Barbara Ruth (Schultz) Amt, 75, of Hagerstown, Md., died Tuesday, June 25, 2013, ending a decade-long struggle with Alzheimer's disease.
Born Sept. 22, 1937, in Racine, Wis., she was the daughter of the late Walter and Lydia (Krenzke) Schultz.
Frederick, Md., Jennifer Amt Walsh (Kendall) of Walton, Ky., and Paula Amt of Washington, D.C.; sisters, Elizabeth Amt (Richard) of Chambersburg, Pa., Helen Miller of Franksville, Wis., and Karen Balke of Racine; and brothers, John Schultz (Carolyn) of Albert Lea, Minn., Richard Schultz (Marilyn) of Racine and Eric Schultz (Judy) of Wauwatosa, Wis. She also is survived by her four grandchildren, Phoebe, Phelan, Fiona and Farran Walsh of Walton; her niece and goddaughter, Emilie Amt of Myersville, Md., who was a beloved companion and tireless caregiver to Barbara in her years of decline; and many other nieces and nephews and their families.
Barbara's former husband, Martin P. Amt, preceded her in death.
Shortly after graduating from Racine Lutheran High School in 1955, Barbara relocated to Washington, D.C., where she met Marty Amt. The two married in 1960 and eventually settled in Mount Rainier, Md., where they were active members of the Trinity Lutheran Church and Concordia Lutheran School communities and brought up their daughters in an old house filled with light, books, music and lots of interesting old things.
Before and after her divorce in 1977, Barbara worked at a series of odd jobs before embarking on a new career at the National Bank of Washington and, later, the Prince George's County Memorial Library, from which she retired in 2005.
Upon retirement, Barbara moved to Frederick to be closer to family members. She was an avid participant and vital presence at Edenton Retirement Community for six years. She later moved to The Village at Robinwood and, briefly, Autumn Assisted Living, both in Hagerstown.
Barbara was a lifelong Christian who valued family above all, and a dedicated mother whose proudest achievement was having provided her daughters with a firm foundation in the face of numerous hardships.
She was an enthusiastic gardener, an accomplished flower arranger and a formidable opponent at the card table. She loved reading books, making puzzles and watching baseball on TV, and her taste in music ran from Harry Belafonte to Joan Baez to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
She was also a doting and generous grandmother as well as an unabashed Anglophile whose greatest extravagances in life were the several trips she made to Great Britain, most recently with her daughters, Jenny and Paula, in 2003.
To the end, Barbara's fun-loving, boisterous spirit was infectious and endearing, and she made friends wherever she went.
A memorial service will be Saturday, July 6, 2013, at 11 a.m. at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Lappans. Directions can be found on the church's website at www.stmarkslappans.org/directions.html.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to the Alzheimer's Association.
Arrangements are by Keeney & Basford Funeral Home. For those wishing to visit the online memorial, please go to www.keeneybasford.com.