Barbara's Story

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Barbara "Barb" May Walsh, 80, of Traverse City, joined her loved ones in heaven on Thursday, June 1, 2017.
Barb was born July 25, 1936, in Richland, Missouri. She was the daughter of John Kelvin and Lucy Pearl Brendel.
She graduated in 1954 from Lebanon, Missouri, then joined the U.S. Navy in 1955 and became an NM3. She served for 19 months in San Diego California at USNH. There she met her husband, Thomas David Walsh, and they married on Nov. 3, 1956. Together they welcomed four beautiful children, Vicki, Thomas, Kimberly and Amy, and made their home in Traverse City in 1968.
Throughout her life she spread her talents amongst the school system, McDonald's, volunteer roles and other adventures, but her greatest joy was going to her children's and grandchildren's events. She was everyone's cheerleader and had her cowbell ringing in support.
She was an active bowler for over 40 years and a league secretary for over 30 years. She enjoyed the time with her knitting groups, where there was much laughing, eating and special projects, her perfect combination.
She was an active volunteer for the last seven years with Silver Lake Elementary, where she spent precious time with students and staff.
She is survived by her four children, Vicki Oxley, Thomas Walsh Jr., Kimberly (David) Little and Amy (Mark) Rickenberg; her grandchildren, Ryan Walsh, Tyler Spagnuolo, Nichole (Shane) Dilloway, Karli Wheelock, Lucas Little, Alexandra Little, Kara Rickenberg and Andrew Rickenberg; her great-grandchildren, Kaitlyn Bendig, Trenton Williams, Arris Spagnuolo and Bennett Dilloway; her siblings, John (Jean) Brendel, Lee Bill (Peggy) Brendel, Kerry (Cindy) Brendel, Bess (Robert) Moen and Rod (Pam) Brendel; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, John Kelvin and Lucy Pearl Brendel; the father of her children, Thomas Walsh Sr.; and her son-in-law, CJ Oxley.
Visitation will be held Thursday, June 8, 2017, from 5 to 7 p.m., and Friday, June 9, 2017, from 10 to 11 a.m. Her celebration of life will be held Friday, June 9, 2017, at 11 a.m. The visitation and celebration will be held at Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home.
Barbara was an exceptional individual who made a lasting impact on everyone she encountered. She found the good in all and lived life to its very fullest. Her greatest gifts were her children and grandchildren, and she will continue to live on through each of them. We will all miss her beautiful soul.
Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice in her honor.
Please visit www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com to share a memory with the family.
The family is being cared for by the Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Published on June 6, 2017
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