STOTZ, BARBARA ANN BROOMHALL passed away on April 13, 2019, surrounded by her children and grandchildren at Wellbridge of Grand Blanc after a three-week battle with stage four cancer. She was 79 years-old.
Barbara was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Helen Frances Egan Broomhall (of Framingham, MA) and Charles James Broomhall (of Zanesville, OH). She had an older sister, Virginia (Gould) and a beloved cocker spaniel. In Grand Rapids, she attended Sigsbee Elementary School, Ottawa Hills Jr. High School, and Ottawa Hills High School. She and her family were active members of East Congregational Church, where Barbara was a member of the youth, adult, and bell choirs. Throughout her childhood, she was also an active member of the Camp Fire Girls and, in her teen years, became a life guard and counselor at a Camp Fire Girls camp in West Michigan. After graduating from Olivet College, her first job was with the Camp Fire Girls in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Barbara married Gerald Raleigh Stotz on August 16, 1963. The two were childhood sweethearts and had known each other since their days at Sigsbee Elementary School and in youth groups at East Congregational Church, where they had their wedding ceremony. They moved across the state to Royal Oak, Michigan, where Barbara worked as a Library Assistant at Royal Oak Kimball High School, then as a First Grade Teacher in Brandon Schools. Inspired by their childhood experiences in nature, Barbara and Gerald had a dream to move to the country. They soon found the perfect location with rolling hills and ponds in Ortonville, Michigan. They built their dream home with their own hands—as the story goes, with help from Time-Life books. Barbara and Gerald moved into their home just in time to welcome their son, William, and a year later, their daughter, Julie.
In Ortonville, Barbara founded the Brandon Co-op Preschool, originally housed in St. Anne Catholic Church. Later, she became the co-owner of a preschool and daycare called The Farm, and she eventually ran a daycare in her home. She was a Cub Scout troop leader, Brownie and Girl Scout troop leader, and the softball coach for her daughter’s little league teams. She was an active volunteer in Brandon Schools throughout her children’s education. She and her family were members of the Immanuel Congregational UCC in Oxford, Michigan. In the summers, Barbara enjoyed swimming, boating, traveling, and camping on Lake Michigan or at Big Star Lake. She also enjoyed the various summer festivals in Ortonville: bike parades, pet parades, and meeting up with friends and neighbors to laugh and tell stories. She was a U of M football and Tigers baseball fan, and she liked to talk about politics and social justice. She filled her home with pets and people and loved a gathering. She had the magic touch for raising plants and once brought a goldfish back to life by rubbing its belly, or so she said.
Barbara was brimming with life and a love for the world, its beauty, and the big and small things in it. She would wake up her children early to watch pre-dawn break into sunrise. She’d wake them up after they’d fallen asleep to see the full moon, or an eclipse, or shooting-stars. She’d sit on the front porch, listen to the spring peepers, and watch the sky turn pink. She’d watch the snapping turtles’ slow journey across the wide yard from the swamp to the pond, and tell creative and silly stories about imaginary giraffes walking up the driveway. She’d make her grandchildren laugh with similar outlandish and sometimes true stories, like the time she was nature watching on the front porch, and it turned out a coyote was watching her from just a few feet away.
She mentored, loved, and cared for many people, including her husband, her two children, her daughter-in-law and son-in-law, her four grandchildren, her mother when she needed care in the last years of her life, her friends, her students, the children in her daycare, and her children’s friends. She was optimistic and strong. She sang songs in the morning. And at night. And in the car. And around a campfire. She was a breast cancer survivor. She kept trying. She taught her children that love isn’t something you see or put your hands on, it’s something you feel—and in that way, love is ubiquitous and infinite. In that way, we always carry one another.
She is survived by her husband, Gerald Stotz, her son, William (Elizabeth) Stotz, her daughter Julie (Suprotik) Stotz-Ghosh, and her grandchildren, Lily Stotz, Liam Stotz, Avi Stotz-Ghosh, and Devin Stotz-Ghosh.
Barbara’s family would like to invite friends and family to join them for a memorial gathering in honor of Barbara’s life. The gathering will be held at Andiamo Trattoria in Clarkston, Michigan, on Saturday, May 11, 2019 from 1:00-3:00. Lunch will be served. There will be time for family and friends to share stories about experiences with Barbara. Andiamo Trattoria is located at 7228 N Main Street, Clarkston, Michigan, 48346: Please RSVP so we can plan accordingly via this link:
Correspondence to the Stotz and/or Stotz-Ghosh family may be sent in care of Village Funeral Home: 135 South Street, Ortonville, Michigan, 48462. If you wish to make a donation in Barbara’s name, the family suggests The American Cancer Society or any charity that helps children. To send a condolence to the family go to