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Laura Trumbull Barndt

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Laura Trumbull Barndt Obituary
BARNDT Laura Trumbull Barndt, died peacefully of natural causes on October 24, 2012. Born May 16, 1916, in Schenectady, New York, the oldest daughter of Ralph and Laura Trumbull. Laura graduated in international relations from Syracuse University, and studied at Yale Divinity School with William (Bill) Barndt, her husband and life partner of 67 years. They served parishes of the United Church of Christ in Ashland and Masardis, Maine, and Austinburg and Jackson, Ohio, where she helped build strong and loving communities, planted gardens, and fed masses. Inspired by her son Van with Down Syndrome, she completed a graduate degree in special education and library science, taught in communities and at the State Institute for MRDD, co-founded schools in northern and southern Ohio, and advocated for persons with disabilities. After retiring, she and Bill served as volunteers at the Asian Rural Institute in Japan and at Southern Christian College in Midsayap in the Philippines. In the U.S., they were activists in many peace and justice groups working on both local and global issues (from Central America to Darfur). From her youth Laura worked for world peace, critically engaged in political discussions, and in her late 80s travelled on an all-night bus to DC to protest the war in Iraq. These values have been carried on by their five children, Michael (Jodie) Barndt of Milwaukee, Deborah Barndt of Toronto, Kathy (Tom) Brownfield and Van Vechten Barndt of Ashville, and Beth (Jon) Ruthenburg of Evansville, Indiana, as well adopted daughter, Sache Onabe of Japan. They remember fondly her love of nature and keen knowledge of wildlife during hikes on annual camping trips. Her grandchildren - Erika (Theo) Jackson, Laura (Lance) Collins, Seth Browne, Joshua Barndt, Sarah and Katie Ruthenburg, Anne (Rick) Bennett, Erika Barndt Onabe - adored her warmth, honesty and wit, her home-made sweaters and quilts, her famous fudge and dinner rolls. Great-grandchildren, Lo Erin, Wren and Elek Jackson, Emily and Nathan Bennett, Gabrielle and Lliam Collins have delighted her later years at regular family gatherings at Kathy's Ridge. Laura is also survived by her sister, Mary Collier; brother-in-law, Ed Gifford; and sister-in-law, Martha Trumbull; as well as a large family of nieces and nephews spread throughout the country; her brothers Ralph Trumbull and Van Trumbull, and her sister, Nancy Gifford are predeceased. The family is deeply grateful to Kathy and Tom Brownfield for caring for her so lovingly in their home after Bill's death in 2008, and to the staff of The Caring Touch, a blessing in her final year, where she read poetry to other residents. A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, October 28, 2 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, 444 Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio, with Rev. Timothy Ahrens officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Pastors for Peace (www.pastorsforpeace.com) or Worldwide Humanitarian Aid ([email protected]). Condolences can be sent to the family at www.spencefuneralhome.com
Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Oct. 26, 2012
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