Couples: Denny and Diane Barrett

Denny and Diane Barrett are loving life in Searcy, where she is the school superintendent and he is retired. Both stay busy with school events and activities at St. Paul United Methodist Church. (Megan Stroud photo)

HIM    Denny Barrett

Where did you grow up: McGehee (Desha County).

Education: I graduated from McGehee High School and attended college for three years at the University of Arkansas at Monticello before I decided to work for the railroad.

Job: I was a car inspector first for Missouri Pacific Railroad in McGehee and later Union Pacific Railroad in McGehee and North Little Rock. I retired after 38 years of service.

Why did you choose your vocation: My father was a longtime railroad employee, and I had worked summer jobs on the railroad while in college.

Community activities: I like to attend various school activities with my wife.

Church activities: I am a member of the St. Paul United Methodist Church in Searcy and serve as an usher and a member of the finance committee.

Hobbies/special interests: I enjoy hunting and reading westerns.

How would you describe yourself: I am a laid back person for the most part. I consider myself to be kind and enjoy helping people.  

What do you enjoy most about living in the 501: The people are friendly.

HER    Diane Barrett

Where did you grow up: I grew up in various small towns in South Arkansas.

Education: I received bachelor of arts and master of education degrees from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. I earned 30 additional hours above my master’s, mainly through Arkansas State University. 

Job: I am the superintendent of the Searcy School District. I am in my 10th year of employment with the district.

Why did you choose your vocation: I “played school” from a young age. I have always loved learning and wanted to teach others to help them expand their possibilities in life.

Community activities: I am on the board of the Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce and have served on the government and workforce development committees.

Church activities: I am a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church in Searcy and serve on the staff/parish relations committee.

Most enjoyed weekend activity: I love sitting on the deck in my backyard in the early morning, drinking coffee, reading and watching the wildlife.

What do you enjoy most about living in the 501: I love that Searcy retains a small town atmosphere while being a thriving city. I also like the quick access to larger city amenities and attractions that living in the Central Arkansas area provides.


Residents of: Searcy.

How we met: We were set up by a friend in college and met at a basketball game, where we sort of looked each other over.

The proposal: He didn’t actually offer a formal proposal. He asked what I thought about getting married and several months later gave me an engagement ring for my birthday.

Wedding bells: We married on Aug. 10, 1974, at Timothy Methodist Church in Camden.

Children: We have a daughter, Raegan. She and her husband, Brent, and our two grandchildren, Barrett and Ryleigh, live in San Antonio. Our son, Rane, and his wife, Whitney, live in Sherwood.

Pets: We have an 11-year-old rescue dog that we think is a chiweenie.

Family activities enjoyed together: We enjoy going on vacations with our children and grandchildren to such places as the beach and Walt Disney World. We love to get together for the holidays, when we can.

More information: We have known so many wonderful people in the places we have lived. We have been blessed.