Paradise Funeral Chapel - Obituaries
Bernice M. Barlow    Share on Facebook
Passed Away: Sunday, August 4, 2013
Bernice M. Barlow

Bernice M. Barlow passed away Sunday August 4, 2013.  She was the eldest of 10 children born to James and Estelle (Brooks) Lowery in Minden, Louisiana on March 22, 1928. 


The family moved to Saginaw when Bernice was very young.  She attended Potter Elementary School, Central Jr. High School and graduated from Saginaw High School in 1945. She married Charles Barlow on July 2, 1949 and to this union four children were born. Michael (deceased), Mitchell (Joyce), Belinda Barlow- Poole, all of Saginaw, Patrick Barlow of Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Mrs. Barlow was a long-time member of Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church and served as a Trustee.   She later united with the Messiah Missionary Baptist Church and served on the Trustee Board until her illness.


Mrs. Barlow attended Delta College and received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Education from Michigan State University.  She began her teaching career in 1964 at Potter Elementary School and she also taught at Jerome Elementary School and Merrill Park Elementary School retiring in 1996.  She was very active in the Saginaw Education Association, serving on the executive committee and at state and national conventions.  Mrs. Barlow was passionate about children, education and a fighter for civil rights.  Her other organization affiliations include  the Saginaw County Community Mental Health Board, Saginaw Housing Commission and the League of Women Voters.  She was also a member of Eta Upsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., having served as past Basileus.


The one organization near and dear to her heart was the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  Mrs. Barlow was elected President of the Saginaw Branch of NAACP in 1968, when the branch was on the verge of losing its charter. Under Mrs. Barlow’s sacrificial leadership and through her tireless advocacy, the branch has consistently been involved in civil rights issues locally, and on a state and national level. To honor her contribution to education and civil rights, the Saginaw Branch of the NAACP has honored her by presenting annually the Bernice Barlow Scholarship through the Saginaw Community Foundation. 


Her memories and love for family will be cherished by her three surviving children, her grandchildren, especially “her boys” Drake and DeMarcus Poole, Jaynaya Barlow, Bridgett (Austin)Caines, Michelle,Vatina, Telisha, Sharron and Monique Barlow; five great-grandchildren;  one sister, Irene Lowery, Croydon, Pennsylvania; six brothers,  Doris (Jennie) Willsboro, New Jersey, Lee (Leona) Lowery, Seattle, Washington, James (Helen) Lowery, Tracy, California, Bobby Lowery, Jonah Lowery, Timothy (Sandra) Lowery; sisters-in-law, Hester Lowery, Maggie Williams and Nadine Whelcher, both of Atlanta, Georgia, Marian (Charles) Oglestree, Wichita, Kansas; brother-in-law, Thomas (Billie) Barlow, Denver, Colorado; two godchildren, Michelle Jackson, Saginaw, Michigan, Michael Jackson, San Franciso, California; several nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends including her special friends, Mrs. Leola Wilson, Joyce Woods and Alice Nickleberry.  


Mrs. Barlow was preceded in death by her parents, husband and brothers Wesley and Oscar Lowery. 


March 22, 1928
August 4, 2013
Date/Time: Thursday, August 8, 2013 - 2:00pm - 6:00pm
Location: Paradise Funeral Chapel
Address: 3100 South Washington Avenue
City/State: Saginaw, Michigan
Phone: (989) 754-4826
Service Plans
Date/Time: Friday, August 9, 2013 - 11:00am (Special presentation 10:00am)
Location: Messiah Missionary Baptist Church
Address: 2615 Williamson Road
City/State: Saginaw, Michigan
Phone: (989) 777-2636
Officiating: Pastor Otis Washington
Interment: Roselawn Memorial Gardens


