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Barbara Jean (Wilhelm) Schwarz

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Barbara Jean (Wilhelm) Schwarz Obituary
Barbara Jean (Wilhelm) Schwarz

Des Moines

Barbara (Wilhelm) Schwarz, 82, of Des Moines, Iowa, died at Iowa Methodist Hospital on Sunday, March 9, 2014 while surrounded by her family and friends. Barbara was born January 27, 1932 in Chillicothe, Ohio; the daughter of Bernadette and Floyd Wilhelm. She was a 1950 graduate of St. Joseph's Academy in Des Moines, and attended Marycrest College in Davenport, Iowa. Early in life Barbara lived in a number of states, but spent the last 50 years of her life in Des Moines. She married Richard Schwarz, December 28, 1953 and they later divorced.

Barbara is survived by her children Kurt, Tim (Laura), Eric, Beth (Greg) Den Hartog, and Jim (Tracey), all of Des Moines; Grandchildren: Grant, Erica, Kenny, Brett, Ryan, Kristen, Breanna, Danielle, Amy, Kyle, Jessica and Matt; and a sister, Marlene Smith (Bill), Las Cruces, New Mexico, and a host of other friends whom she considered family. She was preceded in death by her parents and a son, Kenneth.

Barbara had a varied work career throughout her life. She very much enjoyed working for the Lead Paint Testing Program in Des Moines. She also was a boisterous bus driver for the MTA where she made many great friends.

Barbara cherished her horses. She loved to ride and when she couldn't ride anymore she bought a cart and drove it with her horse leading the way. She also wanted to share her love of horses with everyone. She taught her granddaughters and others to ride and drive the cart. She watched every horse race, show and competition that she could with her many horse enthusiast friends.

Barbara was a second mother to many young people. She was a kind and giving person who touched numerous people in her lifetime, including those through Cursillo and Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) weekend programs.

Barbara has donated her body to the University of Iowa Deeded Body Program as her deceased son Kenneth had done. No funeral services are planned. A Celebration of Life Potluck Picnic will be held May 3 at the Birdland Park Shelter beginning at 12 p.m.

Barb had a passion for all living things including her companion horses, dogs and cats. Memorial donations may be made to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa in Barbara's name.

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Published in Des Moines Register on Mar. 16, 2014
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