as told by son Gary


I cannot speak with certainty about Dad's military service, but these are the impressions I have. Dad enlisted in the Army Air Corps, now the Air Force, because he loved flying. He didn't make enough money to go for pilot's training or have an airplane available to him. His cousin, Tom Barr, had an airplane and he loved any time his cousin would take him up.

Dad was not physically acceptable for the service. When he was young, living on the farm, he was kicked on the right hip by a mule. It shattered the ball of his hip joint. It healed except for a hairline fracture across the ball, and as he grew and worked on the farm, it wore out the socket. That was why he walked with a limp and later in life with a cane. When he enlisted he had a bit of a limp that was noticeable when he marched.

I believe he was at Fort Leonard Wood for basic training. They watched him closely. I understand they kept him there for more medical evaluation and finally determined he would not be able to march with the men into battle. He wouldn't be able to keep up with the troops. He requested that they keep him on to support those, who could serve, before they deployed but they said, "no." He served just beyond the minimum requirement to get into the American Legion. I believe at that time the requirement was 180 days and an honorable discharge. That was all he said regarding the military but he was quite proud of it. He tried to do his part for the country.

There were several benefits that came from that experience: While he was at Fort Leonard Wood, he was trained to run the projectors at the theaters on base, and when he got out, he ran the projector at the local theater. Dad was also very active in the American Legion particularly in the Hospital Equipment Loan Closet, so although he was not accepted for military service, he performed an several outstanding services for Clarke County.


Isaac Henry Barr, son of George and Anna McMurtrey Barr, was born June 27, 1922, in Clarke County and departed this life on January 22, 2005, at the Clarke County Hospital in Osceola at the age of 82.

Isaac spent his life in Clarke County. He graduated from Osceola High School and served in the U.S. Army. He was united in marriage to Frances Rosebelle Whitehead on August 19, 1945, at her home south of Lacelle; their marriage was blessed with six children.

Isaac worked as a janitor at the Clarke County Courthouse in Osceola as part of the Green Thumb program for retired personnel. He was a bus driver for many years and also worked at the Lyric Theater using skills that he learned while in the military. Isaac enjoyed flying, repairing motors and electronics, and always tinkered with tools.

He belonged to the Clarke County Historical Society, the Oddfellows Lodge in Osceola and was a member of Davis Pence Post #69 of the American Legion serving two terms as commander and also secretary; he also participated in the Loan Closet for Medical Equipment.

Isaac was preceded in death by his parents; brother, George Edwin in infancy. Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 59 years, Frances; daughter, Janice Margaret Kirkpatrick and husband Charles of Madrid; son, George William Barr of Osceola; son Francis Lee (Frank) Barr and wife Eileen of Osceola; son Robert Henry Barr of Minneapolis, MN; son Harry Alan Barr and wife Crystal of Weldon; son, Gary Paul Barr of Norfolk, VA; 11 grandchildren; 3 step-grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren 5 step-great-grandchildren as well as other relatives and friends.

Obituary of Frances Barr:

Frances Rosabelle Barr daughter of John William Whitehead and Nellie Blanche Wright was born January 9, 1919 in Mills County, Iowa and departed this life at the Osceola Nursing and Rehab Center on June 23, 2006, where she had resided for the past six months.

Frances lived in Henderson, Iowa as a youth, graduated from Henderson High School in 1938, and attended Secretarial school. In 1941, the family moved south of Lacelle, Iowa. On August 19, 1945, she was united in marriage to Isaac Henry Barr near Lacelle, and to this union six children were born. She was a life time member of the American Legion Auxiliary and the United Methodist Church in Osceola, Iowa. Frances loved sewing; embroidery; quilting; puzzles and watching old John Wayne Movies.

Frances was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Isaac Barr in 2005; four brothers: John Whitehead, Otis Clare Whitehead, Leonard Whitehead, Donald Whitehead; and three sisters: Mae Whitehead, Dora Alley, and Edna Lohrenz.
She leaves to mourn her passing a sister Annie Files of Ellston, IA; daughter, Janice Margaret Kirkpatrick & husband Charles of Madrid, IA; 5 Sons: George William Barr of Clay Center, Nebraska; Francis Lee (Frank) Barr & wife Eileen of Osceola, IA; Robert Henry Barr of Buffalo, New York; Harry Alan Barr & wife Crystal of Weldon, IA; Gary Paul Barr of Osceola, IA, 11 grandchildren; 3 step-grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; 5 step-great-grandchildren; as well as a host of other relatives and friends.



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Last Revised June 1, 2015