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Barbara Brewster

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Barbara Anne Brewster, 53

Barbara Anne (Barby) Brewster died peacefully at St. Elizabeth Central, Lafayette, on Jan. 12, 2013. Born November 9, 1959, in Lafayette, she was the daughter of James H. and Christine B. Brewster, of West Lafayette.

Despite the afflictions she was born with, she found great joy in life, in music of all kinds, especially brass bands, bagpipes, organ, Lafayette Symphony, attending Purdue women's basketball games, swimming, hiking, camping with the family and working in the sheltered workshop of Greenbush Industries.

When she was born, we asked "Why?" but received no answer until the question was rephrased, "Did her life make a difference?"

Now, fifty years later, the answer is robustly affirmative. She brought the gifts of pure innocence, joy and unconditional love as a blessing to everyone who knew her.

Beyond that, she influenced her mother to act as a vigorous lobbyist for the Arc in the state legislature. There, thanks to the work of Sheila Klinker and Mike Gery, legislation mandating special education classes in the public schools was passed. Barby was in the first of the classes so established and went to the public schools until she was 18. After that she attended Stewart Home School in Frankfort, Ky. She came home for holidays and accompanied the family on camping trips to state and national parks in the South, Midwest, Far West and in Canada.

In more recent years, as her condition worsened, she lived in a group home under the loving care of Wabash Center and later Kindred Transitional Care.

Beside her parents, she leaves two sisters who gave her love and care and were with her at the end, Christine (Tina) Brewster-Wray (husband Michael), of Martinsville, and Tara (Mary) Athan (husband William), of West Lafayette.

A memorial service is pending and will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Lafayette Symphony, the Arc of Indiana or Wabash Center: cards available at Hippensteel Funeral Home.

Hippensteel Funeral Home entrusted with care. Share memories and condolences online at

Published in the Journal & Courier from Jan. 13 to Jan. 15, 2013
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