Cover photo for Barbara Jean Whitman's Obituary
Barbara Jean Whitman Profile Photo
1937 Barbara 2015

Barbara Jean Whitman

September 23, 1937 — February 1, 2015

Barbara Jean (Coad) Whitman, 77, of Evart, MI, died Sunday, February 1, 2015 at her

home in Evart, Michigan.

Barbara was born September 23, 1937 in Auburn, Nebraska, the youngest of six children to Edgar

and Grace Wise Coad. She attended the Auburn Public Schools and graduated from Auburn High

School in 1955. She loved school, her classmates, and participating in the many extracurricular

activities. (class plays and skits, FHA, Library Club, band and chorus which strengthened her love

of music, pep club, and cheerleading). She was particularly proud to have earned a gold “A” pin

at graduation.

On September 1, 1957 Barbara was united in marriage to Richard Whitman at the Christian

Church in Auburn, Neb. with her brother Merwin performing the ceremony. They were blessed

with three sons,Russell, Richard, and Eric. Dick and Barbara celebrated their 50th Wedding

Anniversary in 2007 with their family in attendance.

Barbara was a stay-at-home mom for several years but recognized the need to return to school. She earned a diploma in nursing from St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing in Springfield, Ill., in

1970 and began her nursing career as a staff nurse on the orthopedic unit. When they moved to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, she changed to nursing education. This career change required

additional education and she received a BSN from Northern Michigan University in 1978, and a

M.S. in Nursing from the University of Minnesota in 1987. She taught in the nursing program at

Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich. and then at Suomi College (now Finlandia

University) Hancock, Mich., becoming Chair of the Nursing Department in 1996. She retired in

2000 after 23 years in nursing education. She was a past member of the Michigan Nurses

Association, Sigma Theta TAU Nursing Honorary Society, and American Heart Association where

she taught CPR.

Dick and Barbara moved to Evart, Mich. from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in 2003 to be closer

to family. She transferred her membership to the Evart United Methodist Church where she

played the organ for several years. She was also a member of the Osceola County Commission on Aging Advisory Board for a number of years..

Barbara loved to be with her family and was happiest when they were all together. She especially

enjoyed her grandchildren and attending their activities and watching them grow. Music was an

important part of her life—playing the piano, organ, and especially the French Horn. Listening to a

variety of music; (classical, easy listening, and Canadian Brass) brought her comfort. One of her

greatest pleasures was playing the French Horn (after 50+ years absence) in the Middle School

Band where her granddaughter was a member. It brought back wonderful memories and proved

that she could still do it!! She also enjoyed scrapbooking and reading.

Barbara was preceded in death by her husband Richard, parents, and 3 siblings, Donald , Duane,

and Dorine, and nephew Jim.

Surviving are three sons,; Russ of Vincennes, Ind., Rick (Pat) of Holland, Mich., and Eric (Kelly)

of Evart, Mich., grandchildren; Nicholas, Katelyn, and Scott, brother, Merwin, sister, Marilyn,

nieces, nephews, cousins, and numerous other relatives and friends all of whom helped make her

journey through life interesting, pleasant, and enjoyable.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Jean Whitman, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Memorial Service

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Lafayette Cemetery

, Brock, NE 68320

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Lafayette Cemetery

, Brock, NE 68320

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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