(picture taken at Pat & Bob Minehart's cabin in Grafton in 1989)
(Delivered: September 21, 1999)
It all began as a result of the fact that our fathers worked side by side in adjacent stalls at Adamston Flat Glass Company for over 30 years. They were both glass cutters and no doubt talked together as they plied their daily trade. At almost every evening meal, I learned something about Boog, Barbara and Ollie. And I'm sure Barbara heard similar stories about Frank, Olga and Leah at her dinner table. So we really knew each other vicariously long before we met. When we finally met face to face, as the Adamston kids and the North View kids came together at Victory High School, we were already friends.
My first impression of Barbara involved her generous nature. I had gone to the Richards to spend the night with Barbara and she insisted we have a midnight snack. It was the best sandwich I had ever had. Yesterday I overheard someone remark that Barbara made the best BLT's in town. Two months ago, I again enjoyed sandwiches prepared by Barbara when I joined her and Clint for a picnic in the park while we listened to the Wheeling symphony under the stars on the fourth of July. Barbara was always "feeding the hungry."
While our children were small, we spent lots of time together as we celebrated birthdays and Barbara brought her children for weekly piano lessons. I was truly honored when Barbara asked me to be the Godmother for her second son, Bill.
Along with her generosity, Barbara had a real penchant for "mothering." Not only did she nurture her own 5 children, she nurtured and comforted scores of other children when she worked at All Saints and St. Mary's schools. While an employee of the Harrison County Board of Education, I frequently visited both schools while Barbara served as secretary. I often observed as Barbara gathered a little-one to herself while they sniffled with tear-filled eyes. After the comforting and a Kleenex for the tears, Barbara sent each one back to class with a smile on his or her tear-stained face. She sometimes fed the hungry without a sandwich.
If it is true that we earn our place
in Heaven by our good deeds, as I believe it is, then surely Barbara was
enjoying the presence of her Creator before her eyes even closed on Sunday.
And to Barbara's children and husband I would say, "If you really believe
in the communion of saints, you have the best possible one rooting for
you now." May she rest in peace.
© 2001 Olga S. Hardman