A loving wife, mother and grandmother, Barbara Parker lived a life of devotion for her family. She had a great sense of humor, was quick-witted and always had the best advice for anyone who knew her. Barbara was her familys number one fan. She was always there for each and every one of them. Her companionship will be deeply missed.
With banks still closing as a result of the Great Depression, mobster Al Capone locked away in Alcatraz, the completion of the Empire State Building and during one of the greatest droughts in American history, Kedric and Ruth (Osborn) Lankford welcomed home their only child, a daughter they named Barbara, born on July 17, 1931 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Barbara brought much hope and happiness to her parents during those challenging times.
A talented young lady, Barbara played both volleyball and basketball as well as wrote for the Quill and Scroll newspaper club at Columbia City High School. After successfully graduating in 1949, she attended Sullins College in Bristol, Virginia, an all-girls college, for one year. Returning home, she eagerly began work at Wolf Dessauer Department Store and Perfection Bread Company in Ft. Wayne. In addition, she also worked for Chamberlain Products in South Whitley. The story of her lifelong marriage to Donald E. Parker began one evening in 1955, while out with some friends at a local party. They fell deeply in love and were happily joined in marriage on October 7 that same year. Don adopted Barbs son, Mark as his own and they moved to Goose Lake. As a few years went by, they also conceived and welcomed Daniel, James and Sheryl. Sadly, baby Sheryl died just shortly after giving birth. Although this was a devastating time for Don and Barb and the children, they were elated when the happy news came that their last child was their daughter, Julie. Eventually, they moved their growing family from Goose Lake to a farm they rented near Columbia City. Later, they lived out the next thirty years on their dream property; a farm they purchased off State Road 109 until moving into Columbia City in 1996. Deeply believing in raising their young family with one of them at home, Barb remained a homemaker until their youngest started school. Rejoining the workforce, she took an administrative assistant position at Trinity Methodist Church which later became known as Columbia City United Methodist. She later retired after twenty three dedicated years of service in 1994.
Barb and Don believed in the value of travel and loved to camp with their children. Together, they would travel all over the country with their truck and camper. Savoring their time together, they would traditionally camp for three to four weeks at a time at their favorite spots. As the children grew older, the kids did not want to travel as far so they started spending the time at Arbutus Lake, near Traverse City, Michigan. A family favorite pastime there was attending the National Cherry Festival each year. The family fondly remembers when Barb even attempted to water ski behind the familys ski boat on the lake!
Family meant everything to Barb. She excitedly pitched in to help and support her daughter, Julie, when she chose to go to seminary school by caring for her grandchildren. Barb was very proud and inspired by her daughters accomplishment of becoming a pastor.
Keeping in touch with family members was of utmost importance. She even kept pace with social media, such as Facebook, as well as faithfully wrote out Christmas letters each year to keep everyone up-to-date on the special events and celebrations shared by her family. In addition to her time spent with family, Barb very much enjoyed knitting and made many special blankets and afghans for each of her grandchildren over the years. Barb was also quite a card shark enjoying many games including, George, Euchre, Hand and Foot Canasta, and Pinochle. Barb also enjoyed playing Dominoes, canning, proudly serving as an election clerk, and happily volunteering during 4-H grounds through her involvement with The Happy Homemakers Extension Club. Lifetime residents of the Columbia City area, Don and Barb had just recently settled in Plainfield in March of 2016. Sadly, Barbara died on June 14th. Her life of generosity, laughter and camaraderie will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.
Barbara Janese Parker, 84, formerly of Columbia City, Indiana, passed away at 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at Hendricks Regional Hospital in Danville. She was a proud member of Columbia City United Methodist Church, along with the Happy Homemakers Extension Club and Delta Theta Tau Sorority. Survivors include her loving husband of 60 years, Don Parker of Plainfield; children, Mark (Tam) Parker of Columbia City, Daniel (Roselynn) Parker of Centerville, Texas, James (Gerri) Parker of South Bend and Rev. Julie (Kevin) Macy of Plainfield; 11 grandchildren, Adam (Kim) Parker, Aaron (Meghan) Parker, Andrew Parker, Alexander Parker, Kurtis Parker, Tyler Parker, Jameson Parker, Jacob Parker, Brenden (Natalie) Macy, Karlee Macy and Carissa Macy; and four great-grandchildren, Allison, Madison, Hayden and Elliot. She was preceded in death by her father, Kedric Lankford; mother, Ruth Bohling; step-father, Earl Bohling; and infant daughter, Sheryl Lynn Parker.
Visitation is from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Friday, June 17, 2016 at DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home with Pastor David Arnold of Columbia City United Methodist Church officiating. Burial will follow at South Park Annex Cemetery. Memorial gifts may be given in her memory to Columbia City United Methodist Church. To send her family condolences online, visit www.demoneygrimes.com.
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