Barbara Pearle Sheldon, 77, died October 7, 2022, at her home. She was born on June 13, 1945, in Wellington, KS, the daughter of Gilbert and Idotha (Patton) Cottle.
Barbara grew up on a dairy farm near South Haven and graduated from South Haven High School. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Southwestern College in Winfield. While there, Barbara met Tom Sheldon, and they were married the day after her graduation, June 5, 1967. They shared 55 years of marriage.
Barbara earned a Master of Religious Education degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in 1969. She served as Director of Christian Education and Youth Ministry at the Valley Center United Methodist Church for two years. In 1971, Barbara and Tom moved to Oxford where they lived 4 years, and added two daughters to the family.
In 1975, the Sheldon family moved to Syracuse where Tom was appointed to serve. While there, Barbara served as the church Pre-School Director for 5 years. In 1980, the family moved to Kechi and Barbara served as the Director of Christian Education and Youth Ministry at University United Methodist Church in Wichita for 5 years.
In 1985, the family moved to Newton and Barbara began serving as an Associate Council Director for the Kansas West Conference. She served on the Conference Staff in various roles, including 4 years as Coordinator of Nurture, Outreach and Witness. While serving on the Conference Staff, she resourced hundreds of local churches with Christian education training events, visioning and goal setting, program planning, leadership development, staff team building, and consulting regarding matters ranging from personnel to building design. This ministry involved much travel over the western two-thirds of Kansas.
In 2004, Barbara served as the Interim Executive Director of Grace Med Health Clinic. She helped in selecting the new director, which turned out to be an excellent choice. Barbara also served as a Diaconal Minister, and then as a Deacon in the United Methodist Church. The family served at the South Hutchinson United Methodist Church for 6 years, Mulvane church for 10 years and Great Bend for 3 more years. Barbara retired in 2012, making Hutchinson her and Tom’s home.
Barbara is survived by: her husband, Tom of the home; daughters, Lori Sheldon of Haviland and Robin Reed and husband Joe of Albuquerque, NM; grandsons, Matthew Schrag, Ethan Reed, and Quinn Reed; brother, John Cottle and wife, Janice of Enid, OK; sister, Joan Orr of Sedan; foster brother, Richard Geier and wife Donna of Rose Hill; son-in-law, Steve Schrag; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins; and her many friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Marsha Cottle.
Memorial service will be 10:00 a.m. Friday, October 14, 2022, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 1602 N. Main, Hutchinson. Inurnment will be in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Rome, KS (which is south of Wellington). Friends may call from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at Elliott Mortuary.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Trinity’s Tiny Treasures Preschool, in care of Elliott Mortuary, 1219 N. Main, Hutchinson, KS 67501.