Celebration of Life
Life Story / Obituary
Barbara Farnham had a great passion for friends and family. She always wanted to make people happy and have family around. Barbara always faced life head on and loved her three children Jeff, Jay, and Connie fiercely. Just as important to Barbara was her husband of ten years, George, his children and all of her 10 grandchildren and one great grandchild. Of all the family and friends that loved and knew her, it will more than likely be her disarming sense of humor and tremendously giving nature that we all will miss the most.
Barbara was born to William and Winnifred Sefcik on April 15, 1942 and grew up in Warren, Michigan with her big sister, Connie (Laventhal), and little brother, William. She graduated from Warren Fitzgerald High School. Barbara met and married Ronald Peterson and they were together for over 17 years. Barb devoted herself to her children and when she and Ron divorced, Barbara went back to school earning her associates degree from St. Clair County Community College, her bachelors degree from Oakland University, and worked toward her masters in public administration all while working full time and raising three children. To say Barbara was an inspiration was putting it mildly.
After earning her bachelor’s Barbara went to work for the government at TACOM (tank automotive command) in Warren as a contract specialist. She worked for the government for over 28 years including a 1995 six-month logistical support role with the United Nations in Haiti and a two year diplomatic role in Ottawa, Canada overseeing military contracts throughout the country. Barbara eventually returned to TACOM where she met George in 2001 through the encouragement of a dear mutual family friend, Virginia Skowron. The two were eventually married on April 14, 2011.
Over the years Barb lived in several cities in Michigan and the midwest and while she kept returning to the Warren area, her heart always belonged at the ancestral family farm just south of Fayette State Park in the upper peninsula. She spent many spring through fall weekends traveling to the farm, first to visit her retired mother, Winnie, and stepfather, Oliver, and then during her own retirement with George. In addition to traveling Barb loved reading, dining out, garage saling (my God she loved a good deal and haggling for it) and as mentioned before, taking care of others!
Barbara Farnham died July 1, 2021 in Kalamazoo. She was preceded in death by her brother, William Sefcik; parents, William Sefcik and Winnifred (Sefcik) Baresi; stepfather, Oliver Baresi; and daughter-in-law, Cherie Peterson. Surviving are her sister, Connie Laventhal; husband, George; children, Jeffrey Peterson, his partner Lesley and his two daughters, Alex and Logan and their partners Justin and Connor respectively; Jay Peterson and his fiancé Katherine and his three daughters, Annika, Gabrielle, and Erin; Connie Bottine and her wife Becky and her son Joseph and step-children Sasha and Nikos. Barb is also survived by stepchildren, Chris Farnham and his wife Alyssa and their daughters Hadleigh and Ellerie, Geoffrey Farnham and his wife Lindsey and their daughter McKenna and Jennifer Tabor, her husband Bobby and son Zachery. Barb is also survived by her only great granddaughter, Elliott, daughter of Alex and Justin.
Please visit Barb’s website at BeztlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign her guestbook. A memorial luncheon will be held on Friday August 6 from noon to 4 PM at Ike’s Restaurant in Sterling Heights, 38550 Van Dyke Ave. Additionally, a celebration of life will be held on Tuesday, August 10 from 4 - 7 PM at Messier-Broullire Funeral Home in Garden, Michigan 49835.
Arrangements by Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49009, (269) 375-2900.