Barbara A. Thornburgh passed peacefully on December 20, 2016 after a long and very courageous battle with cancer. Barbara was born to Clarence and Anna Cairns in Hastings, MI on May 23, 1937. Barbara and her brother, Lee grew up on a family farm in Hastings, MI. Barb graduated from Hastings High School in 1956. After high school, Barb went on to Michigan State University. While attending the university and attending church, a friend introduced her to her future husband, Glenn O. Thornburgh. They married in November of 1957. Together, Barb and Glenn shared three children, Mary, Rob and Lisa.
Barb spent her younger years involved in 4H and was active in the family farm where they raised sheep and dairy cattle. She showed sheep at the local fair and continued to be active in and support the 4H program as an adult. She was a 4H leader and served as the secretary for the Barry County Fair Board and was active in many agriculture and community events. Barbara had great love for the 4H program and was proud in knowing many members of her family continued on in that tradition. Barb was also an active member in the Quimby United Methodist church for many years. She played piano and supported the youth outreach programs. In addition, she spent time knitting and crocheting. She took great pride in making mittens for anyone who needed them and gave dozens of pair to Central Elementary School over the course of several years. She made sure several little hands stayed warm. She also used this talent to make prayer shawls for donations to ailing community members and new babies. She proudly acknowledged this work and made hundreds of them over the years. Barb was a great seamstress. She made wonderful dresses for her grand daughter Sarah. She would sew and knit baby blankets, sweaters and dress up clothing for the kids and helped make wedding dresses and bridal party dresses for most of her children. Barbara enjoyed working and playing at Creative Juices Pottery Studio and would shop for hours on QVC and loved her special lunchtime visits with her lady friends and staff at Wendy’s. She was flower enthusiast and could tell you numerous things about many types of flowering plants. She also was an avid bird watcher and shared this knowledge with those who would take time to learn. The thing that gave her the greatest joy was watching and spending time with her grandchildren. At one time or another, she cared for each and every one of them. In her own words, “Being a Grandma is the best.” She later stated that she was so grateful to have the privilege to watch them all grow and become adults and reach for their dreams.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, Clarence and Anna Cairns, her husband Glenn and recently by her youngest daughter, Lisa Hunter. She is survived by her children, Mary Guy, Robert (Angela) Thornburgh and her son-in-law Joe Hunter, sister Judy . She had 5 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren: Joseph Hunter and Morgan Hunter, both of Seneca, South Carolina. Adam Guy (Sammy) of Lake Odessa, Sarah Thornburgh of Washington D.C. and Ryan Thornburgh of Hastings, MI. Great Grandchildren Colton Guy and Emerson Guy. She is also survived by many special relatives and friends that include Barb’s brother, Lee (Ruby) Cairns and his family, Mary’s partner, Art Berthold, who provided special care and friendship to Barb, nieces, nephews and friends from church and community organizations. Family wishes to thank the many special people who have visited with Barb in the time of her illness.
Barb is at the Lauer Family Funeral Home – Wren Chapel 1401 N. Broadway in Hastings where her family will receive friends on Tuesday December 27 2016 from 10 am until time of services at 11am
In lieu of flowers, the family would be honored to have you honor Barb with your donation to the Barry County Agricultural Society or local Barry County 4H programs.
Please share a memory with Barb’s family at www.lauerfh.com.