Dorothy Anne Hicks Barber passed away on January 15, 2024, in Salt Lake City, Utah, surrounded by her family.
Dorothy Anne came into this world on July 1, 1951, like the bright burst of light, pizzazz, and beauty of a 4th of July firework! Never before had the world welcomed a more fiery spirit full of love, talent, determination, loyalty, beauty and passion in such a little package. Dorothy’s life would prove to be one full of self-determination, adventures, love, successes, and rollercoaster-worthy turns.
Dorothy was born the middle of 5 children to her beloved parents Jessie James Hicks and Susannie Flannery Hicks in Jackson, Michigan. Jessie and Susannie named their beautiful 3rd baby, Dorothy, because Jessie “…had never met an ugly Dorothy,” and he had a beautiful aunt whom he adored by that very name. Dorothy was born with jet black curly hair which quickly faded to her famed golden, curly locks. One aunt and uncle would regularly ask to “borrow Dorthy” and drive her around town showing off the most beautiful child in town and people would often stop to ask if she was a doll.
Dorothy was a daddy’s girl and revered her father as the greatest man to ever live. He was her hero, and she was his “Biggin”. When a primary teacher taught a lesson on the Word of Wisdom and said smoking cigarettes was evil, Dorothy stood up and fiercely told that woman that she planned on smoking a pack a day just like her Daddy, and then told that teacher she hated her, and she was out of there! Dorothy’s fierce loyalty and deep love for her people are two of her greatest gifts and presented even at such an early age.
Having moved past the experience with the thoughtless primary teacher, Dorothy was consumed with excitement when her father decided to be baptized along with her into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the end of July! Unfortunately, before that baptism could take place, one of the greatest tragedies of Dorothy’s life happened on July 27, 1959, when her beloved Daddy suddenly passed away. Her father’s sudden passing broke Dorothy’s heart and she herself said she “was consumed with so much sadness I never grew again after Daddy died.” This is a loss and tragedy from which Dorthy never healed. Even the discussion of her Daddy in recent months would bring her to tears.
After her father’s passing, Dorothy became keenly aware of her mother’s overwhelmed state: alone with 5 small children, not even a high school degree and no professional training. To survive, Susannie worked full time, earned her GED, and graduated from beauty school. Dorothy loved her Mommy deeply and admired her hard work and self-determination and worried she would work herself to death. So, Dorothy took over much of the housework and duties at home to try and lighten her mommy’s load.
In high school, Dorothy was a first chair oboist and an outstanding gymnast and diver. She lived for dances and to be as cool as her older brother, Jim. She won several beauty pageants and was even crowned Miss Jackson where she first met Merle Haggard (one of her country music heroes whom she’d cross paths with again later).
After High School, she desired to leave Michigan and head out west. Not having a penny to her name, Dorothy auditioned to be in the orchestra at Rick’s College (Rexburg, ID) and earned not only the place of first chair oboist, but also a full ride scholarship to attend Rick’s College. It was here that Dorothy would meet the love of her life and future husband, Warren Dunn Barber.
Dorothy would tell the story of their first date of how when she answered the door, “Warren with this thick black hair was wearing a red sweater that hugged his muscles and was slightly unbuttoned revealing the sign of his manliness—chest hair. “He took my breath away so much so I had to run to my bathroom just to catch my breath!” At the end of their first date, Dorothy said she had an overwhelming feeling and started to cry and told Warren she “had to tell him something.” Warren, being struck with fear at what this crying beauty had to disclose to him, timidly said —“What?!” Through tears Dorothy blurted out, “I think I love you. Like love to you-love you. Like marriage love you.” With great relief Warren said, “Holy crap is that all?! I thought you were going to tell me you were married with 6 kids or something!” Warren then explained to Dorothy his very logical and very non-romantic plan of not wanting to get married to anyone until he had graduated college and had a well-paying job.
So, Warren and Dorothy dated until Warren’s goals were reached and they were married in Lancing, Michigan on August 13, 1976. They were later sealed in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple along with their 3 children on February 23, 2001.
Before having children, Dorothy heavily pursued her singer/songwriter career. She had offers from famous country groups like SHeDAISY to buy and record her songs as well as an offer for a recording contract with world famous, Kenny Rodgers. Dorothy ended up turning down the opportunity with Kenny Rodgers after another serendipitous run in with Merle Haggard where he told Dorothy to be careful in this town, as Nashville was not a safe place for sweet and nice people like Dorothy. Dorothy also had an overwhelming feeling that if she took the contract with Rodgers, she’d never have children. Much to her chaperoning mother’s confusion, Dorothy told Kenny Rodgers she couldn’t sign a contract with him and she needed to go straight home to Warren. Dorothy would continue to perform throughout her life and one of her most exciting accomplishments was to see her name in lights when she sang in Las Vegas as a headliner at the San Remo hotel and casino.
