Barbara A. (McGuire) Laing was torn from her family, loved ones, and this life in the wee hours of Friday, January 29, 2021, by the consequential damage done by the murderous COVID-19 Virus. What began as a cough turned this vigorous woman into a victim gasping for breath, then to a paralyzed patient reliant on machines to keep her alive. Barb survived the virus while on the ventilator for four weeks, but the damage to her body was done.
Barbara was born in Kossuth County, Iowa, to William and Ruth McGuire, who both preceded her in death. She was raised in a modest farm home on a gravel road miles from any town.
Barb had two sisters, Victoria (Walter) Ilczyn of Itasca, Illinois, and Jane (Ormond) Curry of Algona, Iowa; three brothers, Thomas (Mary Pat) McGuire of Algona, Iowa, Steve (Jodi) McGuire of Davenport, Iowa, and Kenneth McGuire of Roanoke, Texas.
As a farm girl Barb learned to cook, sew, back a grain wagon, and not to be afraid of hard work. She was industrious, loved photography, would talk to anyone, and always cared for those around her. It was logical that she would pursue a career in nursing and graduated from Mt. Mercy College with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing in 1978. Barb began her career at Alexian Brothers Hospital and Children’s Hospital in the Chicago area, where she met her husband, Kevin Laing, who was attending dental school.
In 1980, they married and moved to Van Wert, where she lived for the remainder of her life. She continued nursing at Lima Memorial Hospital, served as plant nurse at Federal-Mogul, and was employed at Van Wert County Hospital for over 35 years. Thousands of patients were served by Barb in Obstetrics, as a float throughout the hospital, in Intensive Care, and as a Recovery Room nurse. She never stopped nursing and served on call as a school nurse.
Barb has two sons, Michael Laing of Sunbury and Robert (Rachel) Laing of Van Wert. Her granddaughter, Ava K. Courtney, lives in Columbus, and her grandson, Gabriel Laing, lives with Michael, his father, in Sunbury.
She was preceded in death by three children, Adam, Christopher, and Renee, as well as her grandson, Jay Lewis.
Barb did nothing halfway! Her sons and grandchildren came first. Any activity, any sporting event, any performances, any fundraising, or if a chaperone was needed, Barbara was up to the task. In addition to her career, she was an advocate and promoter of nursing associations and scholarship programs. In the church, Barb was a Eucharistic minister, officer in the Catholic Daughters, officer in the Catholic Ladies of Columbia, Rosary Altar Society, Bingo worker, charity auction worker, and donor, noodle maker, and spearheaded the publication of St. Mary’s Parish Tasty Temptations Cookbook. If there was a job to do, Barb was the person to get it done. Barb loved playing cards (and usually won), traveling, reading, and watching romantic stories (think Hallmark Channel), shopping, volunteering, and serving several groups as treasurer. Barb was extremely active in supporting and participating in Kevin’s many and various groups. Barb touched and blessed many lives. In short, Barb was a force of nature.
All funeral activities will be held at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, 601 Jennings Road in Van Wert. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday, February 3, with Father Charles Obinwa celebrant. Burial will follow immediately in Woodland Cemetery in Van Wert.
Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the time of services Wednesday at the church.
In light of COVID-19 and upcoming weather, the family understands that not everyone who wants to can, or should, attend Barb’s funeral Mass.
With the current set up, there is no place for floral tributes. The family requests that, in lieu of gifts or flowers, donations be made to the Barbara and Kevin Laing Memorial Fund at the Van Wert County Foundation, 138 E. Main St., Van Wert, OH 45891 (phone: 419.238.1743).
Arrangements were made by Brickner Funeral Home in Van Wert.
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