Barbara Elder-Owens




Barbara Elder-Owens, 71, of Lee’s Summit, MO, left her fierce battle with cancer behind peacefully at her home surrounded by friends and family on Monday, Nov 9, 2009. Barbara was born Sept. 1, 1938 in Detroit, Michigan to Ray & Georgina Elder. She graduated from St. Luke’s School of Nursing in 1959. She spent her entire career in the nursing and healthcare profession. She became a passionate advocate for home health and hospice care working in Ruidoso, New Mexico and Santa Fe, New Mexico. She then became the Director of the Vail Valley Hospice in Vail Colorado. In 2001, she started the first hospice at John Knox Village to which she was extremely dedicated and proud to have served. Her greatest legacy is her selfless devotion to nursing and caregiving to others at all stages of life. Professional affiliations include: Board member of Missouri Hospice & Palliative Care Organization, Board Member of Lee’s Summit Healthcare Advisory Committee, Board Member of Lee’s Summit Hospital Ethics Advisory Committee, Board Member of International Scattering Society, member of National Hospice & Palliative Organization, member of St. Luke’s Alumni Association, member of Missouri Association for Home Care, member of Lakewood Book Club. Survivors include husband Marion "Pete" Owens; daughters, Laurie Williams (Kate Kreamer), Amy (Mark) Rhoades; sister Ruth Clark; brother Tom (Phyllis) Elder; grandchildren Blake, Taylor and Chandler Rhoades. Memorial Service will be Nov. 13, 2009 at 11:30 am at John Knox Village Courtyard in Lee‘s Summit, MO. Memorial Contributions may be made to John Knox Village Hospice, 400 N.W. Murray Rd., Lee‘s Summit, MO 64081. Condolences may be left online with Heartland Cremation. (arr. Heartland Cremation 816-313-1677)


  1. Kelly Murtaugh on November 10, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    Barbara, I am so thankful you are at peace, you have taught me so much and made such an impression on my life, I will carry you in my heart forever. Pete, Laurie, Amy and your families, you are in my thoughts and if there is anything I can do for you during this time, I would be honored to do so.

  2. janet scott on November 10, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Barbara was an extremely gracious lady she will be missed

  3. Amy Walrod on November 10, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    If words could only describe the impact dear Barbara has had on my life. She will be greatly missed. All of her loved ones are in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. Linda Constable on November 10, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    It was a priveledge to know and work with Barbara. She left apart of herself with everyone she came in contact. She once told me she was just ordinary, but I found her to be extrordinary. She had a smile even the last time I saw her. She did not want to make anyone sad with her burden of cancer. She will be missed.

  5. Konnie Vaughn, Hospice RN on November 11, 2009 at 7:04 am

    Thinking of you often and praying for God’s comforting hand upon you today and always.

  6. Jane Jones on November 11, 2009 at 7:58 am

    I will miss Barbara’s gentle pat on the back and encouragement. She was an amazing blend of strength and gentleness and she will be greatly missed!

  7. Nadyne Frazier on November 11, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Barbara, you impacted the lives of so many, I doubt that you knew how much and how many. We will miss you dearly.

  8. Robyn Eastland on November 11, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Barbara was truly an incredible woman who’s passion for life left us all wanting to be around her more. Barbara helped my family when we received the news of my granddaughter’s terminal illness. Barbara was there and helped us when we needed her most. We will truly miss her and the heavens have an amazing new angel to watch over all. God Bless you and your family.

  9. Betty Freeman-Boots on November 11, 2009 at 8:28 am

    Barbara was an inspiration to all that knew her…she will live on in all of those individuals that she touched with her caring spirit.

  10. Gayra Wright on November 11, 2009 at 8:31 am

    Laurie My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. I have only met your mother a few times, but she left an impact on me and I have a very sweet memory of her.

  11. Bobbi Burg on November 11, 2009 at 8:34 am

    I love you Barbara!

  12. Becky Elliott on November 11, 2009 at 8:41 am

    Barbara I will always remember your encouragement and support during those quiet talks we had when you first came to the Village. You lifted me up and I will miss you.

  13. Marlene Emms on November 11, 2009 at 8:49 am

    It was a privilege to know and work with Barbara, thankful she is at peace. May God Bless and Comfort her whole family. She will always be remembered.

  14. Teresa Osweiler on November 11, 2009 at 8:52 am

    Barbara,you were such an amazing woman. You inspired me more than you ever knew. You will forever live in the hearts of many. You were an angel on earth and now a guardian angel from above. My thoughts and prayers are with family.

  15. Jennifer Hecht on November 11, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Laurie, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. My you find comfort in those around you during this tough time.

  16. Jennifer Hecht on November 11, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Laurie, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. My you find comfort in those around you during this tough time.

  17. Carolyn Elwood on November 11, 2009 at 9:55 am

    I am so thankful to have known Barbara even for a short time;she touched my life in a very special way,as I think she did everyone who ever met her. I will miss her and her precious smile and her attitude of always thinking of others. You all are in my heart and prayers at this time.God Bless you all.

  18. Kristin Poppe on November 11, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Barbara was an incredible lady that brought her passion to help people with her to work every day. I feel very blessed to have worked with her and have learned so much from her strong leadership skills.

  19. Linda Burk on November 11, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Barbara will always be a part of me always. She taught me some much about passionate for myself as well as our pts and familys. She is a very special person. She will be missed never forgotten.

  20. Donna Noble on November 11, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    I’m Deb Spencer’s mother and fortunate to get acquainted with Barbara and her pleasant smile. She had purchased some of my jewelry and was always so happy with what I made for her. I will always remember your wife and Mother.

