Nov. 30, 1949 — Aug. 17, 2013
Barbara Ellen Thomson, lifelong resident of the Walla Walla Valley, passed away on Aug. 17, 2013. She was born Nov. 30, 1949, in Walla Walla to Fred Douglas and Ellen Cummins Hill. After graduating from Walla Walla High School in 1968, Barbara attended the International Barber College in Pasco. After graduation she worked as a licensed barber and met her loving husband, Duane. Duane and Barbara were married June 9, 1974, in Walla Walla.
Barbara had a passion for Christ and God. As a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Walla Walla she was active in the Walk With Christ Movement, she taught Sunday school, assisted with Vacation Bible School, was a pianist for Sunday services, served as an elder and was a Stephens minister.
Throughout her life in Walla Walla, Barbara was an active member of her community. She volunteered with many organizations, including Walla Walla District 4 Fire Auxiliary (including a year as president), Walla Walla Community Hospice, Little Theatre of Walla Walla, Goodwill and the Lillie Rice Center. One of her greatest passions was theater, and at the Little Theatre and the Fort Walla Walla Theatre she took on roles of producer, stage manager, costumer, dresser, stage hand and props manager. She also served on the board of directors of the Little Theatre for a number of years. Barbara was also a charter member of the Walla Walla Cruisers Car Club and The Daughters of the Pioneers of Washington.
Barbara was noted for a being a selfless and devoted wife and mother to her family and a compassionate and caring friend and confidant. She possessed a jovial laugh and sense of humor and was always open and willing to listen to others. Barbara loved music, whether it be playing the piano or singing. She loved to sew and was interested in photography. Barbara had a passion for animals, especially dogs. She was a supporter of the American Eskimo Rescue, and her beloved dog Baxter is a rescue Eskie.
Throughout her life Barbara held many professional positions. She worked as the secretary for the First Presbyterian Church and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. In the 1980s she worked at the Mailroom. Barbara owned and operated Auntie B’s Daycare for 12 years; she had a special gift for working with babies and young children with special needs. She was a switchboard operator at St. Mary’s Medical Center. Barbara had a passion for the elderly and for eight years she worked as a senior services coordinator for Community Action Programs of East Central Oregon. In this position she coordinated Meals on Wheels, the congregate meals, educational programs and health screenings at the Milton-Freewater Senior Center.
Barbara is preceded in death by her parents; and a half-brother. She is survived by her husband, Duane; daughter, Sarah; and a half-brother in Arkansas.
Visitation will be held Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013, from 1-5 p.m. at Herring Groseclose Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held Monday, Aug. 26, 2013, at 11 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Walla Walla, 325 S. First Ave., Walla Walla. Private interment will be held at the Touchet Cemetery in Touchet. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Milton-Freewater Senior Center, Chicagoland Eskie Rescue, the First Presbyterian Church of Walla Walla and Walla Walla Community Hospice through the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla, WA, 99362. Family and friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.herringgroseclose.com.