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Friday, June 24, 2011

"Sister Wives" - MERI BARBER – The Sad Loss of Her Sister, Teresa Barber Kunz.

In both seasons, a teary eyed Meri mentions her sister, Teresa, who died of colon cancer at 32 in 2006. Meri brought up something that we all should think about …getting tested for Colon Cancer. It’s the third leading cause of death in America. Our family has dealt with this horrible cancer, and it pleased me to see Meri bring this tender subject up and having a colonoscopy for all to see. I’ve had one, they are not that bad. But, when you’ve lost someone to the cancer, watched their pain and suffering, it’s a different matter. It can be terrifying. After the death of her sister, Meri’s entire siblings have gotten a colonoscopy. They all had found polyps. These polyps, if taken out early, may prevent cancer. Meri had them, too. The colonoscopies they had may have saved every sibling!     

Every time she speaks of her, tears well up in her eyes. They were obviously close, loving sisters, a connection that Meri really needs right now and misses. Teresa had stage 4 cancer, and succumbed to it a short 11 months after being diagnosed.  It’s also a lesson on polygamy. Teresa was the second wife, and her loving sister wife would be raising her kids. “She loves them and they love her.” Meri tells us. Robyn and Meri both explained in different episodes that it was an unspoken rule among polygamists that a sister wife would take the kids and raise them. They see this as a comforting bonus of the lifestyle.

The thing that bothers me is the terminology. Sadly, Teresa wasn’t a wife in the eyes of the law. These women aren’t her “sisters.” Why not just call it what it is? Or come up with a better name for the different people “in the lifestyle.” Teresa was listed, as one would assume, as Teresa Barber, on the Social Security Death index.

Obituary: TERESA BARBER KUNZ
TERESA BARBER KUNZ 1973 ~ 2006; TERESA BARBER KUNZ, age 32, passed away February 6, 2006 at her home in Rocky Ridge, Utah. She was born May 2, 1973 in Alameda, California to WILLIAM JAMES BARBER, JR. and BONNIE AHLSTROM BARBER. She married JEFFERY KUNZ Feb. 24, 1996 in Bluffdale, Utah. Survived by her husband JEFF; children, JESSIKA LAUREN KUNZ, VIONA JUSTYNE KUNZ, WILLIAM JOSEPH KUNZ, and MYKENNA JOYCE KUNZ; parents, WILLIAM and BONNIE BARBER; many brothers, sisters, and extended family. Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, February 11, 2006 at the Rocky Ridge Cemetery, Rocky Ridge, Utah. A memorial service and luncheon will be held at the Rocky Ridge Chapel following the interment. Funeral Directors, Anderson Funeral Home, Nephi, UT. (Source: Deseret News, Thurs. 9 Feb 2006)

30 comments:

  1. I lost my father to Colon Cancer,it is a terrible death.

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  2. I feel so bad for Meri, this has been talked about so much on the show. She must have many siblings; she must of been very close to her.

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  3. I wonder why Meri didn't take them, so she could have more?

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  4. I have had several friends deal with colon cancer. I find it hard to believe that the Barbers were doomed because of inbreeding as your
    someone says. It is prevalent everywhere. My sympathies to Meri and Teresa's family. Nice find the obit.

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  5. There is a disorder called familial polyposis syndrome - it is a genetic disorder which can sometimes be seen when there is inbreeding in a family. Familial polyposis syndrome is HIGHLY ASSOCIATED WITH COLON CANCER. Notice that Meri and ALL of her siblings have colon polyps. They might very well have familial polyposis syndrome due to cousin marriage, or marriage between relatives in their family tree. When familial polyposis syndrome is seen in a family, all members of the family are at risk of developing colon cancer and all family members therefore should undergo colon cancer screening.

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  6. I love Meri. Despite their religion, I can have an open mind as far as "The Browns" as people. I have friends that are Jewish, gay, etc., and that doesn't bother me. I think I could easily be friends with any of these ladies. And who knows, if they had a good friend outside of the religion, they just might get brave and leave.

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  7. I think that Janelle looks very unhappy and is no doubt on her way out.

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  8. In talking about genetics: Colorado City and Hildale (twin cities) have the world's highest incidence of an extremely rare genetic disorder called fumarase deficiency that causes severe retardation. This is also called "Cousin's Disease". At least 1/2 the residents are descendants of John Barlow and/or Joseph Smith Jessop.

    I wonder how the burials work also.

    Has anyone read "The 19th Wife"? Not the original, but the one with the original in the fictional story? It is more about the FLDS and its start. A lot about the "Lost Boys" too. Very interesting!

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  9. My sympathy for your father Mister Sister.

    Talking about the families and guardians: I skimmed another book written by Rulon Allred's daughter. She said she didn't have a birth certificate. In the past, they did homebirths, not because of lack of healthcare, but because they didn't want any trace of the child. She said that left her without an identity which really affected her life. Does anyone know what you have to have to file for welfare? Are birth certificates needed?

