Anita Claire Kent

Anita Claire Barbe Kent, 95, beloved wife and mother, passed away in Morgantown on November 11 after a brief illness.

She was born in 1922 in Ellamore, WV, the daughter of the late Cecil R. Barbe and Veda Madden Barbe 

She grew up in Morgantown and attended West Virginia University where she studied home economics. While at WVU she met her husband of 72 years, James.  They were married in Morgantown. During WWII she was an army wife as James served in the 164th Engineer Combat Battalion that landed on Utah Beach as part of the D-Day Invasion.

In her early years, Anita raised a family of 5 boys employing her home economics skills and considerable parenting abilities. At home, she was a caring and firm mother, skilled cook and nutrition expert. Additionally, she was a trusted advisor to her husband, who became a popular professor of Chemical Engineering at WVU and a world-renowned engineering educator.  Anita and James also lived in St Albans, WV; Midland, MI; Houghton, MI; Birmingham, MI; and Jupiter, FL.  Anita returned to Morgantown in 2014. 

Beyond her family, Anita’s other great love was art and Community Arts organizations. She served on the Morgantown Art Association as social chairman. In Houghton, Michigan, she was President of the Copper Country Community Arts Council, where she engaged the Guthrie Theatre from Minneapolis to perform Shakespeare in the local high school and community. She subsequently joined the Birmingham-Bloomfield Art Association, where she was on numerous committees and led a variety of events. Anita was also active in the Women’s Auxiliary of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.  In Washington, DC, she was a charter member of the Women in the Arts National Museum and served on the Women’s Committee of the National Symphony Orchestra.

She is survived by four sons, David and wife Young Hee Kent of Troy, AL, Nicholas Kent of Morgantown, WV, Edward and wife Pamela Kent of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, and Joseph and wife Gay Kent of Oxford, MI.  She also leaves behind 7 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her sister Margaret Cox, her husband Dr. James A. Kent, and her son James Kent Jr.

Friends and family will be received on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 1 PM at St. Frances de Sales Catholic Church in the Daily Mass Chapel, until the time of Memorial Mass at 2 PM with Rev. Msgr. Anthony Cincinnati, STD, VE, as celebrant.  Entombment will follow at St. Mary’s Church Mausoleum.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to Morgantown Art Association, Mountaineer Mall, 5000 Greenbag Road, Morgantown, WV 26501.