Barbara Ann Morgan, 81, after a life of dedication to the Lord, died September 3rd, 2019, surrounded by her family in her home. She was greatly loved and will be missed by all who knew her.
Barbara was born May 27th, 1938, to Robert and Bonnie Dee Michael. She and her sister Brenda grew up in San Francisco and Phoenix. Her lifelong commitment to Catholic catechesis began with volunteer teaching at a nearby Native American Reservation. There, she fell in love with the art of “echoing down the Mystery.”
Barbara married her high school sweetheart, Gary Morgan, just after graduation. They adopted five children over the course of their marriage: Maribeth, Jeanmarie, Robert, Paul, and Peter. They lived through many struggles through the help of God, including the loss of their young son, Robert. The Holy Spirit led them to Ann Arbor to join a Catholic charismatic community in Ann Arbor. After raising her family she went back to school, earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville. She earned her Master’s Degree in Catechetics, as well as a Pontifical Catechetical Certificate, from the Notre Dame Institute in Arlington, Virginia. The administration of Franciscan University asked her to use her practical knowledge of Catechetics to found their Catechetical program. After successfully building the program, Barbara used her talents to develop an RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) program which is used throughout the country. Barbara retired from Franciscan University in 2005, returned to Ann Arbor and became the Director of Religious Education (DRE) at Christ the King Catholic Church. Her duties as DRE led her to develop a training program for her catechists which has been adopted as a model for the Diocese of Lansing. Working with the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, Barbara compiled her analysis of, and method of teaching, the 62 Doctrines of the Catholic faith into the book Echoing the Mystery, published in 2018.
Barbara was a respected leader in her field, but more importantly, she was a beloved and valued leader in her family. She loved to play the card game canasta with her children and grandchildren. She and Gary welcomed many people into their home with true hospitality. She was an example of how to live life for God through loving the people around her. Throughout her life, she had many health trials that caused her great pain. Instead of succumbing to the pain in bitterness, she offered up her suffering to pray for those who needed it. During her final months, while confined to her bed, she had the names and faces of all 23 of her great-grandchildren on the wall next to her so she could remember to pray for each of them. Barbara was a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother without compare.
Barbara is survived by Gary Morgan, her husband of 62 years, who faithfully cared for her throughout all her health struggles. She is also survived by her sister Brenda (Jerry) Kouba, children Maribeth Leone, Jeanmarie (Chris) Mishler, Paul (Colleen) Morgan, and Peter Morgan, as well as 15 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her parents, son Robert Morgan, and grandson Joseph Leone. She looked forward to seeing them again in Heaven.
A visitation will be held at Nie Family Funeral Home, 3767 West Liberty Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103 on Friday, September 6 from 4 to 8:30 PM with the Vigil for the Deceased celebrated at 8 PM. On Saturday, September 7, beginning at 10 AM, a visitation will be held at Christ the King Catholic Church, 4000 Ave Maria Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48105. A rosary in the Worship Space will begin at 11 AM with the funeral Mass beginning at 11:30 AM.
In lieu of flowers, Barbara’s wish is to establish a scholarship fund for on-campus graduate students in the catechetics program at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. Envelopes will be available at the Friday visitation and on Saturday.
The scholarship fund does not have an official name yet, but donations can be sent to:
Franciscan University Development Office
Attention: Gift Processing
1235 University Blvd.
Steubenville, OH 43952
A note on the memo line of the check should say "In memory of Professor Barbara Morgan".