Barbara Ann Sturtevant, 84, passed away Friday, May 3, 2019, to join her beloved husband, Ralph Irving Sturtevant Jr. She was born Jan. 6, 1935, in Jacksonville, Florida, to James Howard Christmas Sr. and Annie Elizabeth Christmas.
In 1951, she met Ralph, fell in love and married him in 1952. They were married 62 years until his passing in 2015, but they always felt their love was forever. For the first 19 years of their marriage, she made a home as a Navy wife for him and their daughter, Lynn. With each move, she became involved in the community and participated in Navy Wives, furthered her education and volunteered with the American Red Cross. The family found a church home wherever they lived, and she taught Sunday school, bible school and worked with the youth group.
There were several trips across country during the military years. Ralph always included sightseeing and surprises. They were more vacations than going to a new duty station. While overseas, they were fortunate enough to tour Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Okinawa and the Philippines. After Ralph’s retirement, they still enjoyed traveling and made trips to Europe, Canada, Mexico and Alaska.
During the military years, they found square dancing. Ralph loved calling and had a club while overseas and upon his return to the states. Barbara loved dancing and teaching. She particularly enjoyed the out-of-town festivals. This continued for several years.
In 1970, they settled in Hampton Roads and Barbara went to work in the insurance business. She retired in 2000 after 15 years as a Nationwide agent. She belonged to the National Association of Insurance Women and served in many offices in the local association.
Barbara had a passion for genealogy and found joy in tracing her lineage, but it was the history and lives of those before her that intrigued her the most. She made trips to places of interest, went to family reunions, met relatives she didn’t know and collected old pictures of family.
In 1987, Barbara and Ralph joined Providence Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach, where she served as an elder and worked on the Worship Committee for several years. She was also active in the Women of the Church.
When her grandchildren came along in the 1990s, she was thrilled. She catered to them, loved them, and they loved her. She said nothing gave her more joy than doing things with them. She could not have been prouder of the adults they have become.
Barbara was preceded in death by her husband; parents; and brother, James Howard Christmas Jr.
She leaves to cherish her memory a daughter, Janice Lynn Jacobs (Bruce); two grandchildren, Christina Lynn Jacobs and Noah Stephen Jacobs, all of Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey; sister-in-law, Debbie Sturtevant of Raleigh, North Carolina; and several cousins.
A celebration of her life will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday, May 16, at Providence Presbyterian Church, 5497 Providence Road, Virginia Beach. Interment will take place in Evergreen Cemetery, Jacksonville, Florida.
Share online condolences with the family at Altmeyer Funeral Homes & Crematory.