Barbara and her husband Joe were dear friends and colleagues of our foundation. They both assisted in the completion of the Baibala Hemolele project, republishing the Hawaiian Bible in a digital form. Barbara and Joe served as advisers on the Steering Committee, which began in 2002. Their expertise on the Bible and indigenous languages proved helpful as we navigated our way through the project. Since Barbara’s passing, we have learned so much more about how accomplished she truly was.
A few weeks ago, Barbara contracted the stomach flu and was admitted to Tahlequah City Hospital. She was able to recover and felt great when Joe brought her home. However, Barbara passed away on March 01, 2014. She suffered a stroke last May, leaving the past ten months very trying as most of her independence was stripped away.
Barbara was married to Joe for 62 years with three children and seven grandchildren. Some of her biggest accomplishments involved translating the Bible into the Huichol language of Mexico and the Hawaiian Pidgin language. Barbara was also one of the major editors of the Ethnologue, the first large-scale register of known languages (a reference work known to virtually every linguist in the world). She authored many technical articles on language survey topics and much more. Barbara also traveled twice around the world with her husband as they attended linguist workshops in many different countries and taught phonetics, phonology, and anthropology. She was a lover of truth, Jesus, and all people. Now, she is home at last.
“Den I hear one voice from da sky tell, ‘Write dis: From now, erybody dat trus da Boss Up Dea, dey goin stay good inside when dey mahke.’ God’s Spirit tell, ‘Yeah! Dey goin res from all dea hard work, an erybody goin know da good stuff dey wen do.”
Wat Jesus Show John 14:13 in Hawaiian Pidgin