Life Story / Obituary
Described as caring, nurturing, and compassionate, Barbara Pfeiffer was a blessing to so many who were within her reach. She was witty and loved making others laugh with a contagious zest for life that drew others near with ease. Barbara was blessed to spend more than 50 years with her true companion with whom she experienced so many of the best things that life has to offer. She knew how to work hard, but she also made the time to enjoy life along the way and could find joy in even the simplest of things. Although she will be deeply missed, Barbara will never be forgotten as her timeless legacy will be carried on by the generations who follow in her footsteps.
Although the 1930s were very much defined by the trials of the Great Depression, the American spirit could still be found in a variety of ways. We celebrated the completion of both the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building while New York got into the holiday spirit with the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was during this eventful time that a young couple from Detroit, Michigan, was eagerly anticipating the birth of their new baby. Their wait was over on December 1, 1932, when the baby girl they named Barbara R, made her arrival. She was one of six children born to her parents, John and Barbara Adams, and she was raised in the family home alongside her brothers, John, William, Richard, Robert, and David.
For the most part Barbara was a typical young girl of her generation. She loved pushing her dolls around an old white wicker buggy, which was one of her most cherished possessions. Playing in the sandbox with friends was another favorite activity, and with her entrepreneurial spirit she was also known for having a lemonade stand. Barbara had a lifelong love for animals, and while growing up she enjoyed frequent visits with a horse named Charlie. She also treasured the companionship of their dog, a Newfoundland named Newf. The dog was named as such because her brother brought this dog, that was from Newfoundland, into their home. Barbara participated in the local 4-H club and was a student at local schools. While at Redford High School she played the flute in the band and was a member of the Old Times Club in which they dressed up in clothes from times gone by.
Over the years Barbara was known for her strong work ethic. She spent several years working as a teller at National Bank of Detroit and also working as a clerk for Macabbees Insurance Company. For a time she worked as a corseter at Hudson’s and also as a donut maker at Dawn Donuts.
Not to be forgotten during her years as a young woman was Barbara’s introduction to the man with whom she would write a love story that would span 52 years. His name was Frank Pfeiffer, and they met through her aunt. Deeply in love, the couple was married during the early 1960s. Barbara and Frank later became the parents of four wonderful children, Frank Jr. “Buddy,” Steve, Jacque, and Mike. She was an extraordinary mother in every way in addition to being a skillful homemaker and loving wife. Memorable times were shared at the Detroit Zoo, Frankenmuth, Irish Hills, and the Michigan State Fair. Cottages in Port Austin and Grass Lake also provided the backdrop for priceless memories to be made. It was Barbara who handled the cooking for holidays and at BBQs, which was something her family appreciated as her skills in the kitchen were amazing.
In her leisure time Barbara enjoyed pursuing the interests that enriched her life. Her cats, including Buttercup, Simon, Alex, Bartholomew, and Cleo were treasured companions. In fact, Barbara had a special place in her heart for all cats as she rescued over 50 of them through her work with the Michigan Anti-Cruelty Society in Hamtramck. Gardening, birdwatching, baking, and canning were also things she enjoyed that kept her busy in her down time. Barbara didn’t travel too extensively, but she did like going to car shows and took bus trips to the casino in Mt. Pleasant in addition to train trips to Agawa Canyon in Canada. As her friends and family can attest, she loved playing bingo. At home she liked watching the Lawrence Welk Show and Antique Road Show along with movies such as Sound of Music and Dr. Zhivago. When it came to music, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Celtic Women were among her favorites.
Throughout her rich and rewarding life, Barbara Pfeiffer created a brilliantly colored tapestry of memories that will be a lasting treasure for her loved ones. She loved animals of all kinds and had a heart that desired to do what she could to help animals in need. Barbara was witty and funny with a patriotic spirit that was easy to see. She will never be forgotten.
Barbara R. Pfeiffer died on May 8, 2014. Barbara’s family includes her husband, Frank Sr.; children, Frank Jr., Stephen (Renee), Jacquelyn, and Michael; grandchildren, Michael and Jessica; brother, Richard (Bette) Adams; and many nieces and nephews. Barbara was preceded in death by her brothers, William, Robert, David, and John. Family will receive friends Saturday, May 31 from 1-2 p.m. at Leonard A. Turowski and Son Funeral Home, 9300 Middlebelt (north of Joy) where a Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com where you can leave a memory or photo or sign the online guestbook.