Barbara Lee Kesler Thackeray passed away peacefully at the age of 87. She was preceded in death by her parents, Milford and Lulu Kesler. She was also preceded by her husband John in 1974. Barbara and John were married on June 25, 1960 and had 2 daughters, Laurie (Dan) Hayes of Collierville, Tennessee (daughter Courtney and sons Daniel and Jacob) and Amy (Brian) Ketler of Stow, Ohio (son Logan). She also leaves her 2 sisters, Marylou Buehrle (William, deceased) and Donna (Loren) Hazelwood as well as her niece, Dr. Jennifer Hazelwood Ugarte and nephew, William Buehrle.
Barbara was born and raised in Akron where she graduated from Central High School in 1953. She attended the University of Akron where she was a member of Delta Gamma sorority and graduated with a B.A. in Education in 1957. She also achieved her Masters in Education. In her 40 year career in the Akron Public Schools, she was an elementary school teacher and Title One tutor. Barbara enjoyed teaching 3rd and 4th grades, and especially teaching Math. Her two longest teaching assignments were at Portage Path and Forest Hill elementary schools from where she retired.
Barbara belonged to Westminster Presbyterian Church of Akron for over 50 years and served as an elder, deacon, Stephen minister and on numerous committees. She had many good friends and memories of her time at Westminster. In her younger years, she belonged to Witan, the Children's Concert Society and enjoyed many friendships with teachers. She considered Stitch and Bitch to be her favorite teacher social group. Barbara, her sisters and their children enjoyed hiking the metro parks and staying in the State parks in Ohio. She loved attending the Akron Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra concerts at E.J. Thomas Hall, Blossom, and Severance Hall. She also enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and attending their school concerts and programs.
In her later years, Barbara was a member of the Fortnightly Club and the P.E.O.Chapters of Akron. She most recently resided at Ohio Living Rockynol and received care from many wonderful aides, nurses and support staff. Everyone was so kind and gracious. Thank you to Angie and Dr. Kayani for all your kindness and guidance. She also received genuine care at Summa's Cooper Cancer Center from both Dr. J. Koenig and Dr. G. Manson and their staff over the past 10 years. Thank you also, to Summa Hospice for their compassionate care.
A funeral service will be held at 10:30 AM on Thursday, March 23, 2023 at Hummel Funeral Home, 3475 Copley Rd., Copley with Reverend David Aber, interim pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church, officiating. Visitation will be from 9:30 to 10:30 AM on Thursday at the funeral home. Burial will follow in Rose Hill Burial Park, 3653 W Market Street, Akron.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Dementia Society of America, PO Box 600, Doylestown, PA 18901 or to an organization meaningful to you.