) Hartong 1935 to 2020 Barbara Jo (Yeager) Hartong, lately of Woodbury, Penn., passed away on her 85th birthday, September 29th, 2020. She was born September 29th, 1935 in Akron, Ohio to Emily Sayre Yeager and Edward Tross Yeager. Barbara grew up in Green, Ohio, and graduated from Greensburg High School where she was, among other things, a majorette. She married Ralph Henry Hartong July 24th, 1953 in the Greensburg Church of God. After the birth of their daughters, Lori and Julie, Barbara graduated from Malone University. She taught at Portage Elementary, and the couple lived in North Canton until 1987, when they moved to Spring Hill Farm near Ragersville, Ohio. Barbara was called "Barb" by most of her friends, and "Barbie" by the man who referred to her as "my girl" throughout their 64-year marriage. The Hartong Family were members of the Mt. Pleasant Church of the Brethren, where Barb sang in a quartet. Barb and Ralph enjoyed decades of camping with various groups (among them the Cabin Cruiser Club of Stark County), and over time hosted hundreds of camping friends and family at Spring Hill Farm. Barb was the de facto organizer, leader and cruise director for many vacations taken by church groups and camping clubs. She was also known for her wit, and applied her writing skills to creating activities, presentations and narrations to make people laugh during camping club dinners, Sunday school classes, mother-daughter banquets, and runway fashion show spoofs. Barb's totem animals were owls and butterflies, and she was skilled at making bunnies out of handkerchiefs. She enjoyed the manly mustache and waggly eyebrows of Tom Selleck, the comedy stylings of The Smothers Brothers, and a big bowl of fresh popcorn. And, of course, she loved church hymns. Barb's sense of timing was always impeccable. You might think she was barely engaged in the present situation, but then she'd let slip some zinging bon mot that reminded you she was sharp and on the ball. Though she suffered badly from Alzheimer's in recent years, it feels as though her choice to leave the mortal world for the company of her husband, Ralphie and her Heavenly Father on her 85th birthday was a final act of deliberate impeccable timing to let her loved ones know that she was still paying attention. Barbara was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Ralph; her brother, Bill; her daughter, Merilee, and her great-granddaughter, Jordyn. She is survived by her daughters, Lori (David Ulm) of Woodbury, Penn. and Julie (Ned Myers) of North Canton; grandchildren, Jason (Alexandra) Myers, Jamie Myers, Jared (Lindsey) Myers, Adam (Katie) Ulm, Aaron (Angela) Ulm, and Nathan (Elizabeth) Ulm; great-grandchildren, Logan, Jadzia, Jameson, Garrett, Reed, Frankie, and Maggie. The memorial service will be private, but those wishing to join the funeral procession to the burial ceremony at Greentown Cemetery may gather in the parking lot of Mt. Pleasant Church of the Brethren, 4152 Mt. Pleasant St. N.W., North Canton, OH on Monday, October 5th at 11:45 a.m. Mourners are encouraged to remain in the parking lot in their vehicles until the funeral procession gets underway, and to maintain recommended social distance and wear masks at the cemetery. The family will accept all the hugs they can get at a later date and time. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Barbara's name to the Cure Alzheimer's Fund (https://curealz.org/giving/donate
) Reed Funeral Home North Canton Chapel is entrusted with the arrangements. Please visit www.reedfuneralhome.com
to sign the online guestbook.
Published by Akron Beacon Journal on Oct. 4, 2020.