unknown - December 2, 2013
Barbara Jean (Conway) Mellema, 86, passed away on Dec. 2, 2013. She was born to Milton Ray Conway and Myrtle Rita (Woolsey) Conway on April 18, 1927.
Barbara attended the Onondaga Valley Academy High School. She was employed as a telephone operator in her teens and worked for many years at G.E. As a young mother she was active in the Girl Scouts. Her passion was sewing and she worked at E.W.Edwards and Sons fabric department and other fabric stores for a number of years. She was a self-taught artist who cut and styled her own hair, fashioned her own clothes, and also appreciated colors, textures, and the natural beauty of the Syracuse, NY area. She gifted her family with arts and crafts done in a variety of media, including sewing, sculpture, and drawing to name a few. She loved tomatoes, desserts and rainy days.
Family and friends were Barbara's passion and delight. She grew up climbing trees, swimming, skiing and exploring with her many brothers in the countryside and hills of Syracuse. She delighted her family with her home cooking. Always an innovative cook, she prepared pizzas using her own homemade dough and stir-fried Chinese dinners in a wok, long before either was popularized. As a Christian, she loved to pray and study and learn from the scriptures. The Bible was a comfort to her. But she always questioned authority and added her own unique take on things. She had a feisty and independent spirit and a sense of humor.
Barbara was the wife of the late Raymond L. Mellema. They were married 65 years. She was preceded in death by her parents, Myrtle and Milton Conway, by her step-brothers James McGowan and Charles McGowan, her step-sister, Eleanor McGowan, and by her brothers Howard Conway, Earl Conway, Lee Conway. She is survived by her children, Ray Daniel Mellema of Cazenovia, Jean (Steve) Caraccilo of Syracuse, Kim (Robert Reid) Mellema of Shirley, MA, Barbara (Mellema) Williams of Cazenovia, and a brother Daniel Conway, Ann Mellema, and two granddaughters, Sarah Jean Mellema of Yosemite,CA, Samantha Kim Mellema of Dobbs Ferry, NY, and by her many loving nephews and nieces.
The family wishes to thank all of those who helped with her care during her illness.
To extend an online condolence, please visit taitfuneralhome.com.