Rev. Dr. Barbara Louise Battin

October 23, 1950May 6, 2019

A 36-year survivor of breast and ovarian cancer, she made the Great Transition with joy and peace and now is dwelling completely in the Sacred Mystery.

Throughout her life she sought to fulfill the instructions of the Psalmist (34:14) to “Seek peace and pursue it” and the prophet Micah (6:8) “to do justice, love compassion and walk humbly with God.” Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 1979, Barbara served six churches in Ohio, Illinois and Minnesota, and served as Interfaith Campus Minister at the College of Wooster and at Sinclair Community College. She worked with the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, leading international travel study seminars, writing peacemaking resources for congregations, and assisting with the International Peacemakers Program and the Interfaith Listening Project. Locally, she worked for interfaith dialogue, multi-faith understanding, and the Beloved Community of economic, political, social, and gender justice of which Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed. Barbara was born October 23, 1950 in Cleveland, OH, daughter of Helen Jane Barr Battin and John Leo Battin. She married James Andrew Clay in 1999. She hopes that Jim and his daughter Rita and her husband Brent Black will continue to tell stories about her that will bring forth laughter. She gives great thanks for their good care during her recent journey with cancer. She encourages her brother, David Barr Battin, nephews Joha (Jayne), Patrick (Shanna), and Michael to continue trading puns in her honor and to share both silly and serious memories. Niece Carisa (and great nieces Rebecca and Emma), and nephew Matthew may be sharing remembrances as well. Barbara is also grateful for sister-in-law Jean and her husband Mark Radice, for nieces Caroline (Jason) and Elisa (Carl), for nephews Nick and Peter, for great niece Fern and great nephew Birch, for Barr and Battin family cousins, and a wide circle of chosen family and friends who have been a cradle of care, compassion and prayer. Barbara is so very grateful to all those on the medical team who tended her on her most recent cancer journey, including nurses Candy, Donna, and Sheila, NP Carol Nikolai, Dr. Heather Pulaski, Dr. Guy Savir, and especially Dr. Mark Romer, who provided care for two of her three cancer journeys. The Poplar staff at Hospice of Dayton provided compassionate care, support and comfort at Barbara’s end of life. For many years, Barbara closed worship with these words as part of the benediction: “May the blessings of God rest upon you. May God’s peace abide in you. May the presence of God illuminate your heart, now and forevermore.” A Celebration of Life will be held at Cox Arboretum, 6733 Springboro Pike, Miamisburg, OH 45449, on a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Nonviolent Peace Force (2610 University Ave. West, St. Paul, MN, 55114), the Fellowship of Reconciliation (521 N. Broadway, Nyack, NY 10980), Holy Wisdom Monastery (4200 County Rd. M, Middleton, WI 53562), or Community of Living Traditions at Stony Point Center (17 Cricketown Rd., Stony Point, NY 10980).


  • Nonviolent Peace Force
  • Fellowship of Reconcilliation
  • Holy Wisdom Monastery
  • Community of Living Traditions at Stony Point Center


  • Memorial Services will be anounced at a Future Date


Rev. Dr. Barbara Louise Battin

have a memory or condolence to add?

Edward Gehres jr

May 15, 2019

Barbara and I met when she was being called to the First Presbyterian Church of Decatur, Illinois. Barbara called me from Ohio to ask if she could meet me; because as she said, after all she had heard about me from the folks at First Pres,. she wanted to meet this person.. I responded yes, so we met for lunch in Findlay, Ohio where I was ministering as the Associate Executive in Maumee Valley Presbytery.
We spent the entire afternoon talking and getting acquainted. That cemented a friendship that has flowered and lasted to this very day. Over the years we would see each other and share lunch at the General Assembly. I also encountered her on a trip to Israel/Palestine sponsored by the denomination. We would exchange greetings and letters at Christmas and other times during the year. My wife and I have treasured and honored Barbara's poetry and musings over the years. I will personally miss her as a fellow pilgrim on the journey of faith and life!

