Archive for Thursday, January 20, 2005

Retired, but still active

January 20, 2005

Laura Barnes retired from teaching first grade in 1995, but that hasn't kept her away from the schools.

"I really had fun teaching first-graders, it's a great age," Barnes said.

She said she still kept in touch with some of the students she taught throughout her 26 years. She sees many of them around Lansing, and although their faces may have changed since she had them as first graders, she remembers most all of their names.

"It's really great to watch the kids go through the schools and see how they change throughout the years," Barnes said.

One characteristic that Barnes' students remember her for is her bear collection.

"I sometimes get cards from students, and one of the most frequent remarks I hear is about my bear collection," she said.

When she stopped teaching she retired from collecting bears, but she still enjoys remnants of her bears on display in her home - that is, when she's home.

Her husband, Wilbur, retired from being principal of Lansing High School in 1994, and since then, the couple hasn't had a problem filling their free time.

She leads an active life outside of her home getting together with her fellow Red Hat society members at workout classes, traveling to visit her five children and 12 grandchildren and participating in community groups.

She especially appreciates when she and her fellow Red Hats get together.

"We're just a noisy, silly group," she said.

Name: Laura Barnes

Address: 124 E. Kay St.

Occupation: Retired first grade teacher

Graduate of: University of Saint Mary

Family: husband Wilbur; five children (all graduates of Lansing High School), Vince, Vanessa, Vicky, Velora and Vonna

How long have you lived in Lansing and what brought you here? Since 1965, my husband was hired by the Lansing School District

What do you like most about Lansing? Great schools, small and friendly community, the future planning going on to enhance the community

What do you do to relax? Reading, sewing, RV'ing, gardening and yard work

What would surprise people about you? That I really can be inactive and quiet

What's the best advice you ever received? From my mother, "The good Lord never gives you more than you can handle."

What organizations or clubs do you belong to? Senior stretch and tone exercise group, Red Hat Society, "Movers and Shakers" chapter, Lansing Library Board Member, Lansing Methodist Church

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