DES MOINES, Iowa — EDITOR'S NOTE: The above video is from the 2021 Iowa State Fair
The matriarch of an Iowa State Fair food staple has passed away.
Virginia Barksdale, whose family recipe led to the famous Barksdale's State Fair Cookies at the fair, died Monday at the age of 94. Her husband, Joseph Barksdale, entrusted the cookie stand to the Iowa State Fair in 2019.
The Iowa State Fair wrote on Facebook:
"Our thoughts and prayers are with our Barksdale’s Cookie family on the passing of Virginia Barksdale. Her family recipe is behind the famous cookies that Joe and Virginia gifted to the people of Iowa through the Iowa State Fair.
She will be greatly missed."
Joe and Virginia Barksdale married in 1948, according to her online obituary. She worked as a nurse — both in hospitals and schools — before starting on the cookie business.
"Virginia loved to travel and through Joseph's job they were able to travel all over the world. Because of nursing she was able to take trips to China, Russia, and Switzerland with other nurses, visiting hospitals and care facilities," the obituary reads.
FROM THE ARCHIVES | 11-foot-tall chocolate moose at the 2012 Iowa State Fair