Barbara Joan DeWitt
12/14/1938 - 12/15/2019
Obituary for Barbara Joan DeWitt
The day after her 81st birthday, Barbara Joan [VanDreal] DeWitt passed from this life to the great unknown. Unsure of what exactly might await her, she had her fingers crossed that the higher power would be a woman, and that the journey would reunite her with her parents and her three siblings, Ginger, Paul and Janet.
A lover of books and all paths to understanding, Barbara attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Anthropology, and from Aquinas College with a Masters in Management. She was a proud member of Phi Beta Kappa and the first woman elected to the Kent City School Board.
In the spirit of adventure and learning, Barbara lived her life as an unbound trip, driving across the United States with the window down and an endless supply of tic tacs. She embraced the vibrant communities and welcome of others in her travels to Asia, Europe, and Latin America.
Barbara’s children, assembled from diverse lineages by the most unlikely combination of serendipity and choice, were the great miracles and lights of her life. She will be forever beloved by her daughter Christy and sons Tom, Mike, and Tufurahi, and her grandchildren Trevor, Cher-Wen, Su-Hwei, Erin, Chad, Brian and Brianna. She cracked open the world for them by living her belief that all people are neighbors and potential family, no matter how far they are from us—and that all we have to do is find them.
She was a remarkable woman who lived ahead of her time and beyond her circumstance, but if we're being honest, there simply never was, nor ever will be another person like her.
There will be a private Celebration of Life. In lieu of flowers, Barbara would have wanted her well-wishers to put their efforts behind getting 45 out of the White House in 2020.
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