Betty J. Barber

Betty J. Barber

Betty passed away surrounded by her family, Friday, June 24, 2016 at Life Care Center in Plainwell.

She was born April 2, 1925 in Grand Rapids the daughter of Paul and Sophia (Marciniak) Waichum. Betty attended Mount Mercy Academy in Grand Rapids and moved to Plainwell after graduation. She had worked at Wieshuiser Paper Mill where she met Lawrence Barber and on January 10, 1948 they were married. Together they had two daughters and she was able to remain at home as they were growing up. Betty lost her husband in November of 1968 so she began working at Kal-Quip and remained there for several years. In the 1980’s Betty moved to Kalamazoo and lived independently until her passing. In her spare time she enjoyed bowling, reading, playing the piano, riding her bicycle and collecting miniature bicycles. Betty loved spending time with her family and had enjoyed camping with both of her daughters and their families along with visits to Washington DC, Virginia, the Mackinac Bridge and Florida.

Surviving are her children, Sue (Jim) Newcomb and Mary Jane Barber- Sleeman; grandchildren, Nathan (Shawn) Newcomb, Corey (Tricia) Newcomb and Matthew (Chris) Sleeman; great-grandchildren, Ally, Kailah and Hailey Newcomb; sisters-in-law, Mildred Bos, Doris Schuiteboer, Beatrice Gauthier and Beverly Gauthier; many nieces and nephews and her special friends, Barbara Hughes and Dottie Goodwin.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, brother, Robert Waichum, brothers –in-law, Gerald Barber, Roger Gilligan, Howard Stull, Joe Gauthier, George Gauthier, Don Woodhams, Chester Walker, Jay Bos, Mike Schuiteboer and Art Roberts and sisters –in-law, Lillian Stull, Marge Gilligan, Lucille Woodhams, Lucille Barber and Geraldine Waichum.

According to her wishes cremation has taken place.

Friends may visit with Betty’s family Saturday, July 9, 2016 starting at 10:00 A.M. until the time of the memorial service at 11:00 A.M. at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego with Pastor Brian Lutz and Rev. Fr. Alan Jorgensen officiating.

A private family burial of ashes will take place at Hillside Cemetery in Plainwell.

In lieu of flowers contributions in memory of Betty may be made to Heartland Hospice of Kalamazoo or to the charity of your choice.

Messages of condolence may be posted at

Print Obituary & Condolences Print Obituary & Condolences

Offer Condolence for the family of Betty J. Barber

Messages of Condolence

  1. Lori Franko says:

    Sue and Jim
    So sorry to hear of your Moms passing. I enjoyed hearing your stories of her. I will tell my Mom to look her up in heaven and they can be friends.

    Lori Franko

  2. Jack & Teri Laster says:

    Sue & Jim & family, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Jack really enjoyed talking with your mom & her humor. Hugs

  3. vanessa says:

    sorry for your mom’s passing betty was a great friend to everybody she’ll surely be missed by everyone.

  4. Doris Schuiteboer Family says:

    Please accept our sympathy at this time of loss. Always enjoyed visiting with Betty, it was so nice that she remained in as good of health as she did until just recently. Our love and prayers go out to you and yours.

  5. Sherri Bronson says:

    Mary Jane and Family,
    So sorry to hear of your Mother’s passing. Keeping you in my thoughts and my prayers.

  6. Jodi Stermer/lab says:

    Mary Jane, your mom was always a smile-I loved working with her.
    I cannot forget ” bettybarber.”

  7. Terry Steinman says:

    Mary Jane and Sue, My youth wouldn’t have been the same without “Ornery Betty” and bowling with you girls. I’ll miss her and have many fond memories. Love ya, Terry

  8. Jeannie Wood says:

    So sorry to read of your moms passing she was a funny lady I remember her from bowling please pass on prayers for your family from me.

  9. Madeline Hoppe says:

    Angels is watching over you.

  10. Barbara Hughes says:

    Betty will always be my friend in thoughts and prayers.

  11. Lori Steele says:

    Mary Jane and family sorry for your loss. Betty was a great lady and she will be missed.

  12. Phil Honeysett says:

    Sorry for your lost Sue and Jim. I will keep in in my thoughts this weekend.

Please share your thoughts ...

  • How do I send condolences?

    At the bottom of this page, you will find a condolence form. You will need to fill out some basic information prior to typing your message. (We will not share your e-mail address with anyone)

    Once you are finished, simply click the submit condolence button. Within 24 hours the condolence will be approved before it is published to the web site.

    We also provide a Tell-A-Friend feature located directly below these instructions. This form allows you to send the obituary to a friend. This is particularly helpful to someone who may live out of town.

  • Share This Obituary

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.