Barbara Jean Alvis
Plant a Tree
Plant a Tree
Send Flowers
Send Flowers

Final Resting Place

Monday, January 1, 1753
Omega Crematory
Old Kingwood Pike
Morgantown, West Virginia, United States

Obituary of Barbara Jean Alvis

Barbara Jean Alvis, 97, of Morgantown, passed away on Thursday, December 13, 2018, at her residence, after a brief illness.

She was born in Madison, Wisconsin, on September 11, 1921, the daughter of the late Oliver Samuel Rundell, former Professor of Law and Acting Dean at the University of Wisconsin School of Law, and Abigail Parmley Rundell.

Barbara earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees at the University of Wisconsin. She subsequently taught in public schools in the Midwest for three years and then at the University of Arkansas, where she met her future husband Vance, also on the faculty there while working on his dissertation for his PhD from the University of Virginia.

They moved to Morgantown in 1956, where, after raising her family, she worked at West Virginia University, first as YWCA Director and then for many years as Foreign Student Advisor, during which time she made numerous dear and enduring friendships with talented students from around the world.

Throughout, Barbara was a stouthearted Mountaineers, Pirates and Steelers fan. She was active in the Service League of Morgantown and the Red Cross, participated for many years with friends in a book group and a bridge club (both better known for conviviality and camaraderie), and was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Morgantown, serving as deacon and elder. She and Vance, then Professor of Economics at WVU, acquired a love of travel while living in Nairobi, Kenya for two years in the late 1960s. After retirement, they travelled extensively in the US, Canada and Mexico, and also throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and South America, often in the company of friends and her sisters-in-law.

She married Vance Quentin Alvis in 1948, and was happily married for over 60 years until his death in 2012. They were blessed with two sons, Vance Jr of South St Paul, MN, and his wife, Felice and daughter Madison, both of Freehold, NJ, and Robert and his wife Christine and children Alicia and Samuel, all of Pleasantville, NY, and also many dear nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, Barbara was preceded in death by her husband Vance, and by her beloved sisters and brothers Eleanor, Janet, Hugh and John (who died for his country in the Battle of the Bulge).

In accordance with her wishes, Hastings Funeral Home/Omega Crematory has provided cremation services and a graveside inurnment will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 456 Spruce Street, Morgantown, WV, 26505 and to West Virginia Public Radio at

Send condolences online to

Share Your Memory of
Barbara Jean