Tribute | Glenda Fern Barritt had a gift for getting people to talk


Glenda Fern Barritt, 59, of Blue Springs.

When and how she died:

Nov. 10 after a wreck in Independence.

A good listener:

Whether she was styling hair at a local nursing home or working on a new do at her house, cosmetologist Glenda Barritt always had a gift for getting people to talk.

Other than a stint as a loan processor, she made her living cutting and styling hair — though she cut a lot of her friends’ hair for free, her family said.

“Women just loved to talk to her, and she loved to listen to them,” said Trudy Anderson, Glenda’s younger sister.

Living her faith:

Glenda was born in Arkansas but grew up in Kansas City. She belonged to Cornerstone Church of Blue Springs. She and husband Tony often hosted a Bible study for couples at their home, and Glenda participated in five mission trips to Mexico in the past 10 years.

The Barritts let a pair of missionaries live at their house for nearly six months because Glenda insisted. Her family asked that memorial donations be made in Glenda’s name to her church’s mission fund. She had wanted to join an upcoming mission trip to Germany, older sister Joyce DePeralta said.

Glenda enjoyed traveling, and her journeys took her to the Cayman Islands, Miami and Hawaii, which she visited multiple times, her family said.

“Her big thing was scuba diving,” Joyce said.

Nana day:

Not that she needed to go across the globe to have a good time. A lot of times, Glenda just liked going shopping with her grandchildren or grabbing a bagel and coffee.

She made a point of staying in contact with her family, whether it was calling her mom every day or cutting son Donald’s hair.

Anytime her granddaughters had a day off school, it was an “automatic nana day.”

“I called her every morning,” daughter Melanie McWilliams said.

Special treats:

Glenda was a great cook and often oversaw her family’s holiday meals.

One of her specialties was her famous seven-layer cookie, a concoction built with graham crackers, chocolate, coconut and other sweet treats. One of her granddaughters was scheduled for tonsil surgery just before Thanksgiving, and that meant she wouldn’t be able to have any of the cookies. Glenda had planned to make a batch just for her a few days early. She never got the chance to do that, but Melanie and her daughter went ahead and followed her recipe.

Survivors include:

Her husband, her parents, one son, one daughter, two stepdaughters, six grandchildren, two sisters and one brother.

The last word:

“She was the best nana,” Melanie said.