Linnea Smith Barney passed away at her home in Orem, Utah, on November 3, 2020, at the age of 84. She was a beloved mother and wife, a dedicated and skilled nurse, a talented musician and singer, an accomplished civic leader, and a faithful Latter-day Saint.
She was born in Snowflake, Arizona, on September 11, 1936, to Cleona Olsen Smith and Foss Smith. The second of five children, Linnea was one of the last of the granddaughters of Jesse N. Smith, the Latter-day Saint colonizer of Northeastern Arizona.
Linnea grew up in Arizona, Colorado and Farmington, New Mexico. Following graduation from Farmington High School, she attended Brigham Young University, graduating in 1958 with a BS in Nursing. While at BYU she met Ralph Dale Barney of Flagstaff, Arizona.
She and Ralph were married on September 26, 1958, in the Mesa, Arizona, Temple.
Linnea was an outstanding and dedicated mother of seven children. She was proud of her children and often offered to “trade you a compliment” when someone said something positive to her about one of them. She was a woman of great patience, a necessity with children and a husband who each considered him or herself a great wit.
Linnea loved to sing and play music. While at BYU she participated in the Women’s Chorus and was the pianist for the Men’s Chorus. She later sang with the Utah Valley Choral Society. She was an organist and pianist in church congregations from Iowa City, Iowa, and Columbia, Missouri, to Beijing, China, and Suva, Fiji.
She began her nursing career in 1958 as a public health nurse in Salt Lake City. Her professional experience also included a number of nursing and healthcare roles at the University of Iowa, The Church College of Hawaii (now BYU-Hawaii), and the University of Missouri Regional Medical Center.
Beyond nursing, she was an instructor of English and Western Civilization in the Chinese Ministry of Culture in Beijing, China.
Linnea Barney was a life-long, faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She twice served as Relief Society president, in Laie, Hawaii and Orem, Utah. She served a service mission for 10 years at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, as a medical screener for entering missionaries and as a pianist for Relief Society meetings. She served as an ordinance worker in the Mount Timpanogos and Provo Temples.
Linnea was active in civic affairs and a leader in education, serving in various offices in the Utah State PTA, including vice president. She served three terms on the Utah State Board of Education and also served on the Utah Board of Regents. In 2010 she was a candidate for the Utah State Senate. Linnea was instrumental in the consistent application of Title IX in Utah schools.
Linnea loved to knit and crochet, creating hundreds of blankets for her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind.
She is survived by her husband, three brothers, and seven children: Randall (Sylvia) Barney, Coleman (Kaylene) Barney, Kevan (Denise) Barney, Dalin Cyra, Maren Barney, Nathan (Paula) Barney, and Nicholas (Dagmara) Barney. Also 26 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren.
A family service will be held on November 6. Linnea will be interred at Utah Veterans Cemetery & Memorial Park.
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