Imogene Wilma Fine was born on October 31, 1926 to Lester and Minnie Fine in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Younger sister, Lilah Fine, was born 2 years later. Lester worked for Phillips Petroleum Company and Jeannie was raised in an oil field camp named Big Bertha. She quickly became known as Jeannie to family and friends. Her parents valued education and worked hard to provide opportunities for their girls. Jeannie graduated from high School and went on to attend Oklahoma A & M in Stillwater and earned a degree in Home Economics. She recently recalled how odd it was to attend OSU when it was primarily women only due to WWII. In fact, she worked during college as a parachute inspector at a tent factory in Pawhuska. The women at OSU would catch a bus to work and do their part in the war effort while also earning money for tuition.
She met and dated Leo Barbee when he returned from his stint in the Navy and completed his mechanical engineering degree at OSU. They married June 1, 1948, in Stillwater. Upon Leo’s graduation, they moved to Casper, Wyoming and they spent the next 35 years moving around with National Tank Company creating homes in Wyoming, North Dakota, Nebraska, Mississippi, Texas and Oklahoma. Jeannie worked a variety of jobs as she moved with Leo. She enjoyed being a Home Economics Demonstrator at a local department store; working in other retail stores and working in several churches in paid and volunteer positions.
They dreamed of having children, but waited 12 years before they successfully delivered their first child, Jennifer Ann. Jennifer welcomed a little sister, Anita Kay two years later. Their family was complete!
Leo and Jeannie lived in 23 different homes over the course of their 69 years of marriage. They
were active and an integral part of a Baptist church wherever they lived. Jeannie taught and
led in Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Girls in Action and Girl Scouts. She loved garden
club, Women’s Missionary Union, Meals on Wheels and many other volunteer activities in the
church and community. She received several volunteer awards for her life of service
including one in the city of Flower Mound and one at her Assisted Living community at Legend
at Mingo Rd. She and Leo traveled for work and leisure but seemed to enjoy the service trips
the most. They both worked with Baptist Builders with projects including the building of
group homes and rebuilding burned churches. Even in her 90’s, Jeannie led Bible study at the
assisted living facility and following the death of her husband, she experienced the power of her Grief Share group. She brought that back to Legend and led a group there.
Mom loved her family! We will always remember a home filled with Christian values,
prayer, and humor. She had a quick smile and encouraging spirit. She was a prayer warrior and prayed daily over the family, her friends and many church prayer team lists. In the last few years as her health declined, she often prayed over the nurses and other providers who cared for her and grew to love her too.
Jeannie was preceded in death by her parents, sister and beloved husband of 69 years, Leo Glen Barbee. Surviving family include her daughters and their husbands, Jennifer and Tim Ellison and Anita and Jim Sellers; her grandkids: Emily and Blake Winden, Matthew and Jennifer Sellers, Elizabeth Ellison and Rachel Ellison, as well as a niece and three nephews. During her later years, she loved being a great grandma to Annabeth and Lina as well as a number of sweet foster great grandkids.
Jeannie shared her gift of arts and crafts with friends and family and loved having a house full of family at holiday and family celebrations. She lived a life that exemplified her Christian faith and left a legacy of faith, family and fun. She and her daily prayers over us will be greatly missed.
Flowers can be sent to Bixby-South Tulsa Funeral Home, 13307 S Memorial Dr, Bixby, OK 74008. Donations can be sent to South Tulsa Baptist Church at 10310 Sheridan Rd, Tulsa, OK 74133 and designated for the Disaster Relief Fund.
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