|Barbara DeMoss Nolan was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1937, the daughter of Walter and Jeanne Hatcher DeMoss. After attending public school in Coushatta, she met and married a young Methodist minister, William E. (Wishy) Nolan. They were married in the Marlatt Chapel at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas on December 9, 1955.
Wishy and Barbara produced four children, Julie, Walt, John and Joel, and a family circle in which love prevailed above all else As the children reached the ages of individual responsibility, Barbara returned to her own educational pursuits. She achieved her BA degree from Centenary College, MA from Louisiana Tech and did additional graduate study at both LSU in Baton Rouge and Northeast University in Monroe.
In addition to home and family responsibilities, Barbara went into professional service in education as a teacher, Special Education teacher, Instructional Specialist, and as a “Least Restrictive Environment Coordinator” in Caddo Parish. At the time of her death, she was on loan to the State Department of Education as an Inclusion Implementation Specialist and Systems Change Technical Assistant. He emphasis was seeking placement of “Special” children in the best possible environment for maximum learning toward productive and fulfilling lives. Indicative of her influence and success is a letter to her family from the Special Education Services of the Morehouse Parish School Board:
“…She did more to change the minds and attitudes of educators regarding
inclusive education than any other person…We shall never forget the mind set
she gave us regarding special education as ‘a SERVICE – not a PLACE’…She
won the respect of every life that she touched.”
As a pastor’s wife, Barbara shared love with church members and others alike. In addition to professional duties of her own, she taught Sunday School in the Nolley United Methodist Church, was a Certified Lay Speaker in the Alexandria District, and added a deep spiritual dimension to any group in which she was involved.
Great love for and total dedication to her pastor-husband made Barbara and Wishy a team in every sense of the word, both personally and professionally, through their thirty-eight years together. Their children, their children’s spouses, their grandchildren and the children of her deceased sister, Patricia Fair, were recipients of her lavish love. Their statements of recollection along with those of her husband, read like a fairy tale of affection and appreciation.
Barbara was the epitome of a currently popular description as “a beautiful person.” She possessed physical beauty beyond most and radiated a beauty of purity, patience, compassion and commitment. The lives of all who encountered her presence were made more beautiful by her touch, and there is doubt that Heaven itself is more beautiful today because she is there.
The most appropriate tribute that can be offered in her memory will be our living as she lived until we, too, enter into the eternal heritage in reunion with her and our Lord to praise God together forevermore.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference 1994, p. 257 By Dr. Douglas L. McGuire|