Norma Lee Barnes, 83, of Panama City, passed away with family by her side at the Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center on Thursday, May 14, 2020. She was born October 14, 1936 in Cumberland, Maryland, to the late John Shoup and Catherine (Collins) Shoup. Norma Lee was a graduate of Fort Hill High School and clerical trade school in Cumberland Maryland. She married the late Edward Barnes in 1955 and the couple raised six children. As a military family, Norma Lee provided a safe and loving “home” for her young children while living in all parts of the world, from Portland, Oregon, to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to Hahn Air Base in Germany.
In 1968, the family settled in Panama City where Norma Lee devoted 29 years of service as the Materials Management Secretary at Gulf Coast Medical Center. Coworkers referred to her as a “second mom” and backbone of the hospital – always ready to assist anyone who walked through the door. After retirement, she devoted the next 12 years of her life to the care of her mother in Frostburg, Maryland.
Beyond her career success, she was first and foremost dedicated to her children in all aspects of their lives. A selfless mother who modeled unconditional love, kindness, and compassion, Norma Lee’s beautiful smile, dimples, and boisterous laugh filled any room with joy. Her storytelling captivated the attention and hearts of everyone around. She was an avid reader and loved to lose herself for hours with a JD Robb romance novel and her faithful dogs, Jackson and Bentley, resting on her lap. She watched her favorite movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” year-round, and appreciated the simple beauty of God’s natural world – a blooming lily, crisp autumn days, and the Blue Ridge Mountains that she always called home.
Norma Lee is survived by her younger brother, Edward L. Shoup and sister-in-law, Peggy Shoup, of Frostburg, Maryland; and her six children, David of Panama City, Florida, Julie Miller and husband, Frederick, of Summerville, South Carolina, Diane Nelson of Lynn Haven, Florida, Susan Barnes of Panama City, Florida, Mark Barnes and wife, Joy, of Houston, Texas, Beth Thurlow and husband, James, of Southport, Florida. She was loved as “Memaw” by 10 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren, 1 great-great grandchild, and countless friends, but most especially Sharon Mitchell of Panama City. Memaw opened her heart and home to everyone she encountered, touching their lives in memorable ways.
The family will receive visitors at Kent Forest Lawn Funeral home in Panama City on Wednesday, May 20th, from 4-6 pm. Burial services will be held on Saturday, May 23rd, in Cumberland, Maryland.
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