Born: Polson, Montana on 11 June 1940

Passed away: Anchorage, Alaska on 05 June 2020

Aged: 79 years

The Story

Linda Lorraine Barber, 79, of Anchorage, passed away peacefully on Friday, June 5, 2020 in Anchorage, Alaska at Iluminada’s Assisted Living Home surrounded by her family.

Linda was born in Polson, MT to Clarice and Lloyd McAllister on June 11, 1940. As the oldest of 6 children raised on a ranch, her upbringing shaped her to be tough, adventurous, nurturing, and resilient.

She married Arnold “Rusty” McConnell in 1955 and she found her calling in life as a Mother, raising her first four children with Rusty. As young parents they worked hard, lovingly raising their kids, and attending college at the University of Montana, focusing their efforts on Rusty's degree. They moved to Brookings Oregon in 1968 where they enjoyed living on the coast and created many fond memories. Later they returned to Montana, closer to their families again. When Rusty passed unexpectedly in 1972, Linda’s strength and dedication to her children saw her through. She worked hard and continued to lovingly raise her children. She began her 28-year career with the Social Security Administration in 1973.

In 1976 she married Richard “Dick” Barber and the following year they moved to the remote Alaskan village of Venetie. Here she taught “in a one room schoolhouse” and returned to her calling as a mother, welcoming two more children into her heart. Soon after they moved to Nome, Alaska and she again taught school, gold-panning in her free-time. She often shared memories of these early days in Alaska. In 1982 they returned to Montana, built a home in Evaro near their families and Linda returned to her career at SSA. In Evaro, MT Linda loved being surrounded by many of her children and grandchildren who she taught to ride horses, fish, and instilled in them a love for the outdoors. Her career brought her family on adventures to different states and she loved driving their “Ban” across the country many times.

Alaska called and they moved back in 1990, this time to Anchorage. It was the perfect place to enjoy her love of the outdoors. She was involved in the Moose Lodge and Salvation Army Fundraisers, developed close friendships and welcomed many to be a part of her family.

Linda enjoyed adventuring and making things with her own two hands. You could often find her camping, fishing, sewing, cooking, gardening, and crafting. She was artistic and was a perpetual nester with a knack for making anything homey. What she loved most was spending time with her family and dear friends, never missing an opportunity to feed people or stir up some fun.

She retired to Kasilof, AK with her husband Dick and spent years in her little slice of heaven welcoming family, friends, and anyone who found themselves nearby. She loved living in the woods again, gardening, entertaining guests, cooking, watching little ones run around her big yard and simply enjoying life with those she loved. A couple of years after Dick passed, she moved back to Anchorage, again doing what she loved most, being close to family.

Linda was a light of happiness, love, humility, contentment, altruism, compassion, and strength, she will be dearly missed.

In the near future, some of Linda’s ashes will be taken to the Kasilof River and later she will be laid to rest at the cemetery in Polson, MT with her family.

Donations can be made at,,, or

The family wishes to extend our sincerest thank you to Lumin and the caregivers at Iluminada’s Assisted Living Home II, Care Coordinators of Alaska, and Providence Alaska Medical Center’s Hospice Clinic. Also, a special thank you to Kathryn Wheelehan.

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Linda is preceded in death by her husband, Arnold C. McConnell; her husband Richard E. Barber; son-in-law Glenn West; daughter-in-law Elsie McConnell; parents Clarice and Lloyd McAllister; brothers Vic, Danny, and Chip McAllister; nieces Crystal McAllister, Liberty Niemeyer; nephew Ty McKay;

Linda is survived by her children Deb West of Port Angeles, WA, Mike McConnell of Anchorage, AK with his significant other Edna, Barb Caballero of Kalama, WA with her spouse Art, Mitch McConnell of Montesano, WA with his spouse June, Brandi Barber and Megan Palagyi both of Anchorage, AK; sisters Sharon Simpson of Ronan, MT with spouse Bruce, and Cindy St. Clair-McAllister of Polson, MT

Her 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren
Aaron Johnson and daughter Emma, Brandon Johnson with his spouse Cheryl, Christopher Johnson with his spouse Paige and children Bella and Gavin. Robin McConnell with his fiancée Sierra and children Jasmine, Sage, and Atticus, SueAnn McConnell with her fiancé Ross and daughter Brynnley, Chad Michelleto and children Preston, Racquel, and Kaydence, Tara Struble with her spouse Wayne and daughter Branna, Jason McConnell and significant other Kristen, Curtis McConnell with spouse Shelese McConnell, Syanna Barber and significant other Quaid, granddaughter Tayla Palagyi

Her first and only great-great grandchild Easton (Preston), and arriving soon Lynden (Curtis)

Her sisters-in-law Lois McAllister and Marti Bauer

Her 7 Nieces and Nephews and 16 great-nieces and nephews
Russ McAllister with spouse Christy and children Garrett and Clay, Scott McAllister with spouse Tammy and children Claire, Elena, Nick, and Jack, Kelly McAllister with his spouse Tanya and sons Trevar, Trapper, Kane, and Koy, Heather Niemeyer with spouse Jesse and children Fisher, Kylee, and Nash, Ryan Pleninger with spouse Robin and children Paisley and Bode, Buck McAllister with spouse Jill and daughter Lexy, nephew Layne McKay

Also preceded in death and survived by many members of the McConnell and Barber families.


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I’m trying to find the words to capture just how important you have been in my adult life. You Linda embodied all that was good in people. You welcomed in anyone and treated them as if you’d known them a lifetime. I don’t think there has ever been a time you wouldn’t go above and beyond for anyone and everyone and I feel so very blessed to have been able to be one of the recipients of your love.
There are so many memories that bring warmth to my heart most of them at your home in Kasilof. From sitting around your backyard and you relentlessly catering to all of us big kids making sure our bellies were full after long nights camping, to allowing us to dirty your pristine bathrooms to rinse off the campfire and booze stink. To moving into our more mature adult years where we’d bring our babies down and you’d follow them around your yard and insist that we take a break and let them play with you smiling ear to ear. I think fondly of our camping trip to Seward where Taitum and Tayla learned to ride bikes with out training wheels and you watched while cheering. Nothing however compares to goin on vacation with you and seeing where you grew up, we were welcomed by your entire family and we were given a very intimate look at what molded you into the fierce loving woman I met as a young adult.
I think about the laughs, the unconditional love and the complete selflessness that you had. You’ve touched the hearts of so many and I hope I can at least embody a sliver of everything you were. Thank you for accepting me and being there for all of life’s moments, thank you for your daughter My person and best friend in the world who changed my life and most of all thank you for allowing me to be a small part of your journey I know mine is forever changed because you were in it.
You are loved by so many and your legacy will live on in the incredible humans that you raised, the world was a better place because you were in it. I love you big bunches forever and ever. XOXOXO

Courtney Lindsey


Momma, I've often said I can only hope to have just a tiny bit of your patience. You patiently waited for things to unfold, always near with your gentle warmness and knowing smile, you patiently waited for hundreds of batches of cookies so you could share the simple joy of warm, fresh from the oven love. You were patient with every child, every struggle, every hurt, and every dream You were patient on the river so you could carry that big king back to camp. You patiently built and created homes, camps, and fun out of nothing and everything. More than anything, you patiently gave every part of yourself to your family, friends you made family, and all who had the gift of knowing you. Momma, I'll try to be patient until we meet again.

Megan Palagyi


Megan Palagyi shared a photo.


Megan Palagyi shared a photo.


Megan Palagyi shared a photo.


Grandma Linda, you will be forever in our hearts.

Thank you SueAnn for creating this Memorial.

Sarah McConnell