Berrick

Our sister, aunt, and friend left us behind in an abrupt and unexpected way in August, 2022. After 66 years and 70 days, she has been freed of the travails of breast cancer, diabetes, and a debilitating leg injury. In looking back, Michele had a happy childhood in rural Iowa, near Clarion. Born in Fort Dodge Mercy Hospital on June 5, 1956, to Ray Addison and Marietta (Strodtman) Barrick, Michele lived on a farm and experienced all that this offered, including walking the beans for many family farms,making cookies for the State Fair, raising cattle as 4-H projects, and participating in 4-H trips to Washington, DC, Chicago for a Disney on Ice show, and a Michigan Exchange trip. During her fifth year, she attended Kindergarten in a one-room Country School with twenty-five mostly older students and only one other Kindergartener. After this, she went to Elementary, Junior High, and High School in the “big city” of Clarion (around 3,000 people).

As a teenager, she participated in band, played on the basketball team, and worked as a waitress for Ken’s Steak House. She graduated from Clarion High School in May 1974..  Michele continued her education at Iowa Central Community College, receiving her AA, then transferring to the University of Northern Iowa, obtaining her BA degree in recreation. Over two decades later, she would finish with an Education BA while working in the Houston Independent School District Teaching Program through St. Thomas University’s graduate classes in Houston Tx. After earning a Colorado Teaching Certificate, she worked as a teacher’s aide and an Intervention Teacher with the Aurora Public Schools. Prior to this, she held a number of jobs that seemed “adventurous”, including running a Family Recreation Center at the Keystone Ski Resort, teaching in an “Outdoor” School in Texas, and then holding a variety of Forest Service jobs in the Lake Tahoe area. While in California, she also learned to be a mechanic, with her Uncle Duane’s assistance, keeping her beloved open two-seater MG sport auto running. 

After purchasing a house in May, 1997, Michele became a long-time resident of Denver, and started working in a number of recreation jobs with the City of Denver and child care positions for the Denver Public Schools, helping young women as both students and parents, and finally holding teaching positions in public schools in Aurora and Denver. 

When not at work, Michele loved to travel, including travel throughout the US plus the Hawaiian islands, and over half-a-year in Australia and both of the islands of New Zealand. More recently, she drove her Mother to California, to Colorado and to Texas numerous times, largely to be with family during the holidays, especially Christmas.

Michele was loyal to her “bestie” friends, and maintained life-long friendships with fellow students in Clarion and College. One particularly strong friendship with Miki and Art Tolle was instrumental during college and later in Colorado. Goodbye to our dear sister, aunt, and friend. She will be missed.  

We will be Celebrating the life of Michele Barrick. Join us for refreshments after the service to celebrate together and to share memories and moments, on Wednesday, November 23 at St. Thomas Aquinas, Church in Webster City, beginning at 11:00 AM.


Wright County Monitor

P.O. Box 153
Clarion, IA 50525
Phone: 515-532-2871
Email: news@wrightcountymonitor.com

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