Paulene Barnett


August 24, 1920 - April 10, 2010

Paulene Barnett, 89, went to sleep in Jesus on April 10, 2010 in College Place, Wash.

The memorial service will be at 3 p.m., Saturday, May 1 at the Village Seventh-day Adventist Church, 715 S.E. 12th Ave., College Place, Wash.

Pastor Steve Walikonis will officiate. Memorial contributions may be made to The Bible In Living Sound through Mountain View-Colonial DeWitt, 1551 Dalles Military Road.

Paulene Louise Moddrell was born August 24, 1920 in Comanche, OK to Jesse Andrew Moddrell and Lela Elizabeth Sims Moddrell. In 1940, Paulene graduated from Southwestern Junior College in Keene, TX. At 19, Paulene married Doyle on June 13, 1940 in Oklahoma City, OK. They accepted a call to China before they were married so the Barnetts spent their honeymoon on a ship to Shanghai, China where they started 43 years of missionary work for the Far Eastern Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Due to the Japanese invasion of Shanghai during World War II, the Barnetts left Shanghai for Burma where they studied Mandarin Chinese. In 1942, when the Japanese made a drive on Burma, the Barnetts traveled in a truck caravan up the Burma Road from Rangoon to Chungking, China. They moved to Kunming, China where they lived until 1947.

While in Burma, the Barnetts had met Lieutenant General Claire Chennault's American Volunteer Group pilots, also known as the Flying Tigers. In Kunming, the Barnetts were reunited with the Flying Tigers. For three years in Kunming, the Barnetts didn't eat one meal alone as a couple because their home was where the American GIs
would gather.

Many of the churches in the Yunnan Province were only accessible by foot, causing the Barnetts to hike 500 miles on mountains trails. Seeing foreigners, especially Paulene's blond hair, would attract a crowd of people. Paulene loved to tell about how the Chinese would talk about her in Chinese not realizing that she understood what they were saying!

The Barnetts also lived in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. Paulene's work was dedicated to children in Asia. Paulene witnessed a crowded church and no place for the children to meet. The Bible verse of John 21:15 caught Paulene's attention where Jesus told Peter to "Feed My lambs." Remembering the church, she used donations she had received from America with instructions to "Do something for the children" to launch Operation Lamb Shelter. Covered shelters were built for children to meet for church to protect them from the rain and sun. Hundreds of Lamb Shelters were built in Southeast Asia. Because of Paulene's efforts, she became known as Mrs. Lamb Shelter.

In 1983, the Barnetts retired to College Place, Wash. During her retirement years, Paulene was the producer of the Chinese translation of The Bible In Living Sound dramatized audio Bible stories. These stories are currently distributed and heard in China. Paulene was an avid photographer, enjoyed taking movies and loved to travel. She was a friend and mentor to many, to whom she was affectionately known as "Aunt Polly."

Paulene's favorite foods were ice cream and mangos. She always had time for people, had a great sense of humor and enjoyed hearing or telling stories. Paulene loved the Lord, her husband, family and friends. She was a member of the College Place Village Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Survivors include daughter, Lois Chan of Damascus, Ore.; son-in-law, Bimin Chan, Damascus, Ore.; son, Jack Liang, Sherwood, Ore.; daughter-in-law, Doris Liang, Sherwood, Ore.; grandson, Jesse Chan, Bothell, Wash.; granddaughter, Doylene Bello, San Jose, Calif.; 24 nieces and nephews; numerous great-nieces and great-nephews. Paulene was preceded in death by her parents, her husband and two brothers, Murel Moddrell
and Vern Moddrell.

Friends may write memories and sign the online guestbook at


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