Deborah Hollis
August 13th, 2013 5:12 pm
To the Barlow Family, May God give you the strength to endure. Mrs. Barlow was my 4th grade teacher at Potter elementary. She was an inspiration and an excellent teacher, she taught that you could do anything you set your mind too. Gone but never forgotten
Shari Turner
August 12th, 2013 4:24 pm
To Jonah, Bobby, and all of the Lowery and Barlow family, I would like to offer my sincere condolence. Know that the Lord can strengthen you and give you the peace which passes all understanding. Just look to Him. Remember all of the good and happy times that you had with Bernice, and know that she is now at total and complete rest and peace, awaiting Christ's return.
Sherm and Ruth Ann (Armbruster) McMahon
August 10th, 2013 7:01 pm
To Jonah and all the Lowery and Barlow family: Bernice was a very special lady, loved and respected by everyone who knew her. Our sincere condolences, Sherman and Ruth Ann (Armbruster) McMahon
Randy Butteffield
August 10th, 2013 2:19 pm
My sincere condolences to the entire family. She was a very special lady. My thoughts and prayers go out to you.
Dora Shaw. SHS c/o1970
August 10th, 2013 12:07 pm
My sincerest condolences to Belinda & Michelle Barlow and the entire Barlow family. Mrs Barlow was a champion for Civil Rights, justice and equality and a pillar in the Saginaw Community. Her legacy will continue on.
Kenyetta Lowery Gray
August 10th, 2013 8:02 am
I am saddened to hear of my Aunt Bernice passing. I remember doing an Art project in school about her and her role in the NAACP. I admired her so much. I was also told she was the one who named me Kenyetta. I miss and will always love you Auntie. To my family, be strong and l love you all.
Joyce Phillips
August 9th, 2013 1:10 pm
Belinda & Family: To God Be The Glory! May God bless you and bring peace unto you and your family. Soror Bernice is free at last from the burdens of this world and now resting in the arms of Jesus! We will keep you in pray!
Ms. Veronica McClain
August 9th, 2013 10:11 am
To the Entire Barlow Family I'm Very Sorry For The Lost Of A Phenomenal Woman That Was Very Important In My Life. I Had the Pleasure to Have Her As a Teacher At Potter Elementary As Well and She was A Amazing Teacher, Helper, Friend, Mother At School If You Needed Her 2 Talk With, And Very Straight Forward, Educator She was 1 That Came In My LIFE as A Blessing, Please Keep Your Faith In GOD, I will Be Praying for Your Family. R.I.P Mrs. Bernice Barlow Gone But Never Forgotten
Cindy Marcoux
August 9th, 2013 6:52 am
Bernice and I were teacher friends in the Saginaw City School District. We served on many committees together, went to conventions together and I have many fond memories of her. She was a wonderful person and I enjoyed knowing her. My condolences to her family and friends. My prayers go out to all of you.
Karl Jackson
August 9th, 2013 6:29 am
My condolences and heartfelt sympathy to the family.
August 8th, 2013 11:01 pm
I'm so sorry for your loss. Mrs. Barlow was my fifth grade teacher at Jerome Elementary. She was one of the best teachers I've ever had. All the good things she did in this community and for her students will live on for decades. God bless her and all that knew and loved her.
Frank Hatter
August 8th, 2013 6:33 pm
I offer my most sincere condolences and prayers at this time to all the loved ones that Bernice leaves to cherish her memory. Please allow God to walk with you as you go through this time of mourning.
Carl Peil
August 8th, 2013 9:04 am
Dear the family and friends, My prayers and thoughts are with you. Bernice was one of my teaching and SEA executive board mentors. She taught and led by example . She was an inspiration to both me and my deceased wife Marge. We both loved her so very much. Carl Peil Retired Saginaw school teacher.
Matthew Murray
August 8th, 2013 8:25 am
I am sorry to hear about the loss of your dearest Bernice. My family and I wanted to send our deepest sympathy to your family. Our family has recently lost two of our dear friends. I wanted to share a comforting thought found in God's Word at Isaiah 25:8 where it says in part that death will be swallowed up forever. I hope that your family finds this text comforting as it did me and my family.
Saturian Jones
August 7th, 2013 8:53 pm
Mrs. Barlow was my third grade teacher at Potter. She was a positive influence and wonderful teacher. I honor her for the impact she made in my life. My condolences to the family.
Yvonne Kinney
August 7th, 2013 6:44 pm
My condolences to Bernice's family. She was an awesome person,and I enjoyed knowing her. I attended Delta and MSU with her.
Kim Caver Wright
August 7th, 2013 6:00 pm
To Mitch,Belinda,Tim,Bobby and the family of Bernice Barlow May God comfort and strengthen you during this difficult time. I love you and keeping you in prayer.
August 7th, 2013 4:20 pm
Ms. Barlow was a wonderful dear woman. I will miss her. Gone but never forgotten.
Dr Marie Wright Tolliver
August 7th, 2013 1:14 pm
To the family of Mrs Bernice Barlow, There is no sorrow that heaven can not heal, God is able to carry you through this storm. Bernice will long be remembered, she was a giant of a leader, she stood tall in the Saginaw community. Bernice was an excellent educator, a great Christian Woman, outstanding speaker. We loved Bernice but, God loved her best, and he wanted a leader in heaven and he called her home. To the family weeping may endure for a night , but joy will come in the morning. The entire Barlow Family is in our prayers. Dr Marie Wright Tolliver & Family
Sam & Deborah Mack
August 7th, 2013 11:57 am
Condolences to the Barlow family. May God provide strength doing this difficult time.
Joy Jackson Lowery
August 7th, 2013 10:51 am
I am truly saddened by the lose of my Aunt Bernice. I was very proud to see the article in the Saginaw New about her accomplishments. I have been told many things over the years about her role at the NAACP but is nice to see the impact that my aunt had on so many people lives. I will not be able to make the funeral physically but I will be there in spirit. My prayers go out to my Lowery and Barlow family, and pray that everyone is giving the strength needed to make it through this trying time.
Eric Gilbertson
August 7th, 2013 10:10 am
We are deeply grateful for her personal friendship, her life among us and her important contributions to our Community. Her life was one that truly mattered.
Gary McClain
August 7th, 2013 9:51 am
My heart and prayers go out to the family,she was a great lady. She was my 4th grade teacher at Potter school. Gone but not forgotten!!!
Houston & Elaine Jackson, Jr.
August 6th, 2013 10:36 pm
To Belinda, we are truly sorry for the loss of your Mother. Our prayers go out to you & your family. God's peace, strength and love from your Bethel A.M.E. Church Family & SHS c/o 1971 Classmate
Odail Thorns, Jr.l
August 6th, 2013 8:46 pm
To Belinda and family, our hearts go out to you in this time of bereavement. Your mom is a champion for justice and civil rights. I met her many years ago at the NAACP National Convention. In fact she and I became Presidents of our respective branches in the same year. Later she recruited me to become a member of her team here in Saginaw. We will continue in prayer for all of you. Your mom stood above the crowd,taking strong positions for freedom, justice and equality, often at great risk to herself personally. We will miss her dearly.
Mel Bailey Alexanderia, LA
August 5th, 2013 5:32 pm
To Belinda, my heart was sadden when I heard of the passing of your mother. My prayers are with you and your family. Your mother fought a good fight and now she is resting in God's arms, be strong and know that joy will come in the morning. Your friend, Mel Bailey
Mercer Donald Davis of Racine WI.
August 5th, 2013 4:38 pm
My Heart Goes Out To The Family.
Daveda Quinn
August 5th, 2013 4:36 pm
My condolences to the Barlow family.
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