June 27, 1929 - September 6, 2020
“You’re full of wet hay” This was one of Mom’s favorite expressions when someone was teasing. She had a sense of humor, well-needed in the life she led. Barbara Jean McClellan died peacefully at Munson Hospice surrounded by her children. She was 91 years old. She was born in El Paso, Texas, to Robert (Robbie) and Val Norman, the youngest of three children. After graduating with honors from Texas Women’s University she met her only love at a “mixer” at Andrews Air Force Base. They moved to Michigan and had four children, surviving Northern Michigan winters with a house in the woods on Long Lake and plenty of the great outdoors to keep everyone busy. Barb never remarried after the death of her husband, Bingham McClellan, who predeceased her by nearly 30 years. After Bing died she returned to Northern Michigan to be close to her children. Barb was always doing something. With her dear friend Betty Parsons, she helped create the first Arts Council in Northern Michigan. She loved music, history and yoga, read voraciously, studied painting, and created beautiful needlework and quilts for many friends. You would know not to call her when her tennis matches were playing—she knew all the players and loved the game. After being a stay-at-home she got her first job at 62-years old, and never looked back. That was Barb, as many knew her. She was indefatigable, conscientious, generous with her time and talents, and always putting her family first. She worked at several galleries and still found the time to serve as a docent at the Dennos Museum. She volunteered at Unitarian Fellowship, and was on the board of the Human Rights Commission, and was president of her condo association. When asked at 85-years-old about her busy schedule she said “I haven’t learned to keep my mouth shut when people ask for help.” We who survive her think creating a “Be Like Barb” bumper sticker might help the world today. Many in the community of Northern Michigan have memories of Barb with her thoughtful gifts; a baby quilt here, a pretty handmade pillow or curtains there, fresh lemon bars for the office. She was a generous and loving soul. Any who have met her and don’t remember her “are full of wet hay”. We will miss your bright light, Mom. Our hearts are always with you and we wish you peace on your journey. An outdoor service will be held at Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral home Tuesday, September 15, beginning with a visitation at 10 am followed by a service at 11 am. Masks are required. For those who are unable to attend, live streaming will be available at rjfh.tv Contributions in memory of Barb can be made to Dennos Museum Center or Leelanau Christian Neighbors Food Pantry. She is survived by her four children Rosie Kern (Tom), Bing McClellan (Susie Smith), Robin Bahle (Chris) and Rebecca McClellan (Curt Simon), and two grandchildren Peter and Paul Bahle. Other family members include Mandy and Isaias Mancilla, Lena and Maxine Mancilla and Mathew Kern and Sairy Franks. Visit Barb’s tribute page at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com to share a condolence.
“You’re full of wet hay” This was one of Mom’s favorite expressions when someone was teasing. She had a sense of humor, well-needed in the life she led. Barbara Jean McClellan died peacefully at Munson Hospice surrounded... View Obituary & Service Information
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“You’re full of wet hay”
This was one of Mom’s favorite expressions...
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