  21. Tami Hoversten on November 11, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    It was an honor to work with Barbara. What a kind, caring, incredible women. She is definately an angel!!!!!

  22. Nancy Parness on November 11, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    As a co-worker and friend, I will miss Barbara so very much. Her loving, caring heart touched so many of us and I feel blessed to have had her as a mentor and friend. God Bless your Family

  23. Amelia Lewis-Allen on November 11, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    I didn’t get a chance to know her but, I have been praying for her for sometime now. My cousin, Kelly told me about her. All of her friends and family will remain in my prayers. God Bless.

  24. Marie Pipes on November 11, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    I’m glad I had the chance to work wiht and know Barbara for the short time that I did. What a wonderful woman! My thoughts are with her family.

  25. Debie Allen on November 11, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Our paths crossed briefly, but you were an inspiration to me. Your graciousness, wit, and humor will be missed by all who were blessed to know you. I will miss you, my friend.

  26. Marjorie Brooks on November 11, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    To know you was to love you. While in Santa Fe, NM you charmed us, taught us and mentored us. You were tireless and thoughtful. We have many good memories of BEO and will miss hearing from her. You will not be forgotten. You were courageous throughout your battle with CA and supported us when we should have been supportig you. Blessings to Pete and the Amy and Laurie.

  27. Kyla Harrison on November 12, 2009 at 8:42 am

    Barbara was one of the bravest women I’ve ever known. She faced her battle with cancer head on and in the end, Barbara was the victor as evidenced by her legacy that she left in all of our hearts and memories. To her family – May God heal your hearts and give you solace.

  28. Kelley Baker on November 12, 2009 at 11:07 am

    Amy – My thoughts and prayers are with you, Mark, Blake, Taylor and Chandler during this most difficult time. God Bless your Mother and her wonderful legacy, and though I never got really know her, I know she is in good hands now with the Lord.

    Craig and Kelley Baker

  29. Owen Kunkle, counselor -Santa Fe Hospice on November 12, 2009 at 11:37 am

    I am thankful you were in my life, Barbara, always as a positive and blithe Spirit. Pete, Laurie, Amy, may the Spirit of Peace fill your hearts.

  30. Ellen E. Swicegood on November 12, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Barbara, I am thankful that you were part of my life, both as a freind and as a mentor. Here in Santa Fe, NM @ The Hospice Center, we have fond memories of you. You always went the “extra mile”, and taught us to do the same. Thinking of you Pete, Laurie, Amy, and families, you are in my prayers.

  31. Jan Pearson on November 12, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Barbara was such a wonderful friend and mentor to me. She was always so kind, patient and giving to others, even in her darkest hours. When I left JKV, Barbara was among those I missed most. I miss her greatly now and take comfort in the memories of the wonderful time we spent together on this earth.

  32. Tim Bowers on November 12, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    A privilege, an honor and a blessing to know you as a friend. A life well lived, giving more than taking and a legacy of courage…I love you Barbara. Peace be with you.

  33. Sue Flath on November 12, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Your family will be in my prayers, you will be missed by all your friends and family at John Knox Village. It is an honor to have known such a remarkable lady.

  34. Deb on November 12, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    I have never worked with a leader that was as wonderful and caring as Barbara. She encouraged, supported and guided me in decisions I made as a leader of JKV Home Health. I will miss her terribly.

  35. Wanda Mayfield on November 12, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    I will miss Barbara at our book club meetings. She had wonderful insights and thought provoking questions about the books we read. To me she will always be remembered as a kind woman with gentle wisdom.

  36. David & Caroll Gerke on November 12, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Amy, Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. The first time I met your mother there was a gentleness about her demeanor that made me feel she was a very caring and thoughtful person. May you find peace in the good memories of your mother.

  37. Ann Gerber on November 12, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    You gave so much to every one of us, dear “Barbara E-O,” with your gentle, generous, humorous ways. You lead and taught and supported, while always seeing ahead to the possible. And, in New Mexico, that meant the growth of homecare and hospice in Santa Fe, Silver City, and statewide. I can hear your irrepressible laugh as I write this. Love and peace to you Pete, Amy, Laurie and your families.

  38. Lois Mccracken on November 13, 2009 at 5:05 am

    I am very glad I worked with Barbara she was so much fun and supportive and her smile and Good Morning when she got off the elevator will be missed greatly. She was a very special lady one that you wanted to listen to and learn from and I am proud she was my friend. My prayers and thoughts go the the family.

  39. Margie Bedell on November 13, 2009 at 7:17 am

    My deepest sympathy to the family. Barbara was a wonderful woman who was an inspiration to all. I will miss her smile, her laugh and her encouragement. Barbara had a great impact on my life and I will never forget her. It was an honor to have worked with her.

  40. Patty Mann-Brown on November 13, 2009 at 9:28 am

    Barbara you are such an incredible lady who has inspired so many of us. I feel so fortunate to have been able to work with you. You will truly be missed.

  41. Mr. and Mrs. James Franklin on November 13, 2009 at 9:37 am

    You were an angel sent from God. Thanks for making a difference at John Knox Village and in my life. May you rest in peace.

  42. Helen Nelson on November 13, 2009 at 11:36 am

    On behalf of the staff of Groves Community Hospice and on behalf of the Missouri Hospice and Palliative Care Chaplains of the Kansas City Region, I would like to extend our heartfelt sympathies to Barbara’s family, friends, and colleagues. Barbara’s contribution to our field of service is enormous, and we are enormously grateful.
    Very sincerely,
    Rev. Helen Nelson
    ChaplainBereavement Coordinator, Groves Community Hospice
    KC Area Rep., Chaplain Committee, MHPCA

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