Barbara Ann Weber flew to the arms of our loving father in Heaven on Wednesday, September 7, 2022, while being cared for in the Mike Conley Hospice House in Clermont, Florida. Barbara was born on October 30, 1927, to Lambert and Mary (Hunt) Haigh, in Bucyrus, Ohio, and she was the youngest of four sisters. Her sisters were Dorothy, Connie, and Edna.
Barbara grew up in a tightly-knit, loving family, and she was a happy child who loved to learn. Her parents were both from England. When Barbara was 12, she traveled by ship with her mother to England, meeting family and seeing the sights of England. When her father urged them to come home because of the threat of a looming war, Barbara’s mom brought her home. They left England on the day war was declared, and their ship sailed in blackout. Tragically, not long after returning home to Ohio, Barbara’s father passed away on Valentine’s Day. Barbara’s mother was a strong, faithful, and resilient lady, and she continued to take care of her family of daughters.
Barbara, known to her friends as ‘Bobby’, thrived in school. She loved to learn, and loved music, especially piano and flute. Barbara worked hard in school, helping her mother, and held three jobs in her later teen years: YMCA lifeguard, server at Kiwanis’ luncheons, and sales at JCPenney. She graduated from Bucyrus High School, and entered Ohio State University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. While there, Barbara was known as ‘Rusty’ to her friends, but it should be no surprise with her beautiful red curls and intelligence, that she was also known as “a flaming genius.”
While at Ohio State University, Barbara met the love of her life and her husband of 70 years, William Weber. William and Barbara married on December 23, 1951. While William completed his degree in Veterinary Medicine, Barbara served as a Public Health Nurse. She traveled throughout the city, caring for people in their homes. She also cared for newborns in the hospital’s maternity ward, and held well-baby clinics for new parents. She was always very proud of her nursing career, and even in later years taught some continuing education classes, maintaining her own nursing license up into her 70’s. William and Barbara eventually moved to Ocala, Florida, where he worked as a Veterinarian. They were persuaded by a friend to come to Leesburg, so they moved to a home on Oak Drive in Leesburg, and opened a Veterinary Clinic. It was in Leesburg that Barbara also worked as a substitute teacher, which was another service of which she was very proud.
Barbara and William had two sons, William and John, and the family remained in Leesburg, eventually building a home on Myrtle Lake. Barbara was a proud homemaker, mother, and wife, supported her husband in his work as a Veterinarian, and reared their two boys who themselves became Veterinarians. One of the family’s great joys was their family trips, taking off a month each summer, loading up the camper, and taking off to explore the country. They also had many great adventures as wildlife rehabbers, with many animals in need of care being delivered to them by the Florida Wildlife officers. Barbara was instrumental in saving and rehabilitating many baby or injured animals, never complaining. More than once, she had raccoons nesting in her clothes closet, owls needing feeding, or a bear cub on the back porch.
In addition to her precious family, Barbara also loved the Lord and her church family. Barbara was one of the longest-living members of her beloved church, First Presbyterian Church of Leesburg. Barbara started attending in the 1950’s, when the church was a little building on Main Street. Barbara gave a great deal of time and love to the church, serving as a Kindergarten teacher, Elder, Deacon, Stephen Minister, and together with her son and daughter-in-law, once made up half of the bell choir. In addition, Barbara was a long-time member of PEO, and one of her proudest accomplishments was being on the Lake County textbook selection committee when her sons were still in school. Being avid readers and lovers of the written word, she and her sons shared many happy memories throughout the following years, recalling the fun they had going through the books being considered for adoption.
Barbara loved her family. Her family cherishes her, all she has taught them, and the unconditional love she showered on them. We will miss her beautiful smile, loving spirit, support and love.
Barbara’s survivors include her husband of 70 years, William J. Weber of Leesburg, son William Weber (wife Tobi) of Durham, North Carolina, son John Weber (wife Grace) of Leesburg, Florida, grandson John Weber (wife Lauren) of Port Orange, Florida, grandson James Weber (wife Nicole) of Leesburg, Florida, great-grandchildren Angelica, Haven, Autumn, MacKenzie, and Liam, with one more due in March, 2023, and several nieces and nephews.
Barbara will be honored at a special church service at First Presbyterian Church. The family asks for no flowers, but if desired, donations can be made to: First Presbyterian Church of Leesburg Music Department, 200 South Lone Oak Drive, Leesburg, Florida 34748, or Mike Conley Hospice House, 2100 Oakley Seaver Drive, Clermont, FL, 34711.