Her family regrets to announce the passing of Barbara "Barb" Baxter Beers, longtime resident of Traverse City, and devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
Barbara was born May 22, 1924 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Harold Alexander Baxter and Mabel Margaret Hull Baxter. She came of age during notable decades in America's history. She was born in the Roaring 20s, lived through the Great Depression and reached adulthood during the perilous times of World War II.
She graduated from the Liggett School in Detroit in 1942 then attended the University of Michigan, where she majored in English and graduated in 1946. On campus she met her future husband, Julius "Jake" Hannah Beers. He had just returned from serving in the U.S. Army in the European Theater to finish his final semester at U of M. They married Feb. 8, 1947 and made their home in Traverse City, where they spent the rest of their lives together until Jake's passing in 2002.
Like many young couples after the war they shared the optimism of the times, enjoying the music of the Big Band era and planning to expand their family. Barbara was an "old-school" wife and mother; she devoted all of her waking hours to caring for her family. In every way, she was the foundation of our home and was there to support her children at school and sporting events. She was very adept at sewing and knitting; all of her children modeled examples of her handicraft at some point in their young lives.
Later in life she took up macrame, crocheting and needlepoint, and the house was filled with the fruit of her labors. She was also an amateur painter; one of her favorite subjects was the lighthouses of Northern Michigan.
Later in life she and Jake traveled extensively with friends. She joined her husband in charitable ventures, including Meals on Wheels, and the formation of the Julius H. and Barbara B. Beers Family Foundation, which focuses on charitable giving in the town that they lived in and loved, Traverse City.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Harold Alexander Baxter Jr.; her sisters, Marian "Dot" Alice Baxter (Reedy) and Elizabeth "Betsy" Hull Baxter (Lathrop); and her beloved husband, Jake. Their 55-year marriage was a model of old-fashioned love and steadfast commitment of husband and wife and is an inspiration to her children.
Barbara is survived by her four loving children, Richard "Mack" (Lorraine) Beers, Bruce (Jeanne) Beers, Nancy (the late Ralph) Mantynband and Elizabeth "Betsy" Beers (Frank Peryea); six beloved grandchildren, Adam (Allison) Beers, Lauren (Adam) Creighton, Lindsey Beers, Emily Beers, Alex Mantynband and Elizabeth "Annie" Mantynband; and four great-grandchildren, Anna Beers, Jake Beers, Kellyn Creighton and Collin Creighton.
Her long battle with dementia robbed her of her memories, but she will be long remembered by those who knew and loved her.
Rest easy, Mom.
Memorial arrangements will be announced at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Alzheimer's Association or the Grand Traverse Pavilions Foundation Employee Education Fund.
Published on March 19, 2017