Maureen Van Hulle Barber

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“As you read this newspaper, my family will be preparing to bury me, Maureen Van Hulle Barber. But I will not be there. I am now breathing free and am happy, no longer in pain or suffering. Through the tunnel of beautiful light l will be joined by my daughter, Veronica; my mom and dad; my brother, Joe; and all the angels and loved ones who have passed before me who usher me to the feet of Jesus. Finally, I am home!”

A mass of Christian burial celebrating the life of Maureen Barber was held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, at St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Benton, Louisiana. The family receive friends and family for visitation Monday, May 31, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Bossier City, Louisiana. Interment was at Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery in Monroe, Louisiana at 2:00 p.m., after the service. Father Karl Daigle officiated the funeral mass and David Burkett of the Forsythe Avenue Church of Christ, lead the committal service.
Maureen went to be with her heavenly father on May 23, 2021 at the age of 76.

Maureen Barber began life in Mount Clemens, Michigan. At the time of her birth, she had a brother two years old, named Joe. Two years later she had a younger sister, named Pat. Her family lived in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and then returned to Michigan. Maureen enjoyed living in Pittsburgh because of all the hills. It was a great place for biking, roller skating, and in the winter, sledding down those hills. All the Van Hulle family, both sides, lived in Michigan so going back to Michigan was like going home again.

While attending Eastern Michigan University, Maureen met her husband, Bob. They married after their Sophomore year and a year and a half later, had their first child, John. John was soon followed by his two sisters, Veronica and Beth. After finally graduating from college in June 1969, Bob became a CPA and worked for many local banks as the Executive Vice President and Maureen began her teaching career.

Maureen’s love for children and the people of God became her steadying force for serving God and his people. She started out by leading a Brownie and a Girl Scout troop that her daughters were in. She also became a Eucharist Minister within her church. One of Maureen’s greatest joys was studying courses at the Greco Institute in the Catholic Center. These courses helped enrich her teaching career when she began teaching in the Catholic School program.

Maureen taught her last ten years at St. Frederick High School in Monroe, Louisiana. She took advantage of teaching the 12th graders a course in Christian marriage. She broadened this scope by adding classes about friendship, dating, parenting, ending relationships, and death. Her highest compliments were when a student would introduce her to their parents as “Mrs. Barber is the lady who is teaching me about life!”

Maureen and Bob became a Marriage Encounter team. They worked through most of their married life to hold Marriage Encounter weekends where they would help good marriages become even better. She and her husband remained deeply involved in this ministry for over 35 years, serving seven of the southeastern states for six of those years.

Maureen’s sharp wit and loving spirit will be greatly missed. Her favorite time was when she is making precious memories with her children and grandchildren who lovingly referred to her as, Mimi. They will always love and miss their Mimi.

Maureen is preceded in death by her daughter, Veronica; parents and brother, Joe Van Hulle. Left to cherish her memory is husband of 57 years, Robert Barber; son, John Barber and wife, Robin; daughter, Beth Dockins and husband, Joey; son-in-law, Eric Smith and wife, Michelle; her grandchildren, Seth Smith and wife, Anne Claire, Katie, Jacob, and Taylor Smith, Austin and Allie Dockins, and Hayes, Hayden, and Helayna Barber; sister, Pat Porta and husband, Mike and a host of friends and family.

Honoring Maureen as pallbearers were Hayden Barber, Austin Dockins, Joey Dockins, Eric Smith, Jacob Smith, and Seth Smith.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials in Maureen’s memory may be made to St. Jude Catholic Church, 4700 Palmetto Rd, Benton, LA 71006. Memorials may also be sent to a charity of the donor’s choice that was important to Maureen such as The Diabetes Association, National Kidney Foundation, Alzheimer’s Association or Cancer Research Foundation.

“The song has ended but the melody lingers on”.