Dorothy & Warren welcomed their first beautiful baby, Emilee Susannie Barber (Ferguson), on February 6, 1979. They later welcomed their “little sunshine”, Elisa Marian Barber (Crockatt) in 1982 and their "Baby Boy" Max Warren Barber in 1985. Her three children were her pride and joy.
Another one of Dorothy’s greatest talents was being the best cheerleader for those she loved! She was at every assembly, play, musical, awards assembly, football practice, football game and football banquet with her loud cheering voice, high heels, and video camera in hand. Dorothy instilled in her children the courage and belief that they could do anything they put their minds to. She helped them see their talents they themselves didn’t see they had. Dorothy encouraged her children to pursue their talents and dreams. Dorothy always let her children know she loved them forever no matter what.
Anyone who knows Dorothy also knows she is one of the strongest advocates and defenders of those she loved. Dorothy often attributed her tough grit to growing up in a town famed for being the home of the world’s largest walled prison. Her tough grit made her her children’s greatest advocate. She not only taught but modeled for them how to stand up for themselves. When one of her children was bullied in jr. high, Dorothy went straight into the school, grabbed the bully, and dragged them into the principal’s office kicking and screaming! One favorite Evergreen Jr. High teacher (Mr Harsh) told Elisa that a hush of fear came over the entire school and teachers when Mrs. Barber entered the halls. Dorothy was always a force to be reckoned with!
Dorothy along with her husband, Warren, had a very successful engineering & mining business where Dorothy took great pride in her position as CFO. Dorothy was a bit of a workaholic and would be found working long hours and weekends. Her family only wishes she would’ve taken more time to enjoy the fruits of her labors.
Dorothy loves her grandchildren more than anything! She loved babysitting her grandbabies, celebrating their birthdays, celebrating Christmas and all holidays with them, surprising them with what her family affectionately called “Dorothy-grams”, cheering them on at all of their performances and games. She had a special connection with each of her cherished grandbabies.
Lastly, Dorothy always had a deep and burning testimony of her Heavenly Father and her Savior. While Dorothy wasn’t the most kosher of Mormons and was even known to read Will Smith lyrics in response to a Sunday School question, she was deeply rooted in her knowledge that we have a Heavenly Father and Savior who love us more than we could ever imagine. That for all of us, Heavenly Father & Christ are unwavering, and we can call upon them day or night. Dorothy also had a great testimony of the law of tithing as she saw miracles worked in her family’s life after her father passed when her mother made paying her tithing top priority. Dorothy also believed that all families are eternal. She spoke of her first time entering the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a young girl and that a voice told her this is the right church and how it is supposed to be—as all the families were together forever! Together Dorothy and Warren served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Salt Lake City inner city mission.
Dorothy was a pillar of strength, testimony, talent, character, and most of all love. She was very discerning in those she loved, but when Dorothy loved you, she loved you with her whole soul. Dorothy was an incredible daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, neighbor, and friend. She will be massively missed by those she leaves behind. But her family finds great comfort and peace in knowing she is finally reunited with her beloved Daddy and Mommy. Until we meet again—we love you always and forever Mommy.
Dorothy is survived by: her husband, Warren Dunn Barber; her children: Emilee (Dylan) Ferguson, Elisa (Jason) Crockatt, Max (Sarah) Barber; 12 grandchildren: Lilee Dorothyanne, Jainee, Chief, Captain, Minnie, Pharaoh, Hero, Giorgia, Sofia, Elena, Matilde, and baby girl Crockatt arriving in June; her siblings Lurinda (Poul) Andersen, James Hicks (Baiba), Samuel Hicks (Sherrie), Jessica (Phil) Schmidt ; her in-laws: Joan (Phil) Hayes, Marianne (Terry) Rushton, Jeff (Linda) Barber, David (Kandie) Barber, Lisa (Stephen) Perry; and many beloved nieces and nephews, neighbors and friends whom she greatly adored.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, January 26th, 2024, at 2pm at Larkin Sunset Lawn, 2350 E. 1300 S. Salt Lake City, UT. Friends and family may gather 1 hour prior to the service. Interment to follow at Larkin Sunset Lawn Cemetery.
Life Story Info
I would be interested in knowing more about Dorothy. I am one year older than her, but I am from Lansing, Michigan. I am also LDS, and of course there are not a lot of LDS people in MI, as there are in Utah. If a family member wishes to contact me, you can email me at CJ.Christensen11@Gmail.com I would love to hear from someone!
Dorothy was a good friend and because of her friendship I was introduced to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints and was baptized at the age of 16. She was one of a kind and I still remember her antics in High School! She will be missed! I know she is happily reunited with her Dad and Mom!