Cover photo for Noemi Barta's Obituary
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Noemi Barta

September 10, 1940 — April 11, 2023

After battling pancreatic cancer for more than three years, Noemí Gomez Barta of Kalispell died April 11, with both family members and friends by her side. She was born in 1940 in Los Indios, Texas and would have been 83 on September 10.

Noemí was well known for her great warmth, ever-cheerful outlook, patriotism, and life-long devotion to Christ. She cared about people deeply, regularly expressing concern about others’ health and families even as her own health failed.

In one example of her kindness, she was working in a small office with a colleague who disliked work gift exchanges. Noemí didn’t want the colleague to miss out, so she sent the coworker an anonymous gift package. Noemí also sent herself an “anonymous” package so the colleague wouldn’t feel bad about receiving their gift.

She expressed her Christian faith through her loving spirit and participation in church communities wherever she went. For several years she was active in the West Kootenai Community Church and, after moving to Kalispell, in the Faith Covenant Church. She also participated in weekly bible study groups.

As a frequent and vivid storyteller, she drew on happenings from all aspects of her long life. It helped that she had a remarkable memory and a diverse range of experiences: growing up on a farm in South Texas, working for the federal government in other countries, raising two lively kids (plus a series of cats and Saint Bernards), moving around the U.S., and in later years traveling to countries around the globe.

She grew up on a farm near the Rio Grande River with five siblings, and also had six adult half-siblings. After graduating from high school, she moved to Washington, DC for a job with the federal government. As a fluent English and Spanish speaker who was eager to travel, the government assigned her to the American Embassy in Managua, Nicaragua. There she met Lee Barta, a U.S. Marine Embassy Guard, and they were married upon their return to the United States. Stationed in various locations, they travelled around much of the country with their first child, Sondra. After Lee returned from Vietnam they had a son, James.

The 10 months Lee spent in Vietnam were difficult ones, as Noemí was caring for their young daughter and working while also exchanging letters that sometimes took many months to arrive. Lee was wounded three times and the last time he was medevacked to the naval hospital in Corpus Christi Texas. Each weekend during his recovery, Noemí drove 125 miles each way to be with him.

Noemí held administrative positions as she and Lee moved every few years for different assignments. She worked at organizations including a high school, a car dealership, a hospital, and the Montana State Crime Lab. Soon after moving from Missoula to Kalispell in 1990, she worked at Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks and eventually became the office manager.

One particularly difficult time for the Bartas was 1997 when their daughter Sondra died in a road crash. Noemí and Lee drew on their faith in God, and a network of supports to work through the grief. Noemí told stories about Sondra often—usually funny ones involving hijinks with animals—and kept her spirit alive even for those who’d never met her daughter.

After retiring in 2003 Noemí and Lee moved to the West Kootenai in the northwest corner of Montana. They remained for more than a dozen years, making many friends among the Amish community there and watching elk and deer and throngs of hummingbirds from their porch. They also enjoyed RV’ing throughout the western U.S. and took cruises to ports of call around the Pacific and the Americas.

A memorial service will be held at Faith Covenant Church in Kalispell on May 20 at 2:00 pm, followed by a reception in the Fellowship Hall. The prior week May 13, 2023 @11:00 a.m the family is holding a service with the West Kootenai Community Church. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to one of Noemí’s favorite causes. Among the many are Child Bridge Montana, The Salvation Army Kalispell Corps, and Flathead Food Bank.

Noemí ably expressed her faith in God through grace and love. From Matthew 25:23 "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master."

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Noemi Barta, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

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West Kootenai Community Church

5910 W Kootenai Rd
Rexford, MT 59930

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Mountain time)

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Faith Covenant Presbyterian Church

MT

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