Barbara Jo Minahan, the light of our family, slipped peacefully into the arms of God on Friday, January 4, 2019, having lived a life full of love, laughter and faith. She was wise, witty, vivacious, supportive and generous. Barbara was a gift to us all.
Barbara was born in Fort Worth, Texas on July 30, 1931, the only child of Dorothy and Furman “Buck” Bohannon. As a young woman, Barbara used her musical gifts to sing and play piano and organ at church, which became a lifelong passion. While attending a dance, handsome young staff sergeant James “Jerry” Minahan spotted the pretty TCU coed across the room. Smitten, Jerry flirted with Barbara and after a brief courtship, they married on August 1, 1951, two days after Barbara turned 20.
The young couple’s family grew to four with the births of Jimmy and Paula. After graduation from the University of Texas-Austin, Jerry moved the family to Midland where he worked as a geologist and Barbara created a loving, ever-tidy home. By 1963, the family had grown to seven with the arrivals of Kathleen, Mark and Mary Ann.
Barbara and Jerry were active members of Saint Ann’s Catholic Church, where they chaired the Family Fair and participated in games and parties with the “Volleyball Group.” Friday nights might find Barbara and Jerry on a “date” at Luigi’s, or packing the kids into the station wagon and heading to the Chief Drive-In Theater or to Bob’s for 20-cent burgers. Although money was tight, Barbara’s Depression-era roots taught her how to stretch a dollar farther than imaginable. What magic she could whip up with a pound of ground beef!
In 1974, the boom-and-bust oil business led Jerry to a job in Corpus Christi, where he and Barbara would spend the rest of their lives. Barbara lost Jerry to cancer in 1994, but their 43 years of marriage and friendship was the kind of roadmap to happiness all children should be lucky enough to have.
Barbara’s deep interest in reading and learning manifested in her travels. She experienced exotic China, historic Europe, the Panama Canal and Christ’s Holy Land. She cruised from San Diego to Alaska and all along America’s scenic eastern coast. As she neared 84, Barbara downsized into a lovely apartment at the Mirador. We are very thankful for the warm friendships she enjoyed there during her last four years.
Beloved son Jimmy predeceased Barbara in 2014, but she leaves behind a large family grateful for her legacy of strength and resilience. Children: Daughter Paula Minahan of Austin, TX; daughter Kathleen and husband Matthew Franey of Corpus Christi, TX; son Mark and wife Brenda Minahan of Boerne, TX; and daughter Mary Ann and husband Clint Simmons of Austin, TX. Grandchildren: Sarah Shea (Drew), Elizabeth Weaver (Kyle) and John Franey; Melissa Srp (Conrad), Mark Joseph Minahan Jr. and Meredith Hansen (Josh); and Austin Simmons and Nick Simmons (Chris Foley). Great grandchildren: Charlie Shea and Max Weaver; Steele and Sawyer Srp; and Southern Hansen. Two more great grandchildren will arrive later this year. Barbara is also survived by sister-in-law Mary Beth Matthews (Steve), niece Tricia Ann Kreutz (Mark) and nephew Steve Matthews (Denise); Kennedy family nephews Danny, Mickey (Kristi), Paul, Larry, Thomas and Greg; and many dear friends at the Mirador, and in Corpus Christi and Midland.
Visitation will be held at 6 pm on Thursday, January 10, followed by a rosary at 7 pm at Seaside Funeral Home, 4357 Ocean Drive. A funeral mass will be celebrated at 10 am on Friday, January 11 at Saint Patrick Catholic Church, 3350 S. Alameda, with interment to follow at Seaside. Donations in memory of Barbara can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the Salvation Army.
Rest in peace, Mom. You deserve it.