Arjai passed away from natural causes in her home in Sun City, Arizona, on Saturday, November 21, 2020, at the age of 86.
Arjai was born Ruby Joyce Whittenburg on September 30, 1934 in Hockley County, Texas. She was an avid reader from early childhood, reading for hours in the cottonwood tree on her family’s farm. Born fifth in a family of nine children, she was the only girl until the youngest arrived.
She married young and chose to support her husband’s education and professional endeavors. Her passions were her children, grandson Alexander, her home, and playing & teaching Bridge.
After her first marriage ended, she changed her name to Arjai Elizabeth to reflect and underpin a new life and career. Her second husband John Joseph Kennedy believed in her talents and during their marriage she earned a Silver Life Master in Bridge, pursued poetry and short story writing and came to love bird watching and baseball.
Mr. Kennedy passed in 2006 and she missed him every day. She joined the Sun City Poet Society and Arizona Poet’s Society in 2011. In 2019, she published her book of Poetry, “From Texas to Here” with support from fellow poet and longtime friend Paul Callahan.
Arjai is survived by her children, John Barrington and Amy Townsley; two grandsons, Alexander and Sean; and siblings: Vernon Whittenburg, Claude Whittenburg, Kenneth Whittenburg and Helen Rankin.
Viewing & Service will be held at Sunland in Sun City, AZ on Friday, December 4th at noon. The service will be streamed live via the internet beginning at 12:30 P.M. and can be viewed at: DignityMemorial.com/obituaries/sun-city-az/arjai-barringon-9914995; scroll down to December 4th Funeral Service with the “Livestream Service” banner and click on “Join Livestream”. Due to public health recommendations, please consider watching from home. Note, there will not be a meal served after the service.
Final Viewing will be held at the Krestridge Funeral Home in Levelland, TX with Internment at the City of Levelland Cemetery in Levelland, TX on Monday, December 7th. Due to privacy and public health concerns, attendance is limited to immediate family only and there will not be a meal service after the burial.
A Celebration of Life for Arjai will be held in the fall of 2021 at Krestridge Funeral Home in Levelland, TX, public health concerns have improved. Details on the Celebration of Life will follow.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Hospice of the Valley at www.HOV.org. Or donate to The Audubon Society at www.audubon.org.