Barbara Jean Slack

November 05, 1936 ‒ August 10, 2017

Sparta, Ohio

Barbara Jean Slack, “Grandma Barb” of Sparta went to be with her Lord on Thursday, August 10, 2017, at Bennington Glenn following a steadfast battle against cancer. She was 80 years young.

She was born on November 5, 1936 in Sparta to the late Forest and Isabelle M. (Palmer) Porter. A graduate of Sparta High School in 1954, she lived her entire life in the Sparta area.  Barbara married her grade school sweetheart in 1955; Richard Slack. Together they shared in the joys and challenges of life and were blessed with a wonderful family through their 57 years of marriage. It was described that Barbara was the heart of the family and Richard was the soul. Sadly, Richard passed away in 2013.

First and foremost she was a wonderful wife, mother, and treasured grandmother. She was “Grandma Barb” to everyone in the community.  The consummate supporter and fan of every grandchild’s activity, whether it was soccer, softball, volleyball, baseball or a football game, she was there.  Dedicated and selfless, she could also be known to have strong opinions.

Barbara loved God and was a faithful member of the Sparta United Methodist Church, teaching pre-school Sunday school for 50 years. She also enjoyed a passion for flowers, gardening, collected angels, precious moments, family photos, and grandchildren. A friend to all, she was described as a favorite person and inspiration. Numerous family vacations to Lakeside and Porter pond family reunions, will forever remain special.

She was at her best with her family, especially her grandchildren; it is that family love for which she will forever be remembered.

She is survived by  children: Deb (Dave) Higgins, Steve (Lora) Slack, Bill (Jennifer) Deckling all of Marengo, Linda (Brad) Hall of Mt. Vernon, 10 Grandchildren: Jennifer (Jeremy) Weiss, Andrea (Bill) Eusey, Amanda (Joe) Miller, Jessica Higgins, Megan (Buster) Snider, Matthew Slack, Greg (Courtney) Deckling, Justin Deckling, Lesley (Dustin) Ruggles, Erin Hall; 9 Great-grandchildren: Abby, Alexis, Mason, Maddox, Maverick, Quentin, Paisley, Caden, Carson, Brother and Sisters-in-law: Maurice (Judy) Porter of Cardington, Rita Porter of Centerburg, Donald (Helen) Porter of Marengo, David (Jewel) Porter of Mt. Vernon, extended family members, nieces, nephews, friends, and a host of Grandma Barb’s community grandchildren.

Friends may call Sunday from 2-6 p.m. at DeVore-Snyder Funeral Home, SR’s 3 at 61, Sunbury. Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m. Monday at the Sparta United Methodist Church, burial will follow in Bloomfield Cemetery near Sparta.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Barbara and Richard Slack Scholarship Fund, 1589 Co Rd 206, Marengo, OH 43334 or Sparta United Methodist Church, 22 N. Church St., Sparta, OH 43350.

Condolences may be expressed at

  • So sorry for your loss. Your family “Heart & Soul” are back together again. May that be a blessing to you in the days ahead. We love you all.

    Judy & Tony DeIuliis

  • Should we all be so lucky to have lived such a full life and have such a great impact on so many. What a beautiful and special lady. I am sorry for your loss.

  • Sorry for your loss. Keeping you in thoughts and prayers. Betty Grezlik, Michael and Teresa Love

  • So sorry Slack family. Dick and Barb are together again ! She was a special lady! I can hear her special laughter now !

  • We are so sorry for your loss. She sure was a sweet lady. We looked forward to her Christmas card every year! She was special to so many and a stranger to no one. I am sure she will be missed but we are rejoicing that she is reunited with your dad.

  • Such an amazing and beautiful person! I feel so lucky to have grown up around her and the whole family! There was no better role model than “grandma” Barb! Sending all my love and prayers!

  • Barb was a true inspiration to her entire Adult Sunday School class at Sparta Methodist Church. She faced her cancer battle with courage, dignity, and faith. She was a shining example of living the Christian filled life leaning on God to guide the way. Her shared thoughts, smile, and faithfulness will be sorely missed. It truly was a blessing to know such a wonderful lady.

  • So sorry to hear of Barb’s passing. She is in a better place and no longer suffering. She was a great lady and will be missed by the whole community.

  • To the entire family, you were so very fortunate to have such an amazing woman being the “heart” of your family. I never saw her without a smile and a twinkle in her eye! She touched so many lives because of the the love she shared for her family and community. My heartfelt condolences to all that she made smile during her life on earth! Love and hugs to her family!

  • It was 30 years ago that Grandma Barb welcomed my children into her Sunday School class. She taught them about God, love, acceptance and community in such a way that they are people Grandma Barb would be proud of.

