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Barbara Newman

Obituary for Barbara Newman

November 15, 1962 - September 18, 2020
Holland, Michigan | Age 57


Barbara J. Newman, 57, died at 7:05 PM on September 18, 2020, with her family by her side in Holland, Michigan.

Barbara Newman, also known as "Mrs. B" to many of her students, was born November 15, 1962, in Grand Rapids, Michigan to Dr. Andrew Bandstra, a Reverend and professor of theology at Calvin Seminary, and Mae Bandstra, a teacher turned homemaker. Barb was well known for the same intelligence, passion for faith, and love of words as her father, and the same loving, generous, and kind nature as her mother.

She spent most of her free time connecting with her friends, loved ones, reading books, and perpetually winning word games. Even in her personal life, Barbara touched people's lives for the better. She was the same kind-hearted, intelligent, child of God she was in her work life. On the clock, she was Co-director of the inclusion program at Zeeland Christian School. She was also a speaker and consultant for All Belong (formerly CLC Network), writing books and traveling all across the United States to share strategies that equip schools and churches, for a total of forty years working towards her goal of including people of all abilities in the body of Christ. During this time she won many awards from disability and education communities for her achievements:
• Ability Award from the Disability Network – Lakeshore, 2017
• Henry J. Nouwen Award, American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 2015
• Christian Service Award, Bethesda Lutheran Communities, 2012
• Barbara Lipinski Award of Merit, 2007
• Great West-Michigan Teacher Award, Grand Rapids Press, 2006
• National Leadership Award, National Council on the Handicapped, 1988

Barb was always an active member of her church. She served as children's ministry director at Lakeshore Vineyard Church for 14 years, choir member at Trinity Reformed Church in her years there, leader of small groups at Watermark Church, and most recently enjoyed her Sundays at Moran Park Church, worshiping her Lord and Savior and connecting with the body of Christ.

She is survived by her husband Barry Newman, a retired professional driver and, as he always says, "Barb's number one fan." She is also survived by her two sons, John, who has followed in his mother's footsteps as a special education teacher, an active member of his church as a part of the worship team, and husband to Jasmine who is a nurse; and James Newman, who is working on starting his own group home, working with adults with varied abilities and using everything he learned from his mother over the years. Barb's other surviving family are her sisters, Nancy (Dick) Stob, Mary (Bob) Ippel, and Sue (Rich) Hamstra and their respective families. She was preceded in death by her sister Ruth Bandstra and her mother and father, Dr. Andrew and Mae Bandstra.

A visitation will be Thursday, September 24, 2020, from 5 until 8pm at Zeeland Christian School in Zeeland, Michigan. A service honoring her life will be held at Moran Park Church Friday, September 25 at 1pm for her family and close friends and Moran Park community. It will be streamed online and to several locations for in-person gatherings. See for those locations. Persons in attendance are encouraged to wear Barb's favorite color, purple, in remembrance.

Barb was very specific with instructions regarding gifts; her final words on the matter were, "forget the flowers! Give to All Belong Church Services and to Zeeland Christian." Thank you for doing that to continue her life's work.

Arrangements By

Langeland-Sterenberg Funeral Home

315 E 16th St
Holland, MI 49423
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