Barbara Land (Jackie’s mom)

Barbara Nell Land née Neblett passed away peacefully on February 22, 2020 at Carle Hospital in Urbana, Illinois at the age of 96.

Barbara was a writer.

After graduating from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism she won a Pulitzer Travel Scholarship which provided funds for travel and reporting while she wrote many articles on the role of women in the reconstruction of postwar Europe.

The list of places she worked as a journalist would be long, but notably included the Miami Herald, Life Magazine, Armed Forces Network, The New York Times, and Reno Gazette-Journal. She wrote over twenty books, including many co-authored with her husband Myrick Land.

Among her books she was perhaps most proud of The New Explorers about women scientists in Antarctica. She had a life-long fascination with the continent from third grade, when she read in the Weekly Reader about a boy scout who traveled to Antarctica. She complained to her father that boys could do things like that and she couldn’t, and her father replied “When you grow up you can do whatever you want.”

Years later, when researching the book, she got as close as New Zealand, approved for the official flight to the research station, only to be unable to board because the scientists and their equipment reached the weight limit for the plane.

Although she never made it to Antarctica as a working writer, she did eventually visit as a tourist, taking two cruises there in her 80s.

Barbara was born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky on July 11, 1923 to Robert Neblett and Jacqueline Neblett. She is survived by her son and daughter, Robert Land of Santa Barbara, California, and Jacquelyn Brewer of Savoy, Illinois, and by her granddaughter Kyra Yorkland. She was proceeded in death by her husband Myrick Land.

No funeral service is planned. The family will scatter her ashes in Nevada, near where her husband’s ashes were scattered. In lieu of flowers, please donate in Barbara’s memory to the UNR Foundation, Barbara and Myrick Land Scholarship Endowment (175218), c/o UNR Foundation, Mailstop 0162, Reno, NV 89557. The family would like to thank all the people at Willowbrook of Savoy who took such good care of Barbara the past three years.

Picture of Barbara Land having climbed a tree
I wasn’t very good at taking pictures of Barbara, but she always liked this one, taken at Turkey Run in Indiana.

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8 thoughts on “Barbara Land (Jackie’s mom)”

  1. My condolences to you and Jackie on the passing of her mother. I hope you can both reflect on the happy times shared with Barbara.

  2. Phil – Jackie just shared the obit that you wrote. Barbara would have loved it, as it catches both her spirit and what she was most proud of. I’m so glad that I met her and shared so much time and so many “adventures” with her, although none so exciting as the things she was able to accomplish and do in her career and with Mike.
    Jeanette

  3. I have such warm memories of Barbara from our days working together at the Reno Gazette Journal. She inspired me to be courageous and not cower from opportunities to explore life to its fullest. She also showed me that graciousness is a sign of confidence and strength.

    Barbara Anderson

  4. Thank you! I’m pleased to know that Barbara touched your life in so significant a way.

  5. Barbara was a delight to know! I always treasured her visits into Chicago to attend events with the Illinois Woman’s Press Association (IWPA). She was an exceptional woman, writer, and storyteller. God Bless!

  6. Thank you! Barbara enjoyed everything about those IWPA meetings, and would tell us all about how much fun she had after each trip.

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