This year’s Morenci Education Foundation event is dedicated to long-time Morenci residents Jim and Patsy Barrett.
The Barrett family moved to Morenci around 1942. Jim graduated from Morenci Area High School in 1946. After graduation from Michigan State University he returned home to help with the family farm. In 1954 he enlisted in the Army where he was a paratrooper and was trained as a mechanic.
While he was stationed at Fort McPherson near Atlanta, Ga., Jim was introduced to a local widow named Patsy Porterfield, whose husband had been killed in the Korean War. The couple was married June 25, 1955, and they returned to Morenci after Jim was discharged from the army. They purchased a house near the former junior high building and had it moved to the family farm on Morenci Road.
Jim and Patsy have five children, Scott and Gary Porterfield, and David, Matthew and Jill Barrett.
The Barretts have been very active in the community. Jim has served on the Morenci Board of Education, the Morenci Area Hospital Board, Jaycees, Kiwanis and was a Mason. Patsy has been a volunteer with the Morenci Elementary School Mentors program for many years and has been a member of the Morenci Garden Club, Child Study Club and the Social Book Club for many years. She served as the director of Stair Public Library for many years.
The Barretts believe that Morenci has been a wonderful place to live and raise a family. They say that one of the biggest blessings of small town life is that when you experience something whether good or bad, you’re never alone because you have a multitude of family and friends by your side.