On Friday. May 4, 2012, Barbara Ann (Hoch) Kearney passed away peacefully at Hiland Cottage, surrounded by her husband of 56 years, her daughters, sons-in-laws and grandchildren.
Barbara was born in Flint on April 19, 1937, to Norman and Blanche Hoch. She spent her childhood there until the age of 7, and then the family moved to Walloon Lake. She graduated from Petoskey High School with the class of 1955.
That summer she met the love of her life, Charles Kearney, who was a counselor at Camp Charlevoix. They were married on Feb. 18, 1956. They made their first home in Park Forest, Ill., and then moved a short time later to central Indiana. This is where they raised their three daughters, Kimberly Ann, Kristy Lynn and Karrie Jess. She was a stay-at-home mom who loved spending time with her daughters. They spent much of their summers on Walloon Lake and returned to the area that they loved upon retiring in 1996.
She had a great love for creation and God, and was always searching for the truth from the Bible. In the summer of 1969, she accepted a home Bible study with Jehovahs Witnesses and found the Bible truths that she had been looking for. She was astounded to learn that God had a personal name. She was baptized in 1970 and remained a faithful Christian until her death, despite having a major stroke in 2002. She strongly believed in the hope of a resurrection, found in the scriptures, and shared that belief with many others throughout the years. That same hope brings us comfort during this difficult time.
Besides her ministry, she loved music and singing, teaching her daughters many old beautiful songs. She loved being with her grandchildren, loved animals, especially her boxer dog Chloe, going to the beach, boating on Crooked Lake and bird watching. She was known as a hard worker, a very compassionate person, and had a great sense of humor. She will be remembered for her beautiful smile.
Special thanks to Dr. David Knitter, all of the staff involved in her care at McLaren -- Northern Michigan, Hospice of Little Traverse Bay and Hiland Cottage. We appreciate the wonderful and caring way she was taken care of. Thanks also to all of our friends who provided meals and loving support for many months. For our family it has been a time of tremendous love and sorrow and privilege.
She is survived by her husband, Charles; three daughters, Kimberly Massey (Allen), Kristy Buckley (Phillip), and Karrie Buckley (Aaron); four grandchildren, Gabriel Buckley (Rachel), Claire Scalf (Nate), Summer Clanton (Micah) and Roman Buckley; as well as two great-grandchildren, Corban and Mercedes Buckley; also her sister, Lois Dirheimer (Jack); her brother, Charles Hoch (Rebecca); as well as many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Virginia Dockery; her brother, Norman Hoch; two nephews, Fred Dirheimer and Blake Hoch; and a niece, Gail Dockery.
A memorial service will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses, 1830 Shaw Road, Petoskey. Following the service there will be light refreshments served at the Alanson Community Building.
In lieu of flowers, donation can be made to the family or to Hospice of Little Traverse Bay.