Omaha's popular restaurant owner "Big Mama" passes away at the age of 76

Omaha's popular restaurant owner "Big Mama" passes away at the age of 76

OMAHA,Neb(FOX42KPTM)-Family members are planning to continue the legacy of a popular restaurant owner. Patricia Barron, also known as "Big Mama" passed away on March 30.

She started cooking meals in her home over 40 years ago. In November 2007, she moved to a location near 45th and Wirt Streets.

"If you want to go out and enjoy a great meal, go to Big Mama," Ira Banks Jr. said. He's been to Big Mama's Kitchen and Catering few times.

She was best known for her oven fried chicken and sweet potato pie ice-cream. The restaurant was featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives and The Travel Channel.

"She always felt that you can bring people together with a meal and good food, she's been doing that for years," Gladys Harrison said. She's Barron's youngest daughter.

Barron was diagnosed with Chronic lymphocytic leukemia four years ago. She continued working everyday until June 2017.

"She came and worked even when she didn't feel good. She worked six days a week. They don't make women like that anymore."

"This is a lady that I would just love to be around. She was so pleasant and so kind," Banks Jr. said.

On the last Friday of March, Barron took her last breath, leaving the restaurant and recipes with her children.

"One of the last things that my mom told me and my family is to make sure that you keep my restaurant going and that you guys do what you need to do," Harrison said.

Since her death has gone public, the community has given back love and support.

"It's been a great spirit booster for us, a way for us to keep our mind off our mom not being here,"Harrison said.

Barron even gave second chances to people who would get turned away.

"She made it a point to make Big Mama's a place where a felon could get a start."

Harrison says they want to continue Big Mama's legacy through her sweet and savory food.

"Living our lives, enjoying our lives and continuing this legacy for us for the restaurant being a part of the community, that's what she wanted for us."

Big Mama's Kitchen and Catering will be closed April 2nd-April 5th. It will reopen Friday, April 6th at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests memorial contributions to the Metropolitan Community College Foundation, P.O. Box 3777, Omaha, NE 68103-0777 to benefit the Patricia "Big Mama" Barron Culinary Scholarship. Please indicate the scholarship name in the check memo line. Memorial contributions can also be given online at: Indicate the scholarship name in the, "donation is in honor of" section.

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