In Memory Of

Barbarick, Donna who passed away on 4/8/2021 at the age of 85

Donna Louise Barbarick passed away on April 8, 2021, in Pensacola, FL. She was born on May 4, 1935, in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Donna is preceded in death by her parents, Rhodes Barbarick and Cleo Barth, and her brothers, Rhodes M. Barbarick and Joseph Charles (JC) Barbarick.

She is survived by her nephew, Edward Barbarick (Melissa), and their sons, Jeremy and Casey of Indiana. Donna’s memory will be deeply cherished by her cousin, Rose Marie Pell, the John Pell family of Indiana and her dearest friend and devoted champion, Kay Adair George, and by her other Pensacola family members, Barrett P. Morgan, Michael K. Morgan, Elsie Manuel, John O. Hartley, Nina O’Flaherty (Massachusetts), Helen and Ernie Loveday (Tennessee), Mary Beth Svoboda (Washington), Bobbie Johnson (Washington) and Ethel Miller (Texas).  

Donna chose to serve her country as a Navy Nurse Corps Officer. She enlisted in the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman and was soon selected to attend the University of Colorado’s Nursing School through the Medical Enlisted Commissioning Program. Later in her military nursing career, she would again be accepted for a full-time graduate school program for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA) through the Duty Under Instruction (DUINS) Program. During Donna’s 24-year military career, she was assigned to US Naval Hospital-San Diego, California, US Naval Hospital Great Lakes, US Naval Hospital Guam, US Naval Hospital Oakland, US Naval Hospital Portsmouth, US Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland, National Regional Medical Center Camp Pendleton, and Bethesda Naval Hospital. She was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal in 1969 for developing a chest physiotherapy program to prevent pneumonia and improve outcomes for surgical patients and her active participation in the continuing education program for all levels of nursing personnel. As a Nurse Corps Officer, Donna advanced from a Staff Nurse to Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) position. She soon advanced to a CRNA instructor and ultimately the Program Director for the Nurse Anesthesia Program, Bethesda, Maryland. During this last assignment at Bethesda, she received a Letter of Appreciation from President Jimmy Carter for providing CPR instruction to White House Medical Staff. She was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for service as Head, Nurse Corps Anesthesia School, Naval School of Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, from October 1974 through April 1979.

Her journey from Hospitalman Recruit (E1) to Nurse Corps Commander (O5) prepared her well for the transition to civilian “retirement” in Pensacola, Florida. Donna became a real estate agent for a short time, but her dedication to service returned her to Nursing. Her expertise as an Educator was reflective in the many positions she held at West Florida Hospital (Educator, Trauma Coordinator), Sacred Heart Hospital (Emergency Department Nurse Manager, Educator, Trauma Coordinator, Dedicated Triage Nurse). She was a sought-after preceptor for nurses from Universities within a 100- mile radius of Pensacola seeking clinical hours for their Master’s in Nursing Education requirements. She served as an Adjunct Nursing Professor at Pensacola Christian College. She was an American Heart Association instructor for BLS, ACLS, PALS, and a Trauma Nurse Core Course Instructor. She was a contributing member of the Florida Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) and received the Florida ENA’s Presidential Service Award for her contributions to the ENA Trauma Committee. She received her MS in Health at West Florida University in 1983.

In 1995 Donna was forced to slow down and retire from nursing due to Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). She survived a stem cell transplant done in 1996 at Emory University. As part of a research program at Emory Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia, Donna was treated with chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.

Donna was gifted in so many arts, an avid quilter, and appreciated oil painting artist. She also enjoyed gardening and travel in her RV (Long trips) and her TR-6 convertible. Dearest to her heart was her many dogs and cats.

Words can never express the family’s appreciation for Donna’s caregivers throughout her extended care for the past three years at Covenant Health Care.  Those included Aimee Brown, RN, Dawn R., Jay C., Heather B., Shawanda J., Tia L. LPN, Sehen E., Erin L., Michael G., Mandy M., Tyshauna J. Courtney N., Brittany W., Beverly, LPN, Flo, LBT, Ebony W., RN, and Rena S., RN.

Visitation will be held at Harper-Morris Memorial Chapel on Thursday, April 15. 2021 from 5:00 pm to 6:45 pm, followed by the Trisagion at 6:45 pm to7:00pm. Services will be held at St. Andrew Antiochian Orthodox Church, 55501 North “W” Street, on Friday, April 16, 2021, at 9:30 am. Burial will follow at Barrancas National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Donna’s memory to your choice of charity.