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Barbara Bryant Havens

1956 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Barbara Bryant Havens Obituary
Havens, Barbara Bryant
1956 - 2018
Barbara Ann Bryant was born the youngest of three children to Dr. William Walter Bryant and Betty Bird Bryant on February 24, 1956. She spent her youngest years in Cambridge, Ohio where her father (and we should say very best friend) was a family doctor. She moved to Orange, Texas when she was 8 and quickly rose to fame due to her incredible long-distance running talents. This of course stirred feelings of jealousy in her older siblings, Bill and Cathy, but her charm was so overwhelming that they couldn't help but adore her. She graduated from High School early, and attended Texas Christian University where she met and subsequently fell in love with many men, but finally settled on a bespectacled boy from Upper Arlington, Ohio named Thomas Havens. What a pair they were. From New York to New Orleans, Pyongyang to Paris, they went everywhere and did everything with a cocktail in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Most importantly, they laughed & God did they laugh. The typical things followed: moves, marriage, and careers until one day she found herself pregnant. They moved back to Dallas and she gave birth to baby boy, John Franklin Havens II. There were slightly fewer cocktails, but just as many laughs. Before John was a year old they found themselves back in Columbus and Barbara was finally able to pursue her one true calling: being a mother. She was great at it. Four years later a daughter came, but much too early at only 25 weeks. The only day Barbara was not at the hospital caring and praying for her daughter, Parker Raine, was her son's 4th birthday, and she went back to the hospital after her son was asleep hugging his transformers. People often say that their children are their life, but few live it as completely and with as much joy as Barbara. She was a perennial room mother, and volunteer at Columbus School for Girls, and wherever her son was currently attending. She was a fixture. Oh, we almost forgot to mention: She. Was. Stunning. 5'10" with hair the color of an oak leaf in fall and legs for days! On the night of a fundraiser Tom and Barbara were hosting for Columbus Ballet Met at Villa Deshler, she stood at the top of the stairs and was so devastatingly gorgeous that Tom literally couldn't breathe! He passed out and was rushed to OSU hospital; to this day he hears a faint ringing in his left ear. Barbara was also a very early advocate for LGBT rights, and HIV/AIDS funding and research, having lost some very close friends to the disease and vowing to not let it happen to anyone else. It was a bit of a lofty goal, but she always was a touch dramatic. She loved old movies, The RED Party, David Bowie, reading, art in all of its forms and doing literally anything with her children. She loved her nieces and nephews, Bryant, Patti, Angie, Nathan and Billy, and drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes with her sister at the breakfast table while ordering useless crap off of QVC. She loved her friends Denny, Alex, Dru, Tom and a million others. She loved her mother Betty. She loved making people laugh and being made to laugh. Time passed and her children grew and went off to college, though Barbara and Parker still spoke daily. They mostly talked about John. Barbara continued to be active, with the help of her personal assistant of 20 years William Hubbard, in HRC Columbus, The Columbus Arts Council, Columbus School for Girls, The Aids Quilt Project and anyone, I mean literally anyone, who needed or asked for it. Barbara had a large vocabulary, but "no" was not included. In 2009, she got a chance to pursue her true calling once again with the birth of her first granddaughter, Isabeau Raine Havens, a redhead just like her! Two more would follow, Nola Jane and Willow Reed, and after a quick trip to the nearest phone booth Barbara became Super Nana! She so loved being back as CSG to pick up the girls from school and head to COSI or Bicentennial Park, or to attend Grandparents Day in red leather gloves and a fox fur throw. In 2014, her daughter and son-in-law Dean, adopted Sir Winston Churchill, a snarl-toothed Frenchie who was quite fond of rides on Nana's lap, and the family was complete. Again, so much laughter. Her passing was sudden and unexpected, but she took her last breathe surrounded by her children in peace, though we were disappointed at no last witty quip. Her father, big brother and Corbett Reynolds along with too many friends to name (you know we pay for this by the word, right?) were waiting with open arms on the other side as she finally got out of that damn wheel chair and retired to a Louis XIII style chaise lounge like the lady that she was. We love you Mom!! Service to be held at 11 am Saturday, February 10 at Schoedinger Northwest Chapel, 1740 Zollinger Road, Upper Arlington, Ohio 43221, with a cocktail reception at M Restaurant to follow from 1-3pm. In lieu of flowers, Barbara has requested donations to the Columbus School for Girls Scholarship Fund. Gifts in her memory can be made online at www.columbusschoolforgirls.org/giving/give-now or by mail to Columbus School for Girls Department of Development, 65 S. Drexel Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43209. Please visit www.schoedinger.com to share memories and condolences.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch from Feb. 7 to Feb. 9, 2018
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