A One-Name Study
for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname
Notes for Sibyl Harriett BARNUM
From the Salt Lake Tribune, January 10, 1011: Sibyl Harriett Barnum Rhea 1918 ~ 2011. Sibyl Harriett Barnum Rhea, age 92, passed away on Jan. 1, 2011, in Salt Lake City. She was born January 25, 1918, in Rumford, South Dakota, to Harry L. Sr. and Myrtle Darby Barnum. She graduated from West High School in 1936 and received her R.N. degree from Salt Lake County General Hospital in 1939. She married the late Woodrow Wilson Rhea, Sr. in 1939 and continued practicing nursing during World War II until 1957 when she changed careers to join her husband in a decorative painting business creating custom artwork. Called "The Peasant Shop," the business eventually became "Harriett's Workshop." It was successful and well known throughout Salt Lake and surrounding areas. One piece of work, a grand piano, was showcased in the Utah State Capitol ballroom. Following her retirement at age 80, she continued her artwork, painting in watercolors reflecting her lifelong love of birds and flowers. She was also an avid reader, especially literature on history. Always an advocate for healthy diet and exercise, she won a gold medal in the Senior Olympics in Salt Lake at the age of 90. She was a member of Intermountain Baptist Church, Taylorsville Sr. Center and Utah Historical Society, as well as a volunteer at Pioneer Valley Hospital. She was very special and had a wonderful way of connecting with people she came in contact with. In addition to her parents and husband, two sisters, Beulah and Bonnie Barnum, and two brothers, Harry L. Jr. and Richard Barnum, pre-deceased her. Surviving are her daughter, Julie Rhea Valeo and her husband Allan of Wilton, CT; Woodrow W. (Buzz) Rhea, Jr. and his wife Nina of Portland, OR; sister Lorraine Barnum Thomas of Murray; and sister-in-law Jill Barnum Parker of West Jordan. Also surviving are her grandchildren Jeffrey Wirz of Stamford, CT; Bradley Wirz of Severna Park, MD; and Natalie Rhea of Portland, OR. Her other survivors include three great-grandsons and many nieces and nephews. Interment arrangements were private.
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