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Barbara Jane Swanson, 1965 – 2020

Barb Swanson, 55, of Alto, MI, passed away peacefully at home with her family on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. She is preceded in death by her father, Timothy Culver, and survived by her mother, Nancy VanVels and stepfather Ted VanVels of Sparta, MI; her husband, James Swanson and children Sydney, Henry, and Adam; granddaughter, Sadie; and sister, Sandy Culver (Michael Polydoris) of Glencoe, IL; faithful chihuahua, Pedro and numerous favorite chickens.

Barb was born in Lansing, MI, grew up in Eaton Rapids, MI, and graduated from Olivet College with a B.A. in English.

A private memorial service will be held by her family.

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Barb’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:

Cremation arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids, 616-452-3006.


Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.


  1. Patsy Baker on June 6, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    My very favorite memories growing up all involve Barb, especially our memorable At Augustine trio. I will always treasure those memories, her quirky sense of humor and way with words. I am so terribly sorry for the overwhelming loss you are feeling.

  2. Teresa Howard on June 7, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    I went to school and graduated with Barb. I am so sorry to hear of her passing. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.

  3. Ray Courter on June 7, 2020 at 7:01 pm

    I spent my entire high school years lockering next to Barb.
    She was a very smart, sweet person. She had a great sense of humor and was a genuinely good person.
    I am so sorry for the families loss.

  4. Barbara Kreischer Johns on June 7, 2020 at 7:07 pm

    Very sad to hear of the passing of a classmate. We shared a first name; not many Barbara’s anymore. My thoughts and prayers to her family. Rest In Peace Barb!

  5. Lisa Hunt on June 7, 2020 at 7:20 pm

    Barb and I lived together in Yakeley-Gilchrist our freshman year at MSU. We sure had a lot of laughs! She was a smart and kind person with a great sense of subtle humor. My thoughts are with all of her family.

  6. Candace Rule Ebbinghaus on June 7, 2020 at 7:22 pm

    I first knew Barb in high school, I remember her as quirky and funny. We reconnected probably 10 years ago and she was supportive and kind. My condolences to her family.

  7. Roberta Meka on June 7, 2020 at 8:07 pm

    My thoughts and prayers go out to her family . She was a kind person who I got to know through high school tennis. So sorry to hear she has passed. My prayers are with you all.

  8. Joy Gooch Ketchum on June 7, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    My thoughts and prayers to Barb’s family. Her smile will always be remembered. God bless.

  9. Darwin Davis on June 7, 2020 at 11:37 pm

    Hearing of Barb’s passing is truly heartbreaking. Having been a couple through high school and college the amazing times we had together are too numerous to name. We shared much, laughed much, and loved much. She was amazing and will be greatly missed. My thoughts and heart go out to her family.

  10. David Lacasse on June 8, 2020 at 12:23 am

    So sorry to hear of Barb’s passing. Went to high school with her. While I hadn’t seen her really since, I remember her as a truly sweet person.

  11. Julie Wooster (Hallifax) on June 8, 2020 at 7:55 am

    Barb was a wonderful person inside and out, easy going and carefree. I feel fortunate to have known her and her father. My prayers of strength to her entire family.
    Warmly ~

  12. James Hipps on June 8, 2020 at 9:42 am

    She was a great friend to me…she will alwaus be loved. May you all find peace in this difficult time.

  13. Warren Davis on June 8, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    In my younger years Barb was like a sister to me. She was a thoughtful and caring person. I loved her smile and her great sense of humor. All of my memories of Barb are good memories. It hurts my heart to hear, she has passed.

  14. Tim and Julie Davis on June 8, 2020 at 10:20 pm

    She was a very dear friend of our family especially in our younger years. Very fondly remembered.

  15. Emily & James on June 9, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    Goodbye Cousin. We loved our time together.

  16. James R Culver on June 9, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    Barbara was a wonderful niece with a perpetual smile. Can’t recall ever seeing her without a smile on her face. She even smiled during those gut-busting tennis drills I used to put her and sister, Sandy, through on Sunday mornings. Every picture we have of Barb shows her smiling. That is how we will always remember her.

  17. Ted Culver on June 9, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    Barb was a terrific niece with a gentle and giving heart. Many years ago she and I organized a drawing of names for Christmas with the stipulation that we would make the gifts for the person we drew. She wanted it to represent more of a true meaning of Christmas. She was also incredibly faithful to her grandmother Culver and visited her every day while living in Lansing. She loved her family and kept me informed of their activities. She will be missed but never forgotten. Rest in peace, Barb.

  18. Suzi Clarke on June 10, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    My memories of Barb from high school are of a quiet but brilliant young woman with a quirky sense of humor. She always had a wonderful smile for others that would light up her entire face. Praying for peace for her family during this difficult time.

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