March 4, 1947 - May 18, 2021
Your Hug Meant the World
The world lost a beloved mother, Barbara Louise Hamrick on May 18, 2021.
Barbara was born on March 4th 1947 to LD and Annie Helfin in Morrilton Arkansas, she was the oldest of seven. The family moved to Washington when she was 9 years old when her father got a job working with the railroad. Barbara has said she didn’t remember much of her time in Arkansas but vividly remembers eating green tomatoes with her sister Lois out of the garden. They settled in Yacolt, WA where she was raised, helped take care of her younger siblings and graduated from Battleground High School. When Barbara was 18 years old she met Eldrid, he would pass by on his way home from working in the woods. It was love at first sight, Eldrid often referred to her as his angel and their love lasted a lifetime. They were married on January 21st, 1966, Barbara and Eldrid have six children: Phyllis, Martisha (Tisha), Barbara (Barbie), Eldrina (DeeDee), Katrina and Johnathan (Johnny), Barbara loved them all dearly and often said motherhood was the greatest gift she was given. You can ask any of her children and they would all say she was the best mom anyone could have.
Barbara and the family moved around following Eldrid’s work until they settled in Orting, Wa in 1983. This is where they laid down their roots and the kids still reside. Barbara was a homemaker and took great pride in raising her family. She always made sure everyone had what they needed and most often than not would do without so others could also have what they wanted. Barbara was a true example of selflessness and grace. She loved everyone she came in contact with, greeting them with a friendly face and sincere smile. Her soul was genuine and always saw the good in others, even her children when they fell off the path. Barbara would often say some just need a little more love and guidance than others. It’s our job to love and forgive, she was wise and it gave her great satisfaction to help others.
After Barbara’s youngest children were in school she found her second calling. She started volunteering in her kid’s classrooms which lead to full time employment with the Orting School District. She was known as the Hwy 162 crosswalk lady, lunchroom lady, monitor and so much more. This is also where she met some dear friends. She officially retired six years ago but continued to substitute because she missed her kids. She loved running into them at the local Safeway and saying hello at the parades. Being around kids and helping them was a true passion of hers.
When Barbara wasn’t helping others you could often find her doodling in bead work, sewing, reading, crossword searches and of course pressing buttons at the local casinos. She loved to hit all the local yard sales and watching her lifetime movies. In the summer months the family would go to the ocean and head out on a charter, but Barbara, never learning how to swim, preferred to stay on dry land and spent the time walking the shores and shops.
Barbara had a way about her, she was easy to talk to and a great listener. She always had keen ways of saying things to make you think and believed that no matter what you could reach the stars. Her children feel blessed beyond measure to have had her to call mom. Some of the favorite memories and traits that her children hold dear are:
Phyllis: So many thoughts run through my mind, taking her to get her first pedicure. She was so ticklish and the giggles were the best! We all laughed and laughed! I also love the famous crab stories of her and dad cracking and bagging the crab from the Muckleshoot buffet and stuffing it into her crab purse!
Tisha: My favorite memories is our quality time that we spent at the casinos, we both enjoyed that so much.
Barbie: My fondest memory is when she met Colton at birth and gave me kind words of strength, wisdom and patience. I hope I have become the mom she wanted me to be.
Eldrina: I will always remember how supportive mom was, always believing in me to do better and never giving up on me.
Katrina: So many memories: Saturday casino day, her Friday day with James, our Vegas trip, her sound advice or calling me to help fix her computer problems. There are too many to choose from. I am just honored that she got to be my mom and in the end we all got to be there for her.
Johnny: She was my best friend and I will never forget everything she has done for me, she will always be in my heart.
As you can see by her children’s words her life was a living example of one of her favorite Bible verses, Ephesians 4:32 — “And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.”
Barbara is preceded in death by her husband Eldrid, her parents LD and Annie, brothers: Kenny, Richard, Jerry and sister Lois. She is survived by her daughters: Phyllis (Jay), Martisha (Don), Barbara (Erik), Eldrina, Katrina (Jake), and son Johnathan as well as grandchildren: Kalinda (Travis), Krista, Jeremy, Colton, James, Blaike and great-grandchild Hudson as well as Barbara’s sister Betty and brother Willie.
The family is planning a celebration of life for the summer of 2021 to honor both Barbara and Eldrid who passed a few months prior. Please contact the family for additional information and those who cannot attend are encouraged to send a favorite memory.