Honoring Tradition.
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Barbara Camp

September 25, 1953 - October 26, 2021
Grand Rapids, MI

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Visitation

Thursday, November 4, 2021
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM EDT
Seymour Christian Reformed Church
840 Alger St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507
1 (616) 245-8726

Masks requested

Map

Visitation

Friday, November 5, 2021
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM EDT
Seymour Christian Reformed Church
840 Alger St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507
1 (616) 245-8726

Masks requested

Map

Memorial Service

Saturday, November 6, 2021
11:00 AM EDT
Seymour Christian Reformed Church
840 Alger St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507
(616) 245-8726

Masks are requested.

Map

Contributions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Faith Hospice
2100 Raybrook Drive SE, Suite 300
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
(616) 235-5113
Driving Directions
Web Site

Seymour Christian Reformed Church
840 Alger St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507
(616) 245-8726

Life Story / Obituary


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A woman of faith, unconditional love, and selfless compassion, Barbara Camp was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She lived to use her gifts and talents to bless others, and her zest for life was contagious to all who were near. Barb treasured her roles as a wife and mother, and later in life she was filled with joy to become a grandmother to her four amazing grandchildren. Life will never be the same for us without her here, but she leaves behind a timeless legacy, and her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.

The 1950s were an exciting time to be an American. It was during this eventful decade that Jay and Winifred (Vanderlaan) Anema were filled with great anticipation as they awaited the birth of their new baby. Their wait was over on September 25th, when the baby girl they named Barbara Lou made her arrival. She was the third of four children—with two older siblings, George and Jane, and her younger sister, Linda. Barb’s father owned his own body shop, A&K Auto Body, while her mother focused her time and attention on the family.

In many ways, Barb was a typical girl of her generation. During the summer, the family lived at their cabin in Evergreen, Colorado, where Barb loved being able to spend time exploring outdoors. She treasured her family, and she absolutely adored her mother. Barb attended Denver Christian Elementary and High School, where she excelled in her studies. Naturally outgoing and social, she was also actively involved at school—a member of the Leadership Committee, a cheerleader, and an athlete, although the options for girls were few at that time.

After graduating from high school, Barb was eager for all that life had in store. Although she was offered a scholarship to Dordt College, she decided to spread her wings a little more and came to Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, instead. This proved to be quite a fateful decision, as it was there that she met the man of her dreams. His name was Bob Camp, and they met during their sophomore year. While on their fall break, they went out for coffee, and a romance began to brew. They started dating, frequently going out dancing. After more than a year of dating, Bob went out to Denver to ask her parents’ permission to marry her. Their engagement came on Valentine’s Day in 1974, and on August 23rd of that year they were married at Hillcrest Church in Denver. After a honeymoon in the Denver area, they drove their new car back to Calvin to finish their senior year. After graduation, Bob took a job with Grand Rapids Public Schools; Barb worked at Pine Rest until children began arriving.

There was no greater gift in Barb’s life than her family. Together she and Bob welcomed four children—Heather, Heidi, Jason, and Mandy—into their hearts and home. She was the best mother anyone could ask for; she was nurturing, caring, and always ready with a listening ear. Barb taught her children that follow-through is important, got them involved in music, and, as a lifelong learner herself, she made sure they were well-rounded. Family values, manners, and treating others with respect were of utmost importance; Barb had high ethical standards and a strong moral compass. Her children were often greeted by notes in their lunchboxes, and she regularly volunteered at her children’s schools. Her kids were never left without a gift from her on Valentine’s Day, and even the ordinary days were extraordinary with Barb. She taught her kids to clean their plate and made sure they knew not to touch the fridge at a friend’s house unless invited to. Their home was always open to her kids’ friends, and she made sure their friends knew that they would be accepted at their home. Barb was able to appreciate the differences in people, and she loved and nurtured all her kids’ friends. Christmas was a big deal in the Camp family, and for years they went out to Denver to celebrate with their extended family. These were such special times filled with lots of singing, church, meals, laughter, and family traditions- including gag gifts, hide the pickle, and the chirping bird in the tree.

Barb enjoyed many things in life, music being one of them. She demanded each of her children sing in choir and play the piano. Her kids continued on to play the violin and cello. Barb appreciated many varieties of music and loved attending concerts.

She was fiercely competitive, even over the top at times, whether playing tennis, card, or board games. At times this brought out the infamous “Anema Crusty” expression. She made candles, loved taking her “soaks” in the tub, and was a “foodie.” Barb loved eating out and then figuring out the recipe in order to replicate it at home, and she kept working on it until her version was as good as or better than the original. Among her most well-liked dishes were her Stromboli, eggs benedict, and mud pie. Barb and her family were longtime members of Seymour Christian Reformed Church, where she was involved in a variety of ways, including children’s worship and the praise team, where she played her flute. She volunteered in other ways, too, including terms on the CLC Board, the Eagles Board, and the school board, as well as the liturgy committee of Seymour Church. Social and outgoing, Bob and Barb also had a close group of neighbors called the “Godwin Gang.”

Barb and her family were given a difficult pill to swallow when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. She had an incredibly high pain tolerance and a strong determination, and both helped her to beat her cancer. Although she started experiencing some hip and abdominal pain this past September, she pushed through. When she decided to get it checked out, it was discovered that Barb had stage four bladder cancer. She continued to cherish every moment with her family and made the most of the time she had left, despite her severe pain.

All who knew Barbara Camp would agree that she was truly extraordinary. She had a lifelong pursuit of knowledge, was an amazing problem solver, and had an unwavering ability to connect with others in a genuine and deep way. Barb deeply treasured her family, and she never passed up an opportunity to show people how deeply they were loved. She could be blunt at times, and she never shied away from speaking her mind, but she always did so in a calm and gentle way. Dearly loved, Barb will be deeply missed, until we meet again.

There is a lady dancing in Heaven who passed away on Tuesday, October 26. Barb Camp will be remembered as an exceptional wife, mother, and servant of God. She was a loving, gifted, and determined woman who lived life large. Her ability to listen to others, her giving heart, and her love for Christ were obvious to all who knew her. Barb had a gift for comforting the broken-hearted and including the introverts in the room. She was a good friend to all. Social gatherings, meeting new people, and laughter brought her joy. A nurturing mother who instilled a love for God and principles to live by, Barb will be greatly missed by her children, Heather (Harpreet Mangat), Heidi, Jason, and Mandy (Justin) Dieleman, as well as by her grandchildren, Jaydyn and Samira Mangat, and Noah and Elaina Dieleman.

Barb was pre-deceased by her brother, George, and his wife, Betty; she is survived by her sisters, Jane (Dale) Zoeteway and Linda (Jim) Veldkamp. Barb and Bob flourished with their church family at Seymour Christian Reformed Church. She served the Lord at home, in the neighborhood and larger community, in schools, and in the church, including playing her flute on the praise and worship team. Barb was a true servant of Christ, and all who knew her will miss her greatly.

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