Barbara Joan Hoedema (nee Smith) previously of Plymouth, IN passed away peacefully with her daughter Lisa Ann and son-in-law Steven Craig at her side Friday, April 12, 2019 at St. Ann’s Rest Home in Milwaukee, WI at the age of 81 years. Barbara passed away following a battle with cancer. Barbara was born in Lexington, KY to the late Charles Wendell Smith and Mary Ann Thomas. Barbara graduated from Bellville High School in 1955 alongside her husband, the late Larry Allen Hoedema. Barbara graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a B.S. in Education in 1959 and later an M.A. in Education with a Learning Disabilities specialty in 1971. Barbara was a dedicated teacher who spent the rest of her working life teaching learning-disabled children to read, write and prepare for life. Barbara married her high school sweetheart Larry on September 6, 1958 and spent each day of the next fifty-seven years at one another’s sides. They lived most of their married lives in Hillsdale, MI where they raised their children Susan Alice (Bardwell) and Lisa Ann (Freigang) and later in Plymouth, IN where they lived next to daughter Susan. Their lives also included opening up their home and hearts to German exchange student Andrea Gassner (Moeller) of Hamburg, Germany who to this day is considered daughter, sister and beloved member of the family. Barbara is survived by her youngest daughter Lisa Ann Freigang and son-in-law Steven Craig of Bayside, Wisconsin. Her eldest daughter, Dr. Susan Alice Bardwell, passed away from cancer on August 25, 2012. Her husband, Larry Allen, passed away on June 19, 2016. It is safe to say that one of Barbara’s greatest joys were her grandchildren. She spent countless hours reading, walking in nature or on the beaches of Lake Michigan and baking cookies with them. She is survived by her 5 grandchildren: Anja Elise, Ella Ann and Craig William Freigang and Ian Edward Allen and Hayden Michael Lawrence Bardwell. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider donations to St. Ann’s Rest Home. Words cannot express the kindness and loving care given by the Sisters and caregivers at St. Ann’s toward myself and my mother, Barbara. Whether it was help with paperwork, a hug or a kind word about my mother, these beautiful souls cared for all of us and I would not have made it through this journey without them. Donations can be mailed to St. Ann’s Rest Home, 2020 S. Muskego, Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53204. There will also be an opportunity to make a donation for a memorial bench for my sister, Dr. Susan Alice Bardwell, to be placed near the hospital where she worked at a later date. This was one of her final wishes that we are trying to honor. My parents were incredibly proud of the care she provided to so many children in the community of Plymouth, IN where they all lived. Thank you for your support. Memorial Visitation Tuesday, April 23 at The Rozga Funeral Home (703 W. Lincoln Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53215) from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM followed by a Memorial Service at 1:00 PM. Private cremation and inurnment to follow at Oak Hill Cemetery in Plymouth, IN.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Barbara J Hoedema April 12 2019.
Death notice for the town of: Milwaukee, state: Wisconsin