Barbara (Barb) Leone Diederich Walton, 85, of Carrollton, passed away February 21, 2021 at Carroll Healthcare Center.
Born January 8, 1936 in DuBois, Pennsylvania, she was the daughter of the late William C.F. & Nellie L. (Miller) Diederich.
Barb grew up on a farm in Jewett Ohio, graduated from Jewett High School in 1953 and attended Kent State.
Barb married Richard C. (Dick) Walton on July 18, 1954 at the Carrollton United Presbyterian Church and had been married 47 years prior to Dick’s passing in 2001.
Barb worked in cost accounting at Good Roads in Minerva Ohio from 1953-55, the Carrollton McCook House as a Docet and a Christmas Volunteer, and as a news correspondent for WJER Radio and The Times Reporter from 1967-1990.
Barb belonged to Bethel United Methodist Church in Jewett prior to her marriage, and then belonged to the Carrollton United Presbyterian Church for over 60 years, where she served as an elder and clerk, head of the U.P. Women’s Missionary Society, choir and choir director, and many years as pianist for both the Carrollton and Scroggsfield U.P. churches. She also served on the U.P. Lay Renewal Team. She delighted in attending other denominations’ church services throughout the week.
Barb’s greatest love was Jesus and serving Him, along with her love of family, friends, gardening and music. She was an accomplished pianist and also learned to play sax, ukulele, guitar, organ, and dulcimer. She loved to sing and belonged to Carroll Tones Sweet Adelines Barber Shop Group and The Singing Christians, as well as being part of a trio and traveling to nursing homes, singing for the resident’s enjoyment for many years. In 2011, she received the Carrollton Music Study Club’s Music Award in appreciation for her many years of service to the community and also received recognition for meritorious services to 4-H. Barb enjoyed writing some music and short stories, as well as her Jewett alumni banquets and class reunion events, birthday celebrations at the Sr. Friendship Center, traveling to many county fairs, and entering floral arrangements and flowers and everything else connected to the Carroll County Fair, decorating for every holiday (especially Valentine’s Day when she became engaged), anything sparkly and shiny, bubble lights, stuffed animals, snowmen, soda pop, and especially desserts!
Barb volunteered many years at The Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry, Hospice (The Prayer Activity), and RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program), spent many hours at Carrollton’s House of Prayer and as a 43-year cancer survivor, participated in a Carroll County Relay-4-Life with her daughter, who is a cancer survivor also. For many years, Barb also was the coordinator and co-coordinator for Carroll County’s National Day of Prayer, served on the “All Denominations Christian Women’s Retreat” team, participated in the yearly right-to-life event and completed The Lay Speaker’s Training Course through the conference of The United Methodist Church. She supported many veteran’s organizations and Christian ministries, especially Judicial Watch and Jay Sekulow’s ACLJ (American Center for Law & Justice).
When Barb was passionate about something, there was no stopping her, and her home was always open and welcoming to everyone. She and Dick hosted a rotary exchange student, Valinho Regatieri from Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Her love, compassion, and prayers helped so many – especially a young woman who had considered ending her life, who now is in ministry. Hearts, lives and organizations were touched by Barb’s love for the Lord, her giving nature and her time spent volunteering. She never hesitated to pray for someone’s “needs” immediately, via phone, in person, or even in the middle of the grocery store.
Barb was ready to meet Jesus face-to-face. She knew and loved her savior and gave her heart to Him and never hesitated to share the gospel with those she met. She leaves behind an amazing legacy. As Jesus would say, “Well done, good and faithful servant”.
Barb was preceded in death by her husband, Dick; and brothers, James (Cleveland) and Harold (Wintersville) Diederich; and is survived by her children, Karla (Mark) Wells, and Darl (Barb) Walton.
The family wishes to thank all those who compassionately cared for Barb at Carroll Healthcare the past two years and all those who visited or sent such an outpouring of cards and notes. You’ve blessed our hearts.
A private graveside family service was held at Bethel UMC Cemetery in Jewett, due to current health concerns with the Covid-19 pandemic, and a celebration of her life will be held late spring. Memorial contributions in Barb’s name may be sent to the Carrollton U.P. Church (265 2nd St. NW, Carrollton, OH 44615), Bethel UMC (Patty Sabo, 415 Pauline Dr. Hopedale, OH 43976), The Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry (Box 551, Carrollton), or the Carroll County Animal Protection League (CCAPL, Box 353, Carrollton).
Dodds Funeral Homes of Carrollton assisted with services.