This memorial website was created in memory of our mom, grandma, and friend, Barbara Arnold. She was truly one-of-a-kind. We will remember her forever.

If you would like to say goodbye to Barbara please join us on Saturday February 23rd, her 72nd birthday any time from 11:00am-12:00pm at Oak Ridge Lodge, Cincinnati, Ohio 45223 in Mt. Airy Park OR simply leave a final post here or her Facebook page @ Barbara Arnold

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Her Life

Strong from start to finish

Abandoned at birth on February 23rd 1947 an illegitimate newborn known only as “Baby Girl Smith” was brought into this fiery world. The forging of pure determination and motivation started on day one. That beautiful little girl was just beginning a life of many more hardships and heartaches that no human should ever have to endure. However, she was gifted with perseverance and purpose, and she would ultimately triumph magnificently.

Adopted directly from the Garden City, Michigan hospital by Caroline Limbach (lem*bok), she was finally named Barbara Jean. She was raised in a boarding home in Detroit. Her foster-father violently abused Barbara until she graduated Ypsilanti High School in 1965 and went on to Washtenaw Community College. She studied Social Work and had dreams of helping many kids just like her.

In college she met and married a person in 1969 who she would later regret. He uprooted Barbara and moved to Cincinnati, Ohio in the mid 70’s. They had three little boys. Her career dreams were deferred, but nevertheless, a position as a parent was a greater call.

Life never gave Barbara any easy breaks. When her children were just 2, 3 and 5 she pressed child abuse charges against and divorced her husband. She had nothing to her name, but she had her family, she had her purpose. Broke, but not broken, she raised 3 boys into young men in a rapidly declining suburban ghetto aka the slumburb called Sevenhills. Years and years went by with no car, no heat, and no dreams. However, Barbara persevered. Sometimes working 3 jobs and walking 5 miles a day to and from, she maintained food on her children’s plates and clothes on their back. She fought. She had grit, and her motivation to fight on kept her from drugs, crime, or simply abandoning her children. She surrendered her marriage and a middle class life to spare her three sons from foster care and a loveless childhood. She was a ball of fire; a self-proclaimed "feisty old woman". Her personality was unique and she called it like she saw it. Her wit was curiously distinctive and her smile and laughter were infectious.

Life’s final blow was an unwarranted cancer at age 69, but Barbara fought. For nearly 2 years she did all she could to spend as much time with her family. At 71, just shy of her birthday, she gave the fight to Jesus. She went home; where no more pain exists.

Barbara will be lovingly remembered by her three sons: Paul, Timothy, and James, her daughter-in-law Kynda, and her three grand-daughters: Cydnie, Alana, and Autumn. Barbara also loved Raena and Bryce Few and had an extensive host of extended family, church members, Facebook friends, and pets: Frisky(2), Little-bit, Rags, Ninja, Rocky, Bolt, Camellia, Steel, Psycho, and more. Dogs were family and for Barbara family was everything. It was her purpose for survival.

In the end Barbara was victorious at the Life that she was dealt. She might have been abandoned at birth, but at death she was surrounded by those who loved her dearly. You did it, Mom, you were brought into the world abruptly and you were taken out of the world the same. You will forever be missed.

Recent stories

A Beautiful Person

February 23, 2019

I never knew Barbara Arnold, but I know the quality of her love for her children and the values she instilled in them by knowing her son, Tim.    The work he is doing for youth in several places in Ohio and around the country shows that he was raised to be of service and to be helpful to others. His love for his own children shows in every conversation.  

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