Sewing 06

Barbara E (Bryan) Gaunt

September 16, 1925 ~ January 25, 2021 (age 95)


Barbara Ellen Gaunt, 95, of Decatur, Indiana, passed away on Monday, January 25, 2021, at Adams Woodcrest.  Barbara was born on September 16, 1925, in Mercer County, Ohio, to the late Chester and Blanche (Byer) Bryan.  On May 1, 1948, Barbara married Kenneth Gaunt, who preceded her in death on December 12, 1976.

She was best known as a loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She took pride in her family. She was that grandma with a sweatshirt overloaded with photo buttons of smiling high schoolers. And, as life marched on, nothing made her smile more than her great-grandchildren.

Barbara was a keeper of traditions. Her home was full of family heirlooms and photos, each enlivened with a story. During the holidays, she was a warm and inviting host. The warmth seemed to emanate from both her reverence of the holiday and genuine love of family. It’s debated whether a store-bought dessert was ever served at her table. Her family and friends anticipated her homemade Christmas cookies and candies each year.

She didn’t limit her gifts to only those that were edible. She came of age during an era of scarcity and maintained a knack for quilting and making handmade clothes throughout her life. Some of those clothes were crafted with yarn she personally spun as a member of the Fort Wayne Flax and Fleecers Spinning Guild. She was a routine reenactor at the spinning wheel, in the Settlors Village, during the annual Johnny Appleseed Festivals.

Barbara is survived by two sons, David “Bubba” (Myra) Gaunt of Decatur and Robert Gaunt of Bluffton; two daughters, Debra (James) Kowalkowski of Muncie and Teresa (David) Conrad of Decatur; a brother, Ronnie Bryan of Monroe; six grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren.

She remained resilient and poised even during the difficulties of life. Besides her husband, Barbara was preceded in death by a grandson, Aaron Conrad; a sister, Janet Roughia; two brothers, Doyt and Richard Bryan. Throughout it all, she was a faithful member of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church.

Due to COVID concerns, a private family service will be held at Haggard-Sefton-Hirschy & Zelt Funeral Home, with burial at Decatur Cemetery. Pastor Ernie Suman will be officiating.

Memorials may be given to Bi-County Services music program or Visiting Nurse Hospice.

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