Daisy Ruth Barkley of Statesville, N.C., passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 26, 2022, at her daughter’s home in Charlotte. Born on April 30, 1936, she was just days shy of celebrating her 86th birthday. She was the last remaining child of the late James Martin Wilhelm Jr. and the late Lillian Ruth Murdock Wilhelm. Mrs. Barkley’s family would like to encourage anyone attending her service to wear their favorite team’s colors.
Along with her twelve siblings, she grew up tending livestock, picking fruit, and doing other chores necessary to keep “The Wilhelm Farm” operating. Mrs. Barkley, an Iredell County native, graduated from Cool Springs High School in 1955. While in high school, she and her younger sister, Norgen, were members of a tournament winning championship basketball team.
Mrs. Barkley was a retired North Carolina State employee (school cafeteria) and a member of Christ Boulevard United Methodist Church. She served as church treasurer for many years and was voted United Methodist Woman of the Year. In addition, she helped with maintaining the church grounds and flowers. Mrs. Barkley’s motto was to take life one day at a time and to try to make the best of every situation. She would always keep busy; she would say she didn’t know anything else and that keeping busy was what life was all about.
Mrs. Barkley was an avid UNC-Chapel Hill college basketball fan. She was also an Atlanta Braves baseball fan, and she occasionally enjoyed watching a Carolina Panthers football game. Her hobbies were fill-in puzzles, arts and crafts, painting, gardening and sewing. She was a talented seamstress, often repairing clothes for friends, and sometimes making clothes for her daughter. Mrs. Barkley’s summers were spent canning green beans, peaches, and tomatoes. Every August, Mrs. Barkley and her older sister, Louise, along with their daughters Penny and Tonya, spent a week at the beach.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, H.F. “Frank” Barkley, on January 2, 2004. Mrs. Barkley was also predeceased by her siblings Ben, Bob “Robert”, Louise, John, Alwyn, Clement, Jimmy, Norgen, Frank, Billy, Davis and Ren.
She is survived by one daughter, Penny Ruth Barkley Stewart, of Charlotte, two sisters-in-law, Dorothy (Jimmy) Wilhelm of Hickory and Carolyn (Ren) Wilhelm of Statesville, countless nieces and nephews, a host of great nieces and nephews, and her beloved feline friend, Stanley.
The family would like to offer thanks and gratitude for the Hospice and Palliative care team, Stacey, Colleen, Sharon, and Harding. Extra special thanks to Miss Tammy and her niece, Nicole.
A public lie-in-repose will be held Saturday, April 30, 2022, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home. Visitation will be Sunday, May 1, 2022, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at Christ Boulevard United Methodist Church in Statesville with a Life Celebration/Homegoing service to follow in the church sanctuary at 2 p.m. Burial will be held at Oakwood Cemetery in Statesville after the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of Iredell County or Christ Boulevard United Methodist Church.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.bunchjohnsonfuneralhome.com for the Barkley family.
Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home is serving the family.