Wichita Eagle, The (KS) - August 25, 1994 Deceased Name: BARBARA AMSDEN DEVOTED TO FAMILY, COMMUNITY, ART Those who knew Barbara Louise Amsden will tell you that maybe no one knew the meaning of devotion better than she did.
They'll tell you about her devotion to her husband, Floyd Amsden, and how she continued running Amsden Lumber Co. after he died in 1980.
They'll tell you about her devotion to the arts; about the Amsdens' grand collection; how she and her husband traveled to meet the artists; and how she opened her home for social events when artists were in town.
And they'll tell you that Wichita lost one of its most devoted natives when Mrs. Amsden died Friday at 77.
Her devotion to the city was apparent in her civic involvement: emeritus member of the board of governors at Wichita State University; life member of the WSU Alumni Association; chairwoman of the WSU Art Committee; life member of the WSU President's Club; member of the board of directors of the Friends of the Wichita Art Museum; president of the Art Museum from 1990 to 1993.
But "the main thing about Mother," said her daughter Ann Amsden Martin, "is she was really devoted to her husband, and when her husband died, her goal was to carry on the projects that they had together."
Those projects included the art collection that the couple had built over the years and that will now go to the WSU Endowment Association and Ulrich Museum of Art. The artworks, which were willed to the university, include pieces by German artist Gerhard Marcks and American artists Theodore Roszak and Isabel Bishop.
Matt Amsden said his parents' love of art started shortly after World War II when they bought a farm near Medicine Lodge.
''It kind of got to where they really loved wildlife art," he said. "And that kind of transferred to the love of fine art, art in general."
Matt Amsden also recalled his mother's devotion to family.
''She was very devoted to her children and very supportive of her children in any way she possibly could be in helping them do anything they wanted to do," he said. "And she had a great deal of respect and love for her husband. She was a wonderful partner to him when he was alive."
Mrs. Amsden's other son, Tim, said one of his mother's proudest accomplishments was the 9-by-14-foot blue-and-white needlepoint rug she worked on for eight years. She created the rug to match a double-woven, reversible bedspread that once belonged to her husband's great-great-grandmother.
''When I started," Mrs. Amsden told a Wichita Beacon reporter in 1978, "I said I'd be done in two or three years. I had no idea it would take this long." Friends recalled Mrs. Amsden's devotion to them.
''She was very loyal to her friends," said Velma Wallace, a longtime friend. "When you saw her, she was just a lovely person. You could tell that when you saw her with people, by her smile and the way she greeted people."
Duane Buckley, who knew Mrs. Amsden for more than six decades, said she never really changed much.
''She was always very natural, very friendly, very considerate," Buckley said. "A couple of ladies told me at the funeral that they liked her because they said she never forgot people. And she didn't.
''She was just a first-class lady," Buckley said.
In addition to her children, Mrs. Amsden is survived by five grandchildren.