Wednesday, March 6, 2013

San Angelo Women of Distinction Spotlight - Loleta Barnhart

Loleta Barnhart
Loleta Barnhart was born and raised in Altus, Oklahoma. She studied architecture at The University of Oklahoma and went on to graduate from Oklahoma City University with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. She is married to Barney, is the proud mother of three daughters, and has two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Loleta attended architecture school back when it was still almost a completely male dominated arena, but she did not let that hold her back, even if she was one of only four women studying to become an architect at her University. Her studies were interrupted when World War II broke out and many men were sent out to war. Loleta decided to put a hold on her current life and to take a job in the Department of Commerce to do what she could to help in the war effort. However, she made a promise to her parents, which she kept, to someday return to school and finish her degree.

After she completed her education, Loleta and her family moved to San Angelo where they opened Barney’s Studio. She worked on various architecture projects throughout her community that were in need of some restorative care, including the auditorium at the College Hills Christian Church, The Golden Spur Hotel, The Guarantee State Bank and The 1st United Methodist Church Gym. Although Loleta loves architecture, her favorite project by far has been to host a day camp for the West Texas Rehabilitation Center that allows children with various disabilities to participate in a summer camp. Currently, she is working with Rust Street Ministry (whose goal is to provide life skills and basic needs free of charge to people in the San Angelo area) to design and maximize the inside layout of three warehouses. Loleta loves being able to put her architectural skills to work in order to help individuals and organizations throughout her community.  Throughout her life, Loleta has exemplified the qualities of courage, leadership and philanthropy that are valued in a Girl Scout. 

For more information on this year's Women of Distinction events and to purchase tickets, visit our website.

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