Updated: Tue 12:37 PM, Jan 02, 2018
Funeral Home: Demaray Funeral Service
Wendell - Marion Bernardine “Barnee” Morris Erkins, 92, a resident of Wendell, formerly of Bliss and Buhl, passed away on Friday, December 29, 2017, at Bridgeview Estates in Twin Falls, Idaho.
Barnee was born July 10, 1925, in Elizabeth, New Jersey. She was the wife of the late Robert “Bob” Alter Erkins and was the daughter of Frederick Todd Morris and Marion Matilda Danskin Morris.
Barnee was graduated from Vail-Deane School in Elizabeth, New Jersey, 1943; from Cornell University with a degree in Biology, 1947; and Katherine Gibbs School in New York City. She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
Barnee moved to Fort Lauderdale to work in the hotel industry where she met Bob Erkins. Barnee and Bob married at Our Lady's Chapel, Notre Dame University, South Bend, Indiana, on October 22, 1949. They then moved to Southern California where they continued in hotel management. In 1952, they bought a trout farm and relocated to Buhl, Idaho.
Barnee and Bob had a marriage “of bliss” for 68 years. They raised their family in Idaho on what originally was the Snake River Trout Company. Jointly, they created the world’s largest trout processing plant, selling to restaurants around the world. Barnee was noted for creating the famous breaded Trout Amandine for the Snake River Trout Company, which continues to be served worldwide today. Barnee also created the recipe for “Trout Barnee”*. During the time of Kennedy’s Inauguration, “Trout Barnee” was featured on the menu of Harvey’s Restaurant, which at that time was a politically-famed restaurant in Washington, D.C.
In 1976 the family moved to White Arrow Ranch, 10 miles north of Bliss, Idaho. There they founded the Bliss Valley Foods company utilizing the property’s unique hot springs and geothermal energy to produce gourmet oyster mushrooms.
Together, Barnee and Bob founded the International Seafood Conference and the Erkins Seafood Letter. For over 20 years, Barnee served as Vice-President of the Conference and “Editor in Chief” of the monthly and the quarterly newsletters, which were sent internationally to readers in over 40 countries.
Barnee served as Chairman of the Idaho State Catholic Board of Education and was a member of both the Idaho State Park Foundation and the Foundation Board of the College of Southern Idaho.
Barnee’s interests were diverse. First and foremost was the raising of her 10 children. Many hours and years were spent educating, mentoring, encouraging and shuttling her children to school and various activities. She loved Notre Dame University and hosted many activities for the local Notre Dame University Club, the local Antique Festival Theatre group, and the Elderhostel tours. She loved to entertain for businesses, organizations, and fundraisers.
Barnee also loved fashion. She was an excellent designer and seamstress, and did not limit her skills to her children’s dance costumes. Among other things, she re-designed her wedding dress for each of her 7 daughters. She always said: “If I had known when buying my wedding dress it would actually be used 8 times, I would have gotten an expensive one.”
Barnee, like her husband, believed in preserving Idaho’s ecology and history. Barnee and Bob’s ultimate desire would have been the preservation of the many springs along the Snake River and areas such as Devil’s Corral.
Barnee was the sister of Marilyn Audrey Mooney in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and the late Frederick Todd Morris, Jr.
Barnee and Bob’s children are: Greg (Kay), Melissa (Mark), Melinda (Peter), Marla (Jon), Melanie (John), Randy (Laren), Mara (Joe), Melonni (Tom), Megan (Mark), and Tim (Don). Barnee and Bob have an adopted daughter Jackie (James), 28 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
A rosary will be held on Thursday, January 4th, 2018, at 6:00 PM at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church in Gooding, Idaho. A funeral service will be held on Friday, January 5th, 2018, at 4:00 PM at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church.
Funeral services and cremation arrangements are under the care and direction of Demaray Funeral Service - Gooding Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to The Monastery of the Ascension in Jerome, Idaho, or St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.
Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared with the family by visiting the obituary link at www.demarayfuneralservices.com.
The family would like to share Barnee’s recipe for all to enjoy.
*© “Trout Barnee”
6 - 6 ounce continental rainbow trout, boned and butterflied, head and tails on
Salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces wild rice
1 large tomato, cut into 6 (½ inch) slices
6 large mushroom caps
12 small strips king crabmeat
Spiced crab apples or lingonberry jam
Heat oven to 350 ͦF. Prepare a pan for baking trout by buttering bottom and sides well. Salt and pepper boned trout on inside, lightly. Cook wild rice as directed on package and place wild rice on side of butterflied trout. Place a slice of tomato and then a large mushroom cap on top of rice. Sprinkle trout with paprika. Bake in preheated oven about 20 minutes, or until meat of trout is white and juicy. Lay one small strip of king crabmeat on each side of mushroom. Serve on a large lettuce leaf or on shredded lettuce. Garnish with parsley and spiced crab apples or lingonberry jam. Pour Macadamia Nut Butter Sauce over trout or serve separately. Yield: 6 servings
-Macadamia Nut Butter Sauce
½ cup butter
1 cup Macadamia nuts
Brown Macadamia nuts in butter. Add paprika and parsley, if desired, while heating. Serve with trout or pour over trout. Yield: 1½ cups
This recipe was featured on the menu at Harvey’s Restaurant at the time of President Kennedy’s inauguration as Trout Barnee.
©Mrs. Bob Erkins (Barnee)