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Benita 'Bebe' Barden

Obituary for Benita 'Bebe' Barden

January 30, 1940 - March 29, 2018
Hondo, Texas | Age 78


Benita Beth Lee Barden of Hondo, known to her family and friends as 'Bebe,' died in Austin, March 29, 2018, from complications following open heart surgery.

She was born in Austin January 30, 1940, to Harrell Estes and Peggy Harding Lee, both of whom predeceased her.

After spending the World War II years in New York City and other locations while her father was in the military, she returned to Austin where she graduated from McCallum High School in 1957 and entered The University of Texas. There she met and married James E. 'Jim' Barden, and they began their six decades together.

During those 60 years, she and her family lived in Austin, Waco, Houston, St. Louis, San Antonio, New York / New Jersey and San Francisco. At each place, she found her work home in the medical field – writing / administering research grants, in patient advocacy and in counseling. In St. Louis, she earned a degree in medical sociology from Webster University.

She was a woman of diverse and great talents and interests, including writing poetry, organizing campaigns (political and philanthropic), and volunteering where she saw a need. Her beautiful and meaningful poetry is treasured by her family and friends.

Approaching retirement, she and Jim decided to move to Hondo where they had happy memories of visiting his grandparents and their ranch. As part of retirement, she and Jim bought a ranch near Utopia. The happiest times of Bebe's life were spent at that ranch with her beloved Longhorn cattle in the Texas Hill Country. She especially cherished the family visits and annual Thanksgiving gatherings at the ranch. In later years, she expanded her 'Bucket List' to include owning thoroughbred race horses, which she did with success.

Bebe lived a faith-filled life – faithful to her God, herself, her family and her friends.

She is lovingly survived by her husband, Jim; daughter, Lisa Barden of Austin; sons, Gentry (Rachel) of Nashville, TN; Jack (JR) of Austin and Lee (Paula) of Castroville; and brother, Gentry (Daniela) Lee, of Los Angeles, CA. She loved and was especially proud of her seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, each of whom will sorely miss her presence, but will know her spirit is with them always.

No formal services are planned. A private family remembrance and life celebration will be held at a later date.

Private Services

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Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North

3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
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