Barbara J. Rexwinkle

Honored by:Sharon Juergens, August Braaksma, Barbara Brooks, Byron Grote, & Nancy Loyd
Brick location:A:27  map


“She was an activist in word and deed, very noticeable yet thoughtful. Intellectually she was penetrating and focused, and she was unrelentingly curious about the feelings underpinning the positions taken by friends and colleagues. Perhaps because of these characteristics, she was a convincing feminist throughout her adult life. Zeld saw and could describe a world with a wider spectrum of color than others could, and when she died I lost the kind of friend one grows up with and never forgets, and our environment lost an engaging interpreter. I would give anything to have another argument with her.” – August Braaksma

“Z taught me to always look beneath the surface and nothing good ever comes easily – especially in interpersonal relationships. (Miss Interpersonal that she was.) Life was easy when we were young; but Z made us think.” – Barbara Brooks

“I have many special memories of Barb. She often surprised me – showing me facets of her individuality that were not apparent on the surface. She acted tough, but was gentle and vulnerable. She seemed outspoken, but was contemplative and not afraid to listen. She was a strong leader but able to let others do the doing and see her success through them. There was nothing that she would not do for a friend. This friend misses her but the remembrances are even now still strong and a source of good cheer.” – Byron Grote

“Zeld constantly startled us out of our day-to-day complacency to look at what was really important – our personal interactions that stem from who we are.” – Sharon Juergens Weiss

“I met Barb in the fall of 1967 in Forbes House Maple Hall. There were many nights of hearty laughs earnest conversation and ‘Just one more hand’ of bridge. One image of her that remains with me today came from a conversation after seeing “Easy Rider”. We were talking about a cross country motorcycle trip and how we’d have to travel lightly ‘But how will I take my wig?” Barb asked. My image is of Barb astride a motorcycle and bungeed on the seat behind her a Styrofoam head with her wig blowing in the breeze. She was also the first person I knew who was into women’s lib (1970) – I wondered what on earth had happened to her when she’d gone to East Lansing. She was a woman ahead of her time. Her untimely passing has saddened many.” – Nancy Loyd.

Submitted on 09/2001