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  10. Mister Sister, I am sorry for your loss. Glad you were there for your father.

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  11. geeky girl, I read the fictional 19th wife a couple years ago, and I was totally floored. I think that was the first time I ever read anything in depth about polygamy (other than the news about the raids on Jeffs place) and then I read Under the Banner of Heaven. Holy Cow.

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  12. I will check Under the Banner of Heaven out Maraschino5. There are a lot of books out there, but some are definitely better than others. I am a history nut and I'm nosey, so the way 19th Wife was written was very interesting to me. Documentary Channel had a Lost Boys documentary in February or March. They also had one about children raised in polygamy that were no longer practicing. Both had me in tears and pretty much followed what the author of The 19th Wife wrote about modern day polygamy. I was able to watch one online.

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  13. Hey all,
    Just so you know, there was no inbreeding going on in the Barber family. The cancer Teresa got had nothing to do with it. just thought you'd like to know.

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  14. Sounds like familial polyposis to me - everyone's got polyps.

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  15. I would like to see the family tree for Meri Barber before I would ever believe that, Mariah.

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  16. Hey Mariah, is that you?

    Can you tell us why Kody has kids he cannot support, or why he is involved in all those bankruptcy filings ? We want to know.

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  17. Anonymous,
    I've seen a family tree for her personally, as I am her daughter, and I can tell you for a fact this accusation is not true.

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  18. I did not say there was any inbreeding, I asked someone who knows much more than they are saying to respond to the subject. As a matter of fact, my great great grandparents in TN were first cousins. It's not necessarily a stranger to our society. And yes, Meri's family was into polygamy before her parents.

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  19. Let's see the family tree then - going back to the 19th century. That would rule out any doubt.

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  20. Kody's second wife is his step sister, and his third wife is one of his second or third cousins. And you expect us not to believe there is inbreeding in this family ? Give me a break.

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  21. Working on the Trees, folks, it's difficult!

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  22. merisnewneighborJuly 6, 2011 at 8:38 AM

    This is really still a sore point for Meri, please be kind.

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  23. The thing is, she probably has 15 other sisters. What about those that had one, and lost one? She does have lots of family to b thankful for. I know she misses her, but, should look at how "Polygamy" blessed her. +snark+

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  24. This was a kind post, what are you talking about?

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  25. Nice Article, thank you

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  26. Just for the record, My Name is Marc Barber.
    I amn the Oldest of the "Barber" Children, therefore one of the siblings that had a colonoscopy and polyps were found and removed. Can some please provide that record to me and my Physisian, Dr. Danile C Smith MD. I have regular solonoscopy and to date and never been diagnosed with or have any irregularities been found. How do they have access to my private medical history. ?

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  27. "Can some please provide that record to me and my Physisian, Dr. Danile C Smith MD."

    Are you talking about this statement?
    "After the death of her sister, Meri’s entire siblings have gotten a colonoscopy. They all had found polyps."

    Meri said it on the show. She said her siblings had had colonoscopies and had found polyps.

    No one has your records, of my knowledge. This came from the show.

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  28. YES this statment "After the death of her sister, Meri’s entire siblings have gotten a colonoscopy. They all had found polyps. These polyps, if taken out early, may prevent cancer. Meri had them, too. The colonoscopies they had may have saved every sibling!"

    Wherever it came from is incorrect, I have never had a polyp or any other issue with my colon. I know of one other sibling who has not had the test and possibly one more. So as a result of this statment people are now blogging about incest etc. polyposis sysndrome and genetic issues related to "inbreeding" boy how things get out of control. I am not sure on Kody's relationship with Christine, but I am sure is doesn't come close to the "close relative" requirement to meet incest, in fact to my knowlege this fact wasn't known until long after Kody joined up with the AUB and if they were so close wouldnt the have known each other before then? As to Kody getting married to Janelle there simply is no blood relationship, Janelle was married to my younger brother and they got divorced. Because of that Kody is accused of incest? she is no more a blood relative of Kody than she was of Adam.

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  29. Meri mentioned the siblings getting tested on the show. I was just writing a nice piece about Teresa, and it's near to my heart, b/c my dad died of it. When the other writer brought up
    close relations- I even said I had found out my great great grandparents were cousins.

    No one mentioned insect, or that syndrome (I dont know what that is!, although you can see the part where a qualified person wrote part of it on the post.

    This was written early on - I see where your getting it from, the comments. You must realize many of the commenters have been in the AUB, know much more about it than I - have read books, etc. Sorry if their comments offended, but they were telling what they know about it.

    I can't tell you what background some of the commenters have. Most are much more knowledgeable than I about the AUB, Polygamy, etc. If they are talking about this syndrome, they have read up on it.

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