Barbara D. Hathaway

21 September, 19273 April, 2021

Barbara Jean Donihue Hathaway, 93, of Phoenix, Arizona, entered into heaven on April 3, 2021. Barbara was born in Hillsdale, Michigan, on September 21, 1927, to Leslie Sumner Donihue and Estella (Spangler) Donihue, and grew up on a dairy farm in the Hillsdale area, the eighth of eleven children, all of whom have preceded her in death. Barbara’s high school career spanned the years of the United States’ involvement in World War II, and she graduated from Hillsdale High School in 1945.

Barbara met her future husband, W. B. “Bill” Hathaway, on a blind date, and they were married on December 22, 1946. Together they had four children -- three daughters and a son -- whom they raised in Ottawa, Ohio.

Barbara was a warm, kind, friendly person who cared deeply about others and gave generously of herself to family and friends. She was the heart and the strength of her family, and her faith in God was the foundation of her life.

She had a passion for genealogy and had done much research into the ancestry of both her and her husband’s families. She also loved to sing and had a beautiful soprano voice. Her love of music, art, beauty, and nature infused everything about her life. She loved to read and continued to do so even when her failing eyesight required a magnifying glass; her mind was sharp and inquisitive to the end.

She also had a deep and abiding love for Jesus, for her country, and for her family, and was mindful of the many blessings she had enjoyed throughout her life. She remarked just recently that she had had a good life.

She enjoyed her grandchildren and great grandchildren immensely, and carried on charming correspondence even with those who lived far away from her. She was the most generous giver of Teddy bears in the known world. Her many special little Grammy touches and her Grammy mail will be missed by one and all, as will the homemade sugar cookies.

When she wasn’t busy keeping her sweet little house tidy and welcoming or relaxing with her black cat, Sam, Barbara also enjoyed puzzles, gardening, cross stitch, and baking.

Barbara was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Ottawa, Ohio, First United Methodist Church in Phoenix, Arizona, and most recently attended Palmcroft Church in Phoenix.

Barbara’s husband, Bill, preceded her into the presence of Jesus in 2013. She is survived by her children, Anne (Keith) Gustafson, Phoenix, Arizona; Mary (Bill Olmsted) Hathaway, Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin; Linda (Don) Verhoff, Miller City, Ohio; and David (Lisa) Hathaway, Magnolia, Texas.

She is also survived by her grandchildren, Amanda (Justin) Canter, Mesa, Arizona; Erik (Brooke) Gustafson, Phoenix, Arizona; Katy (Mike) Bever, Chicago, Illinois; Aaron (Maggie) Frey, Oxford, Ohio; Matthew (Cassie) Verhoff, Defiance, Ohio; Jonathon (Ashley) Verhoff, Ayersville, Ohio; Andrew Verhoff, Miller City, Ohio; Jessica (Nathan) Adair, Houston, Texas; Amy (Jason) Connelly, Houston, Texas; Sara (Ward) Hruza, Houston, Texas; and Stacie (Mike) Aguilar, Houston, Texas. Her great grandchildren are Talan, Atley, Ryker, and Taylor Canter, Mesa, Arizona; Evan Gustafson, Phoenix, Arizona; Raelyn and Jesse Frey, Oxford, Ohio; Evelyn, Asher, and Brooklyn Verhoff, Defiance, Ohio; Savannah, Nataleigh, Norah, and Taylor Verhoff, Ayersville, Ohio; Wyatt and Hayden Hruza, Houston, Texas; and Nikolas Aguilar, Houston Texas.

A 'Celebration of Life" service will be held on Friday, November 12, 2021, at 11a.m., at Palmcroft Church Phoenix, in the "Brickhouse" venue, located at 15825 N. 35th Ave., Phoenix, Arizona 85053.

Barbara will be laid to rest with her beloved husband at the National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix, Arizona.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to any of Barbara’s three favorite causes: Phoenix Rescue Mission, St. Mary’s Food Bank, and Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan .


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Barbara D. Hathaway

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