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1943 Barbara Pursley 2024

Barbara Pursley

May 2, 1943 — January 30, 2024



Barbara Mae McColley Pursley, who loved to be called “Mom” by her children and “Grandma” by her grandchildren departed her loving family on January 30, 2024, at the age of 80.

Barbara was born in Akron, Ohio on May 2, 1943, the third child and only daughter to her parents, Tulsa E. Herr and Denver E. McColley. Her father died when she was only four, so Oliver Herr is the man she called Dad. She was preceded in death by all three of her parents, her older brothers, Wayne Albert McColley (Houston, Texas), and Denver Edward McColley Jr. (Akron, Ohio) and her younger brother David Lee McColley (Akron, Ohio.) 

She also had two older half siblings that have preceded her in death, Margaret Collins (Phoenix, Arizona) and Troy Nance (Akron, Ohio.)

Barbara is survived by her children, Robin (Bob) Leenders of Lexington, IL and David Pursley of Radcliff, KY. From Robin and Bob she has four grandchildren Mikhail, Nikoi, Corey and Ketia, and from David she has two grandchildren, David Pursley Jr. and Jessica Marie. She also has three great-granddaughter, Ella and Ivy Johnson (Mikhail) and Naomi Johnson (Nikoi.) 

She also has several nieces and nephews that live across the United States: Denver III, Sylva Jean, and Donald (from Denver’s 1st marriage); Pam, Randy, Kimberly, and Chrissy (from Denver’s 2nd marriage), David Odell and Sean (David’s children) and Joyce (Wayne’s daughter.) In particular Barbara was close to her sister-in-law, Betty Sandridge (Akron, Ohio.)

Barbara loved to crochet and couldn’t pass up a good deal on yarn.  One Christmas she made afghans for the entire family! She was an accomplished seamstress in her younger years and specialized in military uniform alterations. Even though she was diabetic, Barbara could whip up a mean peanut butter fudge, and thoroughly enjoyed making candy for the holidays. She also loved to cook but struggled to cook just for one, so she would make larger meals and share with her neighbors in her apartment complex. 

Over the years Barbara held many jobs, sometimes two at the same time, often cleaning people’s houses in addition to working at a local restaurant or gas station as an attendant. She didn’t know a stranger and if she saw someone in need would do what she could to help out. An animal lover, Barbara had many pets but most recently was loved by her parakeets George and Gracie.   

Barbara had several close friends, including Barbara Roach from her Radcliff KY years and Cari Ann of Murray, who was a best and trusted friend and help in her later years. She was also close to Cari’s family, including her daughter Kelly and her best friend Opal. Barbara had several other friends in Murray who helped her along the way: Anna Walker, Katrina Brooks and Tammy Belcher.

Family and friends are invited to attend her graveside service, which will be held at 11:45 am Saturday Feb. 17th at Hillside Memorial Park, in Akron Ohio with Pastor Kremer officiating. An informal gathering will follow to celebrate Barbara's life. 

Online condolences can be made at,

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Starts at 11:45 am (Central time)

Hillside Memorial Park

1025 Canton Rd, Akron, OH 44312

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