Barbara Kay Johnson (née Farr and formerly known as Barbara Moore and Barbara Kindrick), 81, of Kingston, Tennessee, passed peacefully in her sleep, at her home, on January 15th, 2024. Barbara was born on January 9th, 1943, in Lynchburg, Tennessee. She was the eldest of two children born to Leona Ruth Massey and Ollie Guy Farr. After high school, she continued her education at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English and psychology. She later earned a Master’s Degree in special education at Tennessee Tech.
When Barbara was 22, her mother passed. After her death, Barbara accompanied her father to New York City, where he was briefly employed. The experience of living in New York left an indelible impression on Barbara. Upon their return to Tennessee, Barbara began to date and eventually married Charles Martin “Hop” Moore of Kingston, with whom she had one daughter, Leigh Ann. Hop’s tragic death in 1973 made Barbara a young widow and single mother.
In 1975, she married Gary Allen Kindrick, of Kingston, with whom she had one son, Nick. Gary had two daughters from a previous marriage, Angela, and Gina, for whom Barbara was a loving stepmother. Gary and Barbara built their family home in the Ross Estates neighborhood, located on a peninsula, south of Kingston. She lived on the peninsula for the majority of her life. She was a highly respected and cherished neighbor.
Barbara and Gary divorced in 1983. She later married Leonard Lee Johnson and became a stepmother once again to his two children, Stacia and Brett. Barbara and Leonard divorced in 1990. She never remarried. Barbara’s “Aunt Marn” (and “Great Aunt Marnie”) moved in with her soon after the divorce. She was a wonderful grandmother figure for Leigh Ann and Nick. She lived with Barbara for nearly twenty years and was a fundamental member of Barbara’s immediate family. She was also a maternal figure for Barbara and her younger brother Bo.
Professionally, Barbara was a teacher. She was in the first cohort of special education teachers in the state’s history. Over the span of her fifty-five-year career, Barbara was renowned in her field.
She taught at Midway Elementary School for many, many years. She was a well-loved member of the faculty and many of her colleagues became her closest friends. She was affectionately known to all of her students as “Ms. Barbara.” She also was an avid gardener. She raised both flowers and vegetables, as well as fruit trees. If she was outside, strangers often stopped to compliment the beauty of her gardens.
Barbara was a devout Christian. For many years, she was a member of Luminary United Methodist Church, in Ten Mile, Tennessee.
After the death of her daughter in 2011, Barbara decided to relocate to New York City, to be closer to her son. While in New York, she became a very active member of the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest, where her membership remained until her death. She also volunteered at a nearby school for children with learning disabilities. They too affectionately called her “Ms. Barbara.” She loved her years with her son in New York City.
In 2018, both Barbara and her son moved back to Tennessee. When the pandemic arrived, she moved back to the peninsula one last time, to live with her son. For the past five years, Barbara and Nick regularly attended St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church in Farragut, Tennessee.
Barbara’s “creations,” the term she used to describe all of her artistic endeavors, defined the last season of her life. She signed all of her works with the phrase “Simply Barbara.”
Her favorite quotation, by Pablo Picasso, was hanging on the wall above her when she passed. “Everything you can imagine is real.” Such a sentiment was the essence of Barbara’s life.
Barbara is survived by sister-in-law, Betsy Jane Farr; her son, Gareth Nicolette (Nick) Kindrick; grandson John Ollie Porter; granddaughter Elizabeth Kay Porter; three former stepchildren, many step-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents Guy and Leona; her first husband Hop; her aunt Marjorie Beatrice Farr, her brother Timothy Bo Farr; and lastly, but certainly not least, her daughter, Leigh Ann Moore Porter.
The family will receive friends from 11 am until 1 pm, on Saturday, January 27th, 2024, at St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church 110 Sugarwood Drive, Knoxville, TN 37934. The funeral service will follow immediately, at the church. Interment 2:30 p.m. at Tennessee Missionary Baptist Church cemetery 184 Jennings Drive Kingston, TN. The family is served by Kyker Funeral Home of Kingston. Flowers will be accepted at the funeral home.