Cover photo for Reba  Jean Barnett's Obituary
Reba  Jean Barnett Profile Photo
1923 Reba 2019

Reba Jean Barnett

June 16, 1923 — November 13, 2019

Reba Jean Barnett, 96, of Reading, passed away Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at Emporia Place.  She was born June 16, 1923 in Lebo, Kansas the daughter of Robert Althouse and Gladys Antrim Spatz.  Jean was raised in the Lebo community and graduated from Lebo High School with the Class of 1941. She furthered her education at Strickler’s Business College in Topeka, Kansas. Jean worked for the Kansas League of Municipalities, initially on the KU Campus in Lawrence before transferring to the Topeka office.  At the League, she developed her love for basketball while employed as secretary to Attorney Albert B. Martin. His son played basketball for Topeka High School and she attended every game, betting nickels with her boss. Jean’s love for basketball extended to ESU and KU, where she remained a devoted fan throughout her life. Jean married the love of her life, Edwin W. Barnett on December 14, 1947 in Emporia, Kansas. Together, they became lifelong members of the Reading community, farming south of town until Edwin’s death on May 17, 2005. When Jean was four years old, she lost her mother in a car-train accident. She was provided care by her loving father, family and friends including the late Bertha Conley and Clifford and Alleen Bell of Chase County.  She was also preceded in death by a son, Joe C. Barnett on April 3, 1988; brothers, Harold “Skinny” Spatz of the “Doolittle Raid of WWII” in 1942 and Robert J. “Bob” Spatz in 2013. Jean was a lifelong member of the Reading United Methodist Church. She will live on in the hearts and memories of her son, Dr. Jim Barnett and wife Rosie Hansen of Topeka; grandchildren Blake Edward Barnett and Chelsea Christine Barnett of Chicago, Ill.; numerous extended family and a host of dear friends. Services will be held at 3:30 P.M., Saturday, November 23, 2019 at the Reading United Methodist Church. Burial will follow services in Reading Cemetery, beside her beloved husband Edwin. Memorial contributions may be made to the Reading United Methodist Church or the Barnett Family Scholarship at Emporia State University and sent in care of the Jones VanArsdale Funeral Home, P.O. Box #43, Lebo, Kansas 66856. Condolences may be expressed at

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, November 23, 2019

Starts at 3:30 pm (Central time)

Reading United Methodist Church

25 Franklin Street, Reading, KS 66868

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Reading Cemetery

, Reading, KS 66868

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