Arnella A. (Barber) Deafenbaugh

Born: Sat., Oct. 22, 1938
Died: Tue., Aug. 8, 2017


5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Thu., Aug. 10, 2017
Location: Shirley & Stout
Lincoln Road Chapel

Funeral Service

10:00 AM Fri., Aug. 11, 2017
Location: Shirley & Stout
Lincoln Road Chapel

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Arnella A. Deafenbaugh, 78, Kokomo, went with the angels at 9:25 am Tuesday, August 8, 2017, at St. Vincent Hospital in Kokomo. She was born October 22, 1938, in Muncie, the daughter of the late Noel & Eva (Richwine) Barber.  On July 13, 1991, she married William Deafenbaugh and he survives.

Arnella was a 1957 graduate and Valedictorian of Muncie Central High School and received her Master’s in Education from Ball State University.  Arnella was the church organist for the Madison Street Methodist Church in Muncie from the age of 12 until relocating to Greentown in 1972 and became the organist at the First United Methodist Church there.  She taught choir at Eastern High School from 1972-1974.  She then went on to teach elementary music in the Oak Hill School Corp. for the next 26 years until retiring in 2000. After retiring she volunteered at St. Joseph Hospital.  Arnella was a member of the Indiana State Teachers Association, Retired Chapter.  She played in the Muncie and Kokomo Symphony Orchestras and taught private music lessons. 

Arnella is survived by her husband, William R. Deafenbaugh, Kokomo; children, Julie Kistler (Chuck Graff), Kokomo, Cyndy (Lee) Kendall, Greentown, Matt Kistler, Indianapolis, and Bruce Kistler (Debby Sherron), Windfall; grandchildren, Brittany (Ryan) Bright, Kirby Kendall (Adam Starcher), and Steven Kistler (Katie Carter); great-grandchildren, Isabella Kistler, Aria Bright, and Wesley Bright.

Arnella was preceded in death by her parents, half-brother, and half-sister.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 am Friday, August 11, 2017, at Shirley & Stout Funeral Home & Crematory, 1315 West Lincoln Road, Kokomo, with Pastor Jon Tice officiating.  Burial will follow in Sunset Memory Garden Cemetery.  Friends are invited to visit with the family from 5-8 pm on Thursday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Trinity House of St. Vincent Hospital in Kokomo.  Messages of condolence may be left online at

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Heidi Miller
   Posted Wed August 09, 2017

GRANDMA'S GARDEN  TABLE BASKET was sent by ISTA UniServ 7 Council.

Our deepest sympathy for your loss. Love, ISTA UniServ 7 Council

Annie Larrison
   Posted Fri August 11, 2017
Dear Arnella's Family,
I taught with Arnella a number of years, mostly at Converse Elementary. She was a true prfessional not only in her dressing the part but through her actions. She worked so hard with our children and presented so many wonderful programs. Many a busy Christmas season I could not get into the spirit. But on the night of our children's program, I was always reminded what the season was about.

God bless your beautiful mother. You have my deepest sympathy.
Annie Larrison

Hank Merrill
   Posted Sat August 12, 2017
Dear Bill,
So sorry to hear that Arnella is gone. You two have been a bigger part of my new life than you know. She always had a way of simplifying the day to day issues that people like us shared. I'm confident that she helped more of us than she ever realized. Her passing will most definitely leave an empty chair. She will truly be missed. ODAAT, my friend. Hank

Nancy (Zimmerman) Clark
   Posted Thu November 16, 2017
I was Arnella's flower girl at her 1957 wedding. She was a first cousin of my late mother. It is shocking to find her obituary as I research family history. My sympathy to the family.

Nancy (Zimmerman) Clark