Barbara Van Loon Horstmann, age 81, died peacefully on November 24, 2013 at The Memory Center in Virginia Beach, VA. She was born October 16, 1932 in Syracuse, NY, the daughter of Elwood and Margaret (Perkins) Van Loon. She was preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, Peter Horstmann, and her older sister, Jean Van Loon Whiteley Phillips. Surviving family includes three daughters: Peggo (Paul) Hodes, Tricia (Patrick) McCarthy, and Heidi (Dan) Koester; six grandchildren: Max Hodes, Ariana Hodes, Barbara (Jared) Webster, Phil (Jennie) McCarthy, Eva Koester, and Margaret Koester; and one great-grandson: Jamison Webster.
Barbara grew up in Syracuse, where she met Pete at Nottingham High School. They both attended college in Worcester, MA, with Barbara graduating from Becker College in 1954. They were married on September 19, 1954. By 1965, they had settled in Holden, MA with three young daughters, later moving to Sterling, MA when the girls were grown. She enjoyed raising her kids and pursued a wide range of hobbies over the years, including genealogy, knitting, sewing, making Christmas cards, gardening, tennis, and skiing. Barbara loved learning new things, and she did everything with excellence and humility. Professionally, she worked for Dr. William Blake in Holden for many years, performing x-rays and EKG exams, and taught Diet Workshop classes as well. She was an active and generous volunteer with Becker College, the United Way, Worcester Children’s Friend, First Church of Sterling, and the Sterling Garden Club. At Becker, she established the Barbara V.L. Horstmann Endowed Scholarship to help provide affordable education to deserving college students.
Barbara loved spending time with family and close friends, and her down-to-earth personality, integrity, and talent for fun and mischief made her a joy to be around. Even in the advanced stages of dementia, her sense of humor and kindness shone through. Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research.
This online memorial was created in loving memory of Barbara Horstmann. The text above is the obituary sent to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Of course there is much more to say about her life and those who loved and cared for her. Please feel free to add your thoughts to Barbara's guest book.