September 24, 2022

Start Time:

3:00 to 6:00 pm


The Brown Derby Ballroom

Waterloo, IA


618 Sycamore St.

Waterloo, IA

Arrangements By:

Parrott & Wood Chapel of Memories

Barbara Ann McGovern

Barbara Ann McGovern was born April 1, 1950, in Waterloo, Iowa:  the daughter of Thomas and Helen Scarborough.  “Bar”, as referred to by her siblings, was the 2nd oldest of 5.  She excelled in school attending McKinstry Jr High and graduating from East Waterloo High School in 1968.  Barb was known throughout her life to have excellent handwriting, which was taught by her mother.  She had a love of music, playing the Clarinet in the East High Band.  Barb worked at City Hall and Walker’s Shoe store in downtown Waterloo as Mr. Walker’s personal secretary.  Barb strived to build a successful career at a time when the path for women to do so wasn’t the easiest.  She did just that!  Barb began her studies and graduated from Kirkwood Community College.  She was hired at John Deere in Waterloo and gave 30 years of quality work before retiring April 30, 2009, as Manager of Systems.

Barbara was a true role model in every sense of its meaning, especially to young females.  She was a strikingly tall, beautiful woman who was professional, confident, and dressed, “To the nines”.

Barbara met Arthur “Art” McGovern after being set up on a blind date.  Sharing their first dance to the song, “For the Good Times” by Ray Price will be remembered always.  They married on July 17, 1971, at Blessed Sacrament Church, and were happily married 51 years.  Barb often referred to Art as, “Arty Tom”.  Barb and Art had two boys they were both extremely proud of, Jason and Nicholas.  Barb was invested in her boys’ future making sure both received a quality education and pursued various interests to the fullest.  Barb loved to travel and encouraged her son’s to see the world.  She planned numerous summer vacations that entailed long cross country trips in their full size van.   Barb grew from being a great mother to being a best friend to both Jason and Nick.  She was instrumental in who her sons married and enjoyed gaining two beautiful daughters.  Barb welcomed every grandson she had with love and hugs.  To both Jason and Nick, Barb was a Queen!

Barb’s love of music only grew stronger with time.  Although she loved a variety of music, Motown Records was her favorite.  Barb enjoyed social gatherings, night life with close friends, and loved to dance.  She will be remembered for requesting the song, “New York, New York”, by Frank Sinatra and hand picking relatives and friends to begin a kick line dance with her.  Barb loved dancing to the Rod Stewart song, “Hot Legs”.  Art and Barb both enjoyed the song, “Forever Young”, and eventually saw Rod Stewart in concert.  Barb loved playing pool and cards.  She loved flowers and enjoyed gardening in her free time.   Barb loved decorating for upcoming holidays and spending those holidays with family and friends.  She had a phenomenal sense for fashion and when Barb went shopping, it was an all-day event.  Barb loved animals.  After marriage Barb found a lost Chihuahua (Josie) and convinced Art to adopt her.  At separate times they had two Cocker Spaniels (Mandy and Lexi) that Barb adored.

Barb will always be remembered for her infectious laugh.  This well remembered laugh lit up the room.

Barb loved her family greatly.  She took great pride in being able to help care for her mother as she aged.  She loved her siblings and all her nieces and nephews.  Barb had a gift for offering advice, guidance, and friendship.  Barb was extremely accepting of all people, wherever they came from, and enjoyed learning about other people’s backgrounds and experiences.  Barb demanded the best out of those she loved, and she could bring out the best in everyone she loved.

Barb had a true love of Angels.  She had many Angels throughout her home and in her gardens.  Barb placed a large Angel in the front window of her family’s home every Christmas that she shined a bright light on.  Barb was truly an Angel and will forever be an Angel!

Barbara passed away September 2, 2022, with Jason and Nick by her side.  She is preceded in death by her parents; Thomas and Helen Scarborough, her Husband, Arthur Thomas McGovern, Friend Jeanine Brasher, and Grandson, Connor McGovern.  Barb is survived by her two sons:  Jason (Amy Lynn) McGovern of Bloomington, Minnesota, and Nick (Amy Jo) McGovern of Waterloo; four grandchildren:  Zane and Luke McGovern, and Brett and Brady McGovern;  four siblings Skip (Dianne) Scarborough of Plainfield, Illinois, Mike Scarborough of Parkville, Missouri, Larry Scarborough of Big Bear Lake, California, and Cook (Jerry) Olsen of Papillion, Nebraska.

Barbara’s inspiration will live on forever.  She is now flying will all the Angels!

–Mom’s candle burned out long before her Legend ever will!!

A burial service is being planned for 2:00 p.m. on September 24, 2022, at Mt. Olivet Cemetery (3912 W 4th St) in Waterloo.  Following the burial service, a Celebration of Life will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Brown Derby Ballroom in Downtown Waterloo (618 Sycamore Street).


Online condolences will not publish to our website but will generate an email that is directed to the family.