Amy will live on in our hearts and be remembered for her many talents, accomplishments and friendships amassed over her lifetime.
Amy-Mom was born Amy Elizabeth Place on Dec. 28, 1919, in South Towanda in the 21 room - brick building next to the railroad tracks -- no longer there as of several years ago. Raised in Monroeton with seven brothers and sisters, she attended grade school at Monroeton, attended Towanda High School, played clarinet in the Towanda High School Band, and was selected to play in the Pennsylvania All State Band in Coatsville. Amy went to Miss Cranmers for piano lessons, walking from her child hood home on Mechanic St. at the bottom of the Burlington Turnpike, along the railroad track, having her lesson before school started. She used her musical abilities to play the piano and organ for the Monroeton Presbyterian Church and the Towanda Presbyterian Sunday School Services.
Amy lived with her family in the Towanda jail on Pine St. during the time her father, Fred W. Place, was the Deputy Sheriff. Her mother, Daisy E. Place, was tip staff at the courthouse, and Amy assisted with court house cleaning duties.
Amy attended Philadelphia’s Jefferson Medical College Nurses Training Program until December 1945, when she received the devastating news that her fiancé, Norman Coolbaugh of Monroeton, was killed. At that time she returned to Monroeton. Amy graduated from Delkadere Beauty School in Elmira, N.Y., operating the Anita Beauty Shoppe, until the early 1970s. Amy enjoyed every minute with her customers and coworkers, Alice and Alice: Alice May Fox Cook and Alice Oliver. Amy married W.R. O’Rourke, now deceased, having children: John (deceased in 1977), Amy and Patricia. She later married Marion F. Barnes, (also deceased).
Ever active in PA Republican Women, along with Peg Madigan, Amy attended statewide conferences and rallies, served as local secretary, and played piano at events. Their dedication inspired others to support. Amy was a long time member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Towanda Chapter No. 76.
Amy Barnes’ flair and verve were infectious. She was a fashion forward kind of gal, with a Dorothy Draper style, who summed up her affinity for color, saying “I love green no matter what color it is.” She appreciated antiques, fine furnishings, unique and unusual collectibles and glassware, and enjoyed building a collection of her own.
Daughters Amy and Patricia both graduated from Mansfield University where the professors referred to their Mother as “Mama Gabor.” This name has stuck to this day with friends and family alike. A favorite memory is Mama Gabor driving the Homecoming Queen candidate in her Cadillac convertible for the Mansfield Bi-Centennial Parade Celebration. Mama Gabor was a natural.
Amy loved the history and people of Bradford County. She appreciated the beauty of the Endless Mountains, its flora and fauna, the birds and especially the beautiful stone walls and stone foundations. Mr. Vallilee, a local stone mason, was regarded as an artisan in her book.
Amy could often be seen working in the yard, enjoying the sun (and rain). She enjoyed Hurr’s, Ames, the P&A, and “The Burger” for food and fun conversation with friends who also gathered at these popular meeting places.
Surviving are sister, Vida (Art) Spengler and brother, Fred Place, both of Towanda; daughters, Amy O’Rourke (Aspen, Colo.), Patricia Seibert (Wellsboro), grandson Todd Seibert (Little Marsh); nephews, nieces, cousins, who are all special and revered.
Brothers, Wayne (Powell) Dean, Gordon (Elmira, NY) and sisters Ruth and Julia (Monroeton) preceded Amy in death.
The family will be providing the flowers for Amy’s service, The service is at 12:15 on Saturday, Aug. 8 at the Presbyterian Church, Court St., Towanda. It is suggested that friends and family contribute to a scholarship in Amy Place Barnes’ name. Scholarship to be awarded at Mansfield University’s School of Nursing Program, Mansfield Foundation, 524 North Hall, Mansfield, Pa, 16933. All remembrances may be sent to 14081 Rte. 220, Towanda,PA. 18848