Cover photo for Barbara Fay Ober's Obituary
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1939 Barbara 2023

Barbara Fay Ober

July 1, 1939 — August 8, 2023

North Manchester

Barbara Fay Ober, 84, passed from this life on August 8, 2023. At the time of her death, Barbara was a resident of Timbercrest Senior Living in North Manchester, Indiana.

Barbara was born to Waverly V. and Elizabeth A. (Hudson) Dunnavant on July 1, 1939 in Richmond, Virginia. Barbara was one of three children.

Barbara grew up in Richmond, where she attended and graduated from Midlothian High School in 1957. Her first job after high school was working for the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board.

In 1959, Barbara married Robert L. Ober of East Petersburg, Pennsylvania and moved to join her new husband. The couple welcomed two daughters, Diane, born in 1961, and Janet, born in 1963. Although Barbara and Robert eventually divorced, they remained devoted parents to their two daughters.

Barbara served the church most of her life.  After her children started school, Barbara became the part-time secretary for the East Petersburg Church of the Brethren.  When her children were older, she took a full-time position and served as assistant to the direcot of the Center for Professional Development in Ministry at Lancaster (PA) Theological Seminary.  From there, Barbara was called to a position serving the national church, acting as administrative assistant and mission interpreter for the World Ministries Commission of the Church of the Brethren, which was located in Elgin, IL.  Her role included work with the World Council of Churches.

While living and working in Elgin, Barbara earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from National Louis University.  On September 10, 2000, she was ordained to the set-apart ministry in the Church of the Brethren. Barbara’s final professional position was as Pastor of the Live Oak Church of the Brethren in Live Oak, California. Barbara retired in 2009 and moved to La Verne, California to be near family. There, Barbara continued to be active in the life of the La Verne Church of the Brethren.

Throughout her life, Barbara was dedicated to helping people, starting with her children and grandchildren and extending to anyone who had need, whether practical or spiritual. As a pastor, she preached Grace. As a person, she lived it.  Barbara was active in prison ministry through the Death Row Support Project and as an on-call Chaplain for a women’s prison.  She volunteered with a Domestic Violence Shelter. Barbara was a woman for others.  Even after being admitted to hospice care, she spent much of her time listening, pastoring, and encouraging staff and visitors.

The loving memory of Barbara Fay Ober will be forever cherished by her daughters, Diane E. (Blaine) Garber, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania and Janet L. (Simon Lambert) Ober Lambert, Richmond, Indiana; brother, Vaughn Dunnavant, Richmond, Virginia; sister, Mary Anne (Cecil) Modlin, Richmond, Virginia; grandchildren, Jessica R. (Josean) Rivera, Waverly (Molly Schultz) Garber, and Lauren E. Ober Miller; great-grandchildren, Blaine Garber and Atticus Garber, and her many nieces and nephews. Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, her sister-in-law, Charlotte Dunnavant, and her nephew Eric Dunnavant.

Family and friends are invited to celebrate the life of Barbara Fay Ober on Saturday, October 7, 2023 at 2:30 pm at the Timbercrest Chapel, 2201 East Street, North Manchester, Indiana. The family will receive friends after the celebration. For those unable to attend, you may watch the service live at

For those who wish to honor the memory of Barbara Fay Ober, memorial contributions may be made to

Timbercrest Charitable Assistance, or

Timbercrest Senior Living, 2021 East Street, North Manchester, IN 46962

Death Row Support Project,

Death Row Support Project, PO Box 600, Liberty Mills, IN 46946

Casa De Esperanza of Yuba City, CA

The family of Barbara Fay Ober has entrusted McKee Mortuary with care and final arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Fay Ober, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Starts at 2:30 pm (Eastern time)

Timbercrest Senior Living Chapel

2201 East Street, North Manchester, IN 46962

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