Betty J. Barbano




MARCH, 1987 —Betty and Andrew Barbano embark on their belated Caribbean honeymoon cruise aboard the Sun Princess at San Juan, Puerto Rico. Betty won the trip through her typical overachievement. She made time to spend a day at the Century 21 National Convention in San Francisco during an extremely demanding week in Nevada. As a result, she entered a drawing and came away with the dream trip, which concluded, appropriately, with a visit to see Aunt Lucy, Uncle Earl and Aunt Lula Mae in Enid — the real-life Lake Woebegon.



Happy 35th Anniversary

THUNDER FROM THE HEART. The thunderboomer clouds of summer had painted a cooling rainbow over Reno's Rancho San Rafael by the late afternoon of July 31, 1984.

On that date 35 years ago today, Betty Joyce Luffman Donlevy Barbano (1941-2005) gifted me with the rest of her life by becoming my only wife.

Gracias, querida mia.

By Andrew Barbano from the July 31, 2019, Sparks Tribune


I made my annual July 31 pilgrimage to Rancho San Rafael Park to walk, listen and perhaps pick a memento or two. I purloined a lavender Rose of Sharon, her favorite color. I hadn't noticed that the blossom sheltered four buds, sort of one for her daughter and four for her boys.

Taking a cue from Aunt Vicki in Carson City, several years ago I planted two trees in my garden and named them Betty and Debbie. They bore fruit in less than a year.

Remember them fondly with love and laughter.






Betty J. Barbano
passed away at her Reno residence on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2005, after a long battle with chronic illnesses and a recent respiratory inflammation. She was born to Alton and Lessie Luffman in Enid, Okla., on Feb. 7, 1941.

Betty Joyce Luffman, 1948

Andrew's favorite picture.

In Nevada, she became a businesswoman and consumer activist. She coordinated State. Sen. Randolph Townsend's 1980 statewide consumer advocate petition and lobbied for utility consumers at the 1981 Nevada legislative session.

She was a successful Realtor, winning election to Century 21's western relocation council. Over her career, she was a partner in an advertising agency, managed Pauline's Sportswear in Carson City and worked at the Carson City Nevada Appeal daily newspaper. She was first published at age 10 in a national children's poetry magazine.

She managed promotions for Carson City and Sparks shopping centers. She was twice honored by the Reno Advertising Club, in 1977 for an innovative television campaign and in 1979 for a radio series. During the 1970s, she was the voice of the Reno Autorama, Reno Home Improvement and Reno Boat & RV shows. In 1978, she was the English and Spanish voice of Sheraton Hotels on a worldwide Formula One GrandPrix motoracing radio network. She was a member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413.

She attended Enid High School and Idaho State University in Pocatello, where she gained distinction for organizing community programs promoting understanding between Catholic, Mormon, Jewish and Native American faiths.

She is survived by her husband of 21 years, Andrew Barbano of Reno; sons Robert (wife Kelly), Andrew (wife Tiffany) and Kelly Donlevy, all of the Phoenix, Ariz., area; son, Sheldon Donlevy (wife Kassie) of Reno; brother, Dennis Luffman of Augusta, KS; sister, Carolyn Powers of Newton, KS; cousin Lena Stites of Enid, nine grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Death still rides Nevada's
outback highways


The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that the same flaws in the rural emergency response system which allowed Debra Donlevy to die in 1978 remain to this very day.

When will we ever learn?

She was preceded in death by her parents, an aunt, Lula Mae Luffman, 98, who passed away in Enid on Oct. 22, and daughter, Debra Joyce Donlevy (1959-1978, Carson High class of 1977), an Enid native who died in an auto accident. Betty's remains will be interred near her daughter at Walton's Chapel of the Valley in Carson City.

A memorial service was held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30, at the First Congregational Church, 627 Sunnyside Drive, in northwest Reno. The Rev. Bill Chrystal officiated.

A reception followed at the church. Food and refreshments were provided.

Memories may be e-mailed to for posting at this site. They will be added as they arrive, as will additional photos.




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