Barbara Ann Allison was home - exactly where she wanted to be - when she left this life on the morning of April 19th, 2023 at 77 years old. She died of congestive heart failure.
Mom was a native of Canton, Ohio, and it was there she met and married Terry Allison. Their wedding took place just one day before Mom’s 21st birthday, and she often pointed out that marriage aged her a full year in just 24 short hours. Still, last June, Mom and Dad celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary, so it’s safe to say they eventually got the hang of it.
Barbara, Terry and their two kids, Tara and Brett, settled in the suburb of Scottsdale, Arizona just in time for the 1970s. As a young mom, Barbara hustled us all off to Scottsdale United Methodist Church for Sunday school and regular services, and she remained a member of that congregation for life. Barbara particularly enjoyed playing in the church’s handbell choir. The moral failings of her surviving family really aren’t her fault. She did her best.
While Tara and Brett attended school, Barbara mastered macrame, dabbled in tie-die, volunteered in the PTA, and organized amazing birthday parties and holiday celebrations. She also took classes at Scottsdale Community College, at first just for curiosity’s sake, but, eventually, with a larger plan. As the credit hours piled up, Barbara realized she could transfer most of them to Arizona State University. It became her goal to get a university diploma before her two kids. She was awarded her Bachelor of Science in General Business in 1990, hitting the finish line with 9 months to spare.
After graduation, Mom worked as an accountant for the non-profit organization, Aid to Adoption of Special Kids (AASK) Arizona. Barbara enjoyed helping people, particularly people in crisis. She was a credentialed Stephen Minister and a licensed Confidential Intermediary with the State of Arizona. Mom eventually joined the staff at St. Joseph’s Foundation, the charitable / fundraising arm of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.
It was there, in the lunchroom of St. Joe’s, that Mom had a major stroke in 2003. A medical team was at her side within minutes, and, without their speedy intervention, that would’ve been the end of this obituary. However, as she did throughout her life, Barbara pushed back against the long odds. Six months later, wheelchair-bound and paralyzed on the right side of her body, she came home.
Even with this setback, Mom and Dad continued to have many adventures. Often, they’d fold Mom’s wheelchair down, toss it in the back of their beloved, red PT Cruiser and hit the road in search of new dining experiences on their long-standing Friday Date Night. Sometimes, they ventured farther afield to visit family in California and Ohio.
Over the course of her life, Mom was a fan of tap dancing, Dippity-Do, Harlequin romance novels, celebrity gossip, Check, Please! Arizona, floral fabrics, Jazzercise, HGTV, chocolate eclairs, and nearly every crime drama on TV. She had an amazing memory, especially for people, and if you were ever lucky enough to meet her - even once - she absolutely remembered you.
We will, forever, remember her.
Barbara is survived by Terry, Tara, son-in-law David Munier, grandson Logan Munier, brother David Swihart (Linda), brother-in-law Tim Allison (Donna Tedrick), and a large, loving extended family that she adored. Her ashes will be laid to rest beside Brett’s in North Lawn Cemetery in Canton, Ohio on May 10th, 2023 at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, we request donations to the Scottsdale United Methodist Church Foundation.
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