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Della Penelope Barrientos 1925-2019
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Della Penelope Barrientos 1925-2019

NAPLES, Fla. — Della P. Barrientos, 93, passed away in Naples, Florida on January 11, 2019. She was born in Hornersville, Missouri on July 29, 1925, to parents Hugo and Betty Maud Foster. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 44 years, Joseph Barrientos, and younger brother Henry Foster. Della lived in Lyons, Kansas for over 50 years and had been a resident of The Carlisle Naples in Naples, Florida for the past five years.

Della grew up in Senath, Missouri and was an honor student, musician, and star basketball player at Senath High School. Halfway through her senior year, her father purchased a small farm near Gibson, Missouri, and she left Senath to complete high school at nearby Campbell, Missouri.

Shortly after high school, Della met and married Kenton Sanford. Together they had a son, Bill, and relocated to Kenton’s native Kansas. Her marriage to Kenton ended in 1956, but she remained in Kansas, living there for over 70 years.

In 1959 Della met Joseph Barrientos, the love of her life. She and Joe were married in 1960, and Della became a part of a loving, close-knit family that included Joe’s six sisters and two brothers. Della was grateful to be part of such a special family.

Della worked throughout her life, holding a variety of positions in small hospitals in Stafford and Ellinwood, and at the iconic Trueheart Clinic in Sterling. She also served as Assistant City Clerk in Ellinwood. In her 40s, Della began working at North American Salt Company in Lyons, where she rose through the ranks to become the first female manager in the company’s history. She was with North American Salt for 20 years before retiring at age 67.

After retirement, Della achieved her lifelong dream of graduating from college.  As a full-time student at Sterling College, Della never missed a class, and was awarded the Wall Street Journal Student Achievement Award.  She graduated in four years from Sterling College on the Dean’s Honor Roll with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.  

Della was an active member of the First Baptist Church in Lyons where she volunteered for many years, and she regularly attended the First Baptist Church of Naples after moving to Florida. Della treasured her family and long time friends in Kansas and the many new friends she met while living in Florida. She was accomplished in knitting, crocheting, and quilting, and especially enjoyed making beautiful baby blankets for her family. She was a true sports fan and passionate supporter of her favorite teams - the Kansas State Wildcats, the Ohio State Buckeyes, and the Cleveland Indians. One of her special joys was traveling cross country with her husband Joe and stopping at almost every garden shop they passed to search for unusual flowers to add to Joe’s magnificent gardens at their home in Lyons.

Della was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister-in-law, aunt, great aunt, and friend. She will be remembered forever as a remarkable, compassionate, and supportive confidant, advisor, and role model by her survivors: son Bill Sanford and daughter-in-law Gwyn Sanford; grandson David Sanford; granddaughters Christina Ryan and Jennifer McMaster (Bill); step grandchildren Jennifer Halapy (Chris), Douglas Crowl (Sarah), Cara Crossetti (Rocky Nutter), and Leah Wagenbrenner (Mark); four great grandchildren (Grace and Claire Ryan, Isabella and Jack McMaster); seven step great grandchildren (Maddie and Charlie Halapy; Will and Sam Crowl; Maggie, Katie, and Annie Wagenbrenner); sisters-in-law Jean Foster, Isabel Cadena (John), Bea Rau, Odelia Avila, and Carol Palacioz; brothers-in-law Ron Harkrader and Lou Barrientos; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Della’s Life will be held at the First Baptist Church of Lyons, Kansas from 10:00AM to 12:00PM on Saturday, February 23, 2019. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Della Barrientos can be made to First Baptist Church, 803 S. Dinsmore, Lyons, KS 67554, or to Sterling College, 125 W. Cooper Ave., Sterling, KS 67579. Online remembrances and condolences may be expressed at 

Funeral arrangements provided by

Birzer Funeral Home 

214 West Ave. South

Lyons, KS 67554

Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Feb. 12, 2019