Barbara Ann Kocher, 77, of Bucyrus, died December 4, 2021 at the Kobacker House after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
Barbara was born October 16, 1944 to the late Alton and Margaret (Ruch) Harris in Bucyrus. After living on a farm on Rt. 4 the family settled in Sulphur Springs. As a young child Barbara heard the call of God and regularly attended St. John’s Lutheran in Sulphur Springs. She attended Sulphur Springs High School, then transferred to Colonel Crawford High School, where she graduated in 1962. While in school Barb participated in cheerleading, chorus, art club, and the Toward New Horizons club. During her high school years Barbara worked at Mac’s Drive-In. After graduation she worked at GE. Barbara would marry the love of her life, Marvin Kocher, May 25, 1963. Barbara left General Electric to stay home and care for the family. She was a lifelong partner with Marvin on the farm, driving tractor when needed and keeping the books. The family shares fond memories of picnics in the field with dad.
After her marriage, Barb joined St. Paul Lutheran Church in the Sulphur Springs area, where she remained a devoted member for the rest of her life. She taught Sunday School, helped with Christmas programs, served on the Memorial Committee, helped with Relay For Life, and was active in various women’s groups. She was especially fond of the sewing and quilting activities. Barb had a lifelong love of sewing and used her skills to help make blankets and quilts for the needy, donating many items to the Salvation Army. She made sure that all of her children and grandchildren each had a quilt of their own and continued to work on a quilt for herself until her passing. She also helped create wedding dresses for her daughter and granddaughter.
Barb had a passion for arts and crafts and was always working on something. She loved holidays and created many decorations. She was known to paint holiday scenes on our glass sliding doors. She loved to paint and draw as well. As a young mother Barb was a member of the Mother’s Club and was active in the PTO at Sulphur Springs.
Barbara loved her family and was devoted to them. Whether it was 4-H, band, or sporting events she was always there. She continued this with her grandchildren as well. The family enjoyed traveling as well, including one unforgettable drive to California to visit Barb’s brother. Barb and Marv enjoyed many trips to Anna Maria Island in Florida and spent summers camping at Lake Erie with a close group of friends. Barb was an avid gardener, tending her flowerbeds and planting vegetables that she would can and preserve. She loved listening to music and watching PBS. She took great pride in her cooking and baking skills as well.
In addition to her husband of 58 years, Barbara is survived by her children, Shawn Kocher, Shari Kocher, and Eric (Shelly) Kocher; grandchildren, Paige Kocher, Aiden Kocher, Sarah (Eric) Gilbert, Seth (Kourtney) Reffey, Elijah Reffey, Anna Reffey, Emma Kocher, Jacob Kocher, and Owen Kocher; great-grandchildren, Adalyn Gilbert, Isaac Gilbert, Molly Reffey, and Josie Reffey; brother, Bob (Kathy) Harris; sister, Carol (Joe) Cabell; and many nieces and nephews. Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Ron and Glenn Harris, and her brother Gerald and his wife Jeanette Harris.
Calling hours for Barbara will be held from 4 – 7 pm, Tuesday, December 7 at Wise Funeral Service. Her funeral will be held at 11 am Wednesday, December 8 at St. Paul Lutheran Church of Sulphur Springs with Pastor Hans Scherner officiating. Burial in St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery will follow.
Memorial contributions can be made payable to the Salvation Army and sent to the funeral home at 129 W. Warren St., Bucyrus, Ohio 44820. Photos and memories can be shared on Barbara’s tribute page at wisefuneral.com.