    Thank you, Barb for being you

  • One of the kindest, friendliest, sweetest and most sincere people one could ever meet. She touched everyone she met with the grace and love of Christ. May God be with all of her family and friends. Barb and Dick Slack–two of the most special people one could ever know.

    Ken and Linda Baker

  • My heart aches to hear of the loss of such a wonderful person, always a supporter of Highland events, always seen her sitting on the bleachers. When my girls had a good game she would always tell me and made sure she would say something to them. Most important my girls always wanted to go to VBS, because grandma Barb was fun. She will be missed greatly. I will pray for the family for strength through this difficult time. I will miss your great smile and a passing hello😢

  • I’m so very sorry for your loss! I have very fond memories of Barb helping at Bible school when I was a child. My thoughts & prayers are with all of you!

  • Pat and I, along with all of our kids who had the joy of having Grandma Barb as their first Sunday School teacher, are so sad that we won’t be able to see her at Porter gatherings and community events. Barb and Dick were so supportive of us as a family and of Pat while he worked at Highland. We will miss her so much. Her family will be in our prayers often, but there is no doubt she is worshiping in the presence of our Lord now, so we will not remember sadly.

  • Growing up as a neighbor to Grandma Barb, I have many wonderful memories. I remember when she babysat me and Megan was a just a toddler running around in her diaper. I remember admiring her Precious Moments collection and knowing I was not allowed to touch. Barb always looked out for our family and was always there for anything we needed. I am blessed to know such a wonderful woman and blessed to “grow up” with her and all her family. All of you know how special and amazing she is, I pray all of you find comfort knowing what an impact she has made on so many people, and knowing how much she will be missed. Sending my love to each and every one of you.

  • Not enough kind words can be said about this amazing lady! She is truly a role model for us all. May God be with her family and give them comfort …and with the rest of the community that she made such a positive impact on.

  • My thoughts and prayers go out to all the family and friends. She was a wonderful lady.

  • So sorry for your loss. Hugs and Prayers for all the family. May all your wonderful memories comfort you at this difficult time. Barbara will be greatly missed by all who knew her. God Bless.

  • I was blessed to have Barbara on the edges of my life. We met while waiting for various tests in our respective battles for health just two years ago. We immediately recognized that we had much in common and thus began a friendship based on telephone calls to each other every month or so. Barbara was so positive and a joy to talk with. I will be praying for each of the family members to help them through their loss.

  • Bill and Family,

    I would like to offer my sympathy on the passing of your mother. It is never an easy time in our lives when we have to say good-bye to the ones who raised us, nutured us, laughed and cried with us, and taught us how to grow amd become good parents ourselves. I know she will be missed by all of you. I hope that you can find strength in one another and in the knowledge of how much your mother touched others.

  • Barb’s positive spirit and generosity has touched our family in so many ways. We are honored to have had the opportunity to known this special lady.

    Our deepest sympathy,
    Greg and Brenda (Hulse) Hunt

  • Our thoughts and prayers are with the whole family. Thank you for bringing Barb to Mt. Gilead while we were in Ohio in July. It was such a nice visit. A lovely reminder of the special person Barbs was to so many people.

    Our sympathy,
    Clara Porter and family

  • The entire family has my condolences. My prayers that God will lessen the hurt in your heart. Barb and Dick were both fantastic people.

    Carolyn (Votaw) Baldwin

  • You guys were best neighbors you could ask for.always doing & giving to others.
    You parents were perfect example what true Christians are!!I will miss her smiling face.for ever in my heart!! Praying for all of you.Your work is OVER now.. REST IN HEAVEN NOW !!! DEBBIE LLOYD

  • So sorry to hear of the passing of Barb. She was such a friendly, kind and caring person. Barb will be missed by this community and every person she touched with her kindness and love.
    Our deepest sympathy to the family.

  • Bill and Family,

    Our prayers are with all of you. We praise God for the wonderful person your Mother was and for the impact that she had on so many throughout her years of teaching the Sunday School youth about Jesus and in so doing having a spiritual impact on their entire family. God bless you all.

  • My sympathy to your family. Barb was a very special lady. I became acquainted with Barb and family when I worked at Dr. Walker’s. She will be missed. Pat Davis


  • Bill and Family,

    May God bless you and your family and that you provide comfort to each other in this time of loss. It is such a short time here on earth and she has continued her journey into eternity.

  • I am lifting your family up in prayer and sending hugs from a distance to all of you. So many people have been blessed to know Barb and her life time of giving and love. A wonderful mother, spouse, leader, teacher, and friend. May God’s loving arms surround your family now and in the coming months.