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Barbara Birdsall Friend passed away on June 22, 2018 at the age of 77. She was preceded in death by her loving mother Ernestine Bunnell Birdsall Friend, her father Albert L. Birdsall and her stepfather W. Keith Friend. She was also preceded in death by her devoted “second mom” Caroline M. Birdsall her aunt by marriage. She is survived by her loving cousins Janie Birdsall Lander and Sarah Brewer Birdsall both of St. Louis as well as two dear stepsiblings Roger Friend along with his wife Vicki Friend of Conner, MT and Barbara Vaness of Grand Rapids, MI.
Barbara was born in Grand Rapids, MI August 7, 1941. She graduated from East Grand Rapids High School and went on to earn an MA degree from Eastern Michigan University. In her thirties Barbara taught physical education. Later she volunteered for the Red Cross and helped mentor at risk youth through Project Charlie. She was an active member of Trinity United Methodist Church where she was a long time member of the Trinity Ringers. For many years she was a proud member of PEO International a philanthropic organization that celebrates, educates and motivates women to achieve their highest aspirations. Although Barbara had no children of her own she loved her nieces and nephews and their children. For the past twenty years she celebrated her August birthday with her family in St. Louis. As a young woman Barbara was an avid horsewoman who competed regularly in horse shows around the State. After giving up riding she bred and helped to train several of her own horses. Her later years were enriched beyond measure by her friends at Egan Training Stables in Buchanan, MI and her dear horse Cricket, the offspring of Barbara’s mare Dusty.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 A.M. Wednesday July 11th at Trinity United Methodist Church, 1100 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506. There will be a reception at the church immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church or to the Kids Food Basket of Grand Rapids, 2055 Oak Industrial Dr. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505.
Trinity United Methodist Church
1100 Lake Dr. S.E., Grand Rapids MI 49506
Kids' Food Basket
2055 Oak Industrial Dr NE #C, Grand Rapids MI 49505