Gendi/Samiha Rizk

May 15, 2019

We came to know Barbara in 1989 at the Ridgefield Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church and from that date on Barbara has become family. She has always been a faithful correspondent; Christmas, Easter and birthdays cards for all. We love her and she loved us dearly, our children and grandchildren. Barbara has always been the spiritual mother of our son Samuel, his wife May and their two daughters Yasmine and Yara, a dear friend and a guardian angel. We fondly remember Barbara’s sermon at El Saray Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, the first woman to preach on that pulpit. When she visited Egypt she was intrigued by ‘fig jam.’ She was also the ultimate provider of the best brownies!
Barbara’s visit to Ottawa in the summer of 2017 was a family reunion in the house of our daughter Anne and in Sam’s house. She recently told us of her plan for another visit this summer 2019 and we were all looking forward to that visit.
We will miss Barbara so much, but we’re sure she is “oned” with God, the Great Mystery as she put it in her last message to all.

Carl Horton

May 14, 2019

We give thanks for the life, witness, legacy and resurrection of Rev. Dr. Barbara L. Battin, who worked faithfully for many years with the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. A gifted writer and leader, she authored numerous peacemaking articles and resources, led peacemaking travel study seminars to numerous countries, and helped welcome and host our annual International Peacemakers. She was a cherished colleague and faithful servant. Indeed, the blessings of God through Barbara’s life continue to rest upon us, the peace of God continues to abide in us, and the presence of God continues to warm our hearts as we continue to seek God’s peace and pursue it.

The staff and colleagues of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program and Compassion, Peace and Justice Ministry Area
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Louisville, KY

Donna Blankenship

May 12, 2019

I worked with Barbara at Sinclair and got to know her through her IT needs. She had such wonderful energy and goodness that touched me when I was around her. She could sense when you needed a word of encouragement and freely gave her time to me and many, many others. Heaven gained an Angel but I know her family will miss her greatly. My prayers are with you.

Katherine Rowell

May 11, 2019

I had the privilege to know Barbara when she worked as the campus minister at Sinclair. My office was directly across the hall from her. I went through two tragedies in my life and Barbara served as my pastor during those years. I struggled with grief and hurt. She was always there for me. She had a beautiful spirit. I went to her for guidance on ethical issues and just overall life. She was gracious and kind all the time. She represented the very best of what I think it means to be a spiritual person. I missed her spirit when she left Sinclair and will miss her spirit on this earth. She was love and she made me feel loved.

Gregg Schoof

May 10, 2019

I met Barb in 1972 when she ran a McGovern office in South Euclid, Ohio. Over the years we stayed in touch via calls, letters , emails and visits, including our time at KSU in the late 70’s. I am so fortunate that I had the opportunity to see her recently when she and Jim came to visit and to tour Cleveland’s Art Museum.
She was a truly special friend and one of the most thoughtful and committed people I’ve ever known. I loved her laugh and her hugs. I admired her courage as she struggled with cancer, as well as the commitment to peace and justice she demonstrated throughout her life. She inspired me to try to follow in her footsteps.
I will miss you, my dear friend.

Carol Klumb

May 10, 2019

Barb will be long and lovingly remembered as the definitive, go-to-person and pastor for campus ministry. Although her call was in the Dayton area she never hesitated to lend her advice, expertise, care and prayers to us at Miami University. She was a faithful and fun servant of God. Our prayers are with all the family and her many, many friends and colleagues.

Rev. Cal and Carol Klumb

Jennifer de Vries

May 9, 2019

I have so many memories of Barbara - from being present at her ordination when I was a youngster to reconnecting with her in Dayton as an adult. She was a truly lovely person. Jim - you are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Janet Lemmon-McGovern

May 9, 2019

Barbara is my maternal cousin. Our mothers shared a family homestead in NY where we had many family gatherings. In OH when i was young Barbara and Aunt Helen would take me roller skating.
I will miss Barbara’s card and holiday messages.
She was welcomed into her next journey by many who love her and support her.

Bobbi Lemmon-Phelps

May 8, 2019

Barbara is my maternal cousin and there are so many fond memories of our childhood together along with my sisters and , David, Barbara’s brother. We were family and had many family gatherings that will forever live in my heart.