Barbara Kay James was born December 29th, 1966, in Kiowa, Kansas to Jewell and Frank James. She passed away at her niece’s home with family December 12th, 2023. Barbara had an extremely short, intense battle with cancer.
Barbara graduated from Burlington High School in 1985. She played basketball all four years, participated in Future Farmers of America, and was an excellent student. In 1989 she graduated from Northwestern Oklahoma State University. She earned a teaching credential in Physical Education and English. After college graduation, she helped run Hawkins Pre-school in Cherokee for several years. She worked in Enid schools and Chisholm High School, while preparing to teach full-time. Barbara was Youth Minister at Cherokee First Christian Church, and remained devoted to service in her church and community for her entire life.
Barbara stayed in the Burlington area to help family, caring for her mother, and assisting aunts, cousins, and siblings. She was instrumental in raising her niece and great nephews. She taught at Burlington Public School since 2013, high school English and Physical Education for Pre-K through third grade. She was involved in Burlington School activities from the time she was in kindergarten until she grew to be a veteran teacher. She taught Sunday School, prepared Children’s Moments, served as Deaconess, and was Sunday School Superintendent. Barbara will be missed by the entire Burlington Public School Community, the congregation of the Cherokee First Christian Church, and most of all, by her family who could never have been ready for her to go.
Travel to Florida theme parks with family was a favorite activity. She loved roller coasters and enjoyed time spent with family shopping and exploring new places. Barbara will be remembered for her generosity, her compassion, her empathy, her kindness, her common sense, and for her straightforward approach to doing what is right.
She is preceded in death by her mother, Jewell James, her four aunts and uncles, and three cousins. She leaves behind her sister, Sharon James, brother, Arthur James, Niece, Tabitha Long, Tabitha’s husband, Terrance Long, and great nephews, Truman and Triton Long, along with many cousins and loved ones.
Services for Barbara will be held Monday, December 18th, 2023. Viewing will be held at Lanman Funeral Home, Inc. in Cherokee from 10:00 a.m. to noon on Monday. Family will meet for a meal at the First Christian Church at noon. A small graveside service for family only will be held at Cherokee Municipal Cemetery at 1:00 p.m., followed by a service for all who wish to honor Barbara at Cherokee First Christian Church at 2:00 p.m. www.lanmanfuneralhome.com Facebook: Lanman Funeral Home Inc.
Memorial gifts can be made to Cherokee First Christian Church through Lanman Funeral Home.