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Barb Faulkner

September 6, 1940 - February 23, 2024
Coldwater, MI



At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Tibbits Opera Foundation and Arts Council
Web Site

ProMedica Coldwater Cancer Center
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Barbara Faulkner, a woman of grace, intelligence, and boundless love. She leaves behind a legacy that resonates with warmth, kindness, and a steadfast dedication to family and community. Born to Franklin and Clara Keyes on September 6, 1940 in Coldwater, Michigan, Barb's journey through life was marked by resilience, love, and an unwavering commitment to those she held dear.

Barb's childhood was shaped by the love of her family and the lessons learned from her parents. Her father, Franklin, served as a bank examiner, while her mother, Clara, was a pioneering entrepreneur who owned and started the beloved women’s clothing store, Woodward's Specialty Shop. Barb's upbringing was enriched by the memories of her grandmother Effie's farm in Bronson, where she spent countless hours around the kitchen table, learning valuable lessons and forging cherished bonds.

Despite the challenges of her father's untimely passing when she was just thirteen, Barb approached life with determination and resilience. She excelled academically, skipping third grade due to her remarkable intellect, yet remained humble and grounded. Graduating from Coldwater High School in 1957, Barb maintained close ties with her classmates throughout the years, embodying the values of loyalty and friendship.

Barb's journey led her to Michigan State University before she transitioned to Detroit, where she embarked on a career as a department store model and bank employee. It was during this time that she met the love of her life, Jack Faulkner, through mutual friends at a dance hall. Their love story blossomed despite the distance, culminating in a heartfelt union on February 16, 1962, a day that coincided with Jack's 25th birthday. Together, they embarked on a journey marked by love, mutual respect, and unwavering devotion.

Settling in Coldwater, Barb and Jack built a life centered around their family and community. Jack's career as an educator and administrator complemented Barb's role as a devoted mother and businesswoman. Together, they raised two children, Jack and Jill, instilling in them the values of hard work, integrity, and compassion.

Barb's entrepreneurial spirit flourished as she joined her mother in running the family store, later purchasing and renaming it Woodward's. A pillar of the Coldwater community, Barb's dedication to small business and civic engagement earned her recognition as a Downtown Business Woman of the Year and President of the Altrusa Club. Her commitment to her town and its residents was unwavering, reflecting her belief in the power of community and service.

As a mother, Barb exemplified love and sacrifice, nurturing her children with unwavering devotion and support. Not just a spectator, Barb was known to put on a catcher’s mitt and catch Jack’s fast balls. Jack’s and Jill’s uniforms were always ready for their next game, stains removed and pressed. Ping-pong, shooting pool, and cards were just a few other skills at which Barb excelled and made sure her children could hold their own.

Her home was a haven of warmth and hospitality, where friends and family were always welcome. Barb's selflessness extended beyond her immediate family, as she embraced her role as a grandmother with boundless love and joy. Her love for life and genuine interest in others endeared her to all, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of many.

Throughout her life, Barb found solace in literature, music, and community engagement. An avid reader and fierce bridge player, she cherished moments spent with loved ones, whether attending musicals at the Tibbits Opera House or hosting gatherings at their farm and later their retirement home on Coldwater Lake. Paddle boating and pontoon rides were among her favorite activities with Captain Jack always at the helm. Barb and Jack were a dynamic DIY team. There was no project the two wouldn’t tackle together, and Barb’s specialty was hanging wallpaper which she did with perfection!

Barb and Jack so loved being grandparents to their five grandchildren - Austin, Ally, Caleb, Ashley and Juliette. Their farm and lake houses provided wonderful places for play and adventure. Jack would often take the grandkids to the farm where tractor rides were plentiful, and Barb was known to get the board and card games going. Barb doted on them and would make whatever meal they wanted and summer months often included a trip to the Popcorn Theatre at The Tibbits.

In the face of adversity, Barb's strength and resilience shone through. She faced challenges with grace and courage, supported by her beloved husband Jack. Together, they weathered storms with unwavering faith and optimism. Sadly, in 2016, Jack passed away.

As the years passed, Barb embraced retirement with the same enthusiasm and zest for life that defined her earlier years. Despite facing health challenges, she remained a beacon of positivity and laughter, finding joy in the company of her family and friends. Her move to Vineyard Assisted Living, near her daughter Jill, provided her with comfort and companionship in her final years, surrounded by love and laughter until the end, even recently playing the piano with her granddaughter Allyson.

Barb leaves behind a legacy of love, kindness, and service. Her life serves as a testament to the power of resilience, love, and community. Though she may have departed this world, her spirit lives on in the hearts of all who were fortunate enough to know her, inspiring us to live each day with compassion, grace, and unwavering determination. May her memory be a blessing, guiding us always in the pursuit of a life well-lived.

Barbara Faulkner died peacefully on February 23, 2024 at the Vineyard Assisted Living Community in Kalamazoo at the age of 83. Barb was preceded in death by her husband, Jack in 2016. Surviving are a son, Jack (Lori) Faulkner and their daughters: Allyson and Ashley Faulkner; daughter, Jill (Steve) Benscoter and their children: Austin (Natalie) Langlinais, Caleb Langlinais (Julie Liu) and Juliette Langlinais, and Noah and Seth Benscoter; sister, Jan Cochrane; brother, Jim (Angie) Keyes and many nieces and nephews. Cremation has taken place. A celebration of her life is still being planned and will take place later this year. The family extends thanks and gratitude for the wonderful team at Vineyard Assisted Living and the special team at Centrica Care Navigators who gave comfort and care for Barb and her family. Visit Barb’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos and sign her guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to: Tibbits Opera House, Centrica Care Navigators (Hospice care of SW Michigan) or ProMedia Coldwater Cancer Center. Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49009 (269) 375-2900.