Barbara Jane Lehr Deffley, 89, formerly of Springfield and Auburn, died Monday, May 20, 2019 in Casey House, the inpatient care facility of Montgomery Hospice in Rockville, Maryland.
Barbara was born in Tilden, Illinois July 9, 1929. She was the eldest of eight children born to Mary M. and Anton G. Lehr and was raised on their farm in rural Coulterville. She graduated from Coulterville High School in 1947 as Valedictorian. Barbara married Harry K. Deffley in 1950.
She graduated from the University of Illinois, earned a MLS from UIS and was a teacher for many years.
When Harry was moved to Springfield, Illinois in 1983, Barbara started working in the office of Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems (ILCAAP). She became a Certified Lay Speaker in the 1980’s, and gave sermons in United Methodist churches in the Springfield district. While in Springfield, Barbara became very active with Harry in the leadership team of the “Walk to Emmaus,” a program for spiritual renewal in a retreat setting.
In 1986, Barbara began working as the secretary to the District Superintendent of the United Methodist Church for the Springfield district. She continued in that role after Harry was assigned to a church in nearby Auburn and then retired in 1993 when Harry retired.
In her retirement, Barbara joined Harry in working with a team to establish a new church, Sugar Creek Methodist, just south of Springfield near Chatham. She team-taught an adult Sunday School class with Harry at Sugar Creek for 17 years.
In 2011, Barbara moved with Harry to Asbury Methodist Village, a retirement community in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Surviving are her husband of 68 years, Harry; her son, Gregory Deffley and wife Peggy of Moorestown, N.J.) and daughter, Mary (Deffley) Kurfess of Gambrills, Maryland; daughter-in-law, Kay G. Deffley of Savannah, Georgia; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and sister Marilyn (Lehr) Falk of Decherd, Tennessee. She was preceded in death by a son, Matthew Brent Deffley.
Memorial gifts to any of the following organizations: Preacher’s Aid Society and Benefit Fund, Springfield, IL; Sugar Creek United Methodist Church, Chatham; and Walk to Emmaus, Nashville, Tennessee.
A celebration of life will be held in Gaithersburg, Maryland June 8. Cremains will be interred at Roselawn Memorial Park in Springfield at a future date.