Peggy Barnett has died. She was 92 years old.
Born Margaret Elisabeth Kidder in San Fernando California, Peggy played tennis for the
University of Redlands where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education
and met her future husband Earl Sumner Barnett.
They married at the close of WWll, raised five children and ministered to Baptist and
Methodist congregations from Reno, Nev. to California including stints in Chico, Reseda,
Santa Monica, Tarzana and Simi Valley, where the Rev. Earl Barnett served as pastor.
In her spare time, Peggy attended night school, earning certi?cations to teach sports and
reading. She worked many years for Simi Valley High School and the California School For Girls,
a detention facility in Camarillo, Calif.
She was gifted with powerful physical strength- enough to swim easily with two children
clinging to her neck but she was emotionally fragile like the crystal she loved to collect.
Peggy was an outspoken woman at a time in history when that was more of a crime than a
virtue. She unintentionally scandalized people. One parishioner lamented (or pried) saying
how sad it was that she saw so little of her busy husband. “What do you mean?” Peggy said,
“I have five children, don’t I?”
She wore Capri pants and eschewed the polka dot dresses of the '50s the better to catch
lizards in or to chase varmints out of the parsonage. And she never drove like a grandmother
one of her 11 grandchildren said. Peggy liked fast cars and extreme road trips. Riding with her
put the fear of God in you and she relished putting you to rights with your maker.
Her happiest years were spent in the enclave of Big Bear Lake, high in the San Bernardino
Mountains. She was active in the Methodist church there, and maintained her life-long commitment
to serving others whether they liked it or not, and found time to pursue her passion for collecting
antique dolls, furniture and friends although not necessarily in that order.
No one other than her children ever had an unkind word to say about Peggy and she herself was
not one to complain. Resigned to a wheel chair in the august days of her time, when asked she
always replied that life’s “pretty good!”
Peggy is survived by her sons Mark, Timothy, Peter and Brian Barnett and daughter Margaret
Barnett, 11 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.