Local Women: Barbara Honhart

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Rejoicing in Retirement

Retirement wasn’t the end of the road for Barbara Honhart, but rather the beginning. After retiring from the education field, she now takes on the role of the president of the Women of Peoples Church, secretary for the Council of Elders, co-chair of campus ministry, long term member of the hand bell choir, community volunteer and grandmother of four. “I thought retirement was going to be a long-term vacation, but now I see so many opportunities for me to get involved in the community and I wonder how I ever had time for a job,” said Honhart. Honhart is also currently involved in the RJ Scheffel Memorial Toy Project. This is an ongoing project that starts in January for the next Christmas. Volunteers work together to make wooden toys from scratch that will be given to less fortunate children on Christmas. Toys get assembled and painted or left unpainted for children to decorate and then sent off to centers such as Ele’s Place and pediatric centers. “My husband and I started working on the project in March and now that it is getting close to Christmas time, I am excited to finish up these little wooden toys,” Honhart said. “It’s great to know I’m hand-making something for these children that they will really love.” Honhart is a very hands-on person and loves getting involved. As president of the Women of Peoples Church, she loves coordinating projects. One recent effort was to make school bags out of a pattern and fill it with supplies and hygiene kits that went to Haiti after the earthquake. “I enjoy all the activities we do in the Women of Peoples Church and Fellowship of Women, we are involved in many outreach projects that are local, national and international,” says Honhart. In February, Honhart is headed to India with a group of 10 women for a cultural exchange venture. “This trip is not going to be about sightseeing, it is a two-week trip where we will spend time at women’s centers getting to know their culture as they get to know ours.” She hopes that the trip will broaden her horizons and that she will make a difference while she’s there. Making a difference is a common theme in Honhart’s day-to-day aspirations. During her years in the education world, Honhart strived to make an impact through administration. She worked on developing teaching strategies that could be helpful in student’s success. While she was at Baker College, she did in fact see an improvement. She also worked with students in her psychology courses and helped them in an emotional way. Making an impact was a dream she has always had. “My dream now is to see my four grandchildren grow up and I hope that I can be the kind of grandmother that creates memories for them,” Honhart said. “Fond memories of how their grandmother would get right down on the floor with them and act like a three year old. I hope to have a big impact on their life because I love being with them.” This holiday season, Honhart looks forward to spending time with her family and friends.  Her favorite traditional activities are cooking secret family recipes and attending worship services on Christmas Eve. “The holiday is a time where people should relax and enjoy time together and enjoy the food,” says Honhart. “Faith is important too, people get so concerned with shopping, decorating and preparing that they don’t enjoy the little things. No matter what your faith is, this is a time to be joyful and focus on your blessings.”
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Tags: Local Women