Cover photo for Barbara Thornber's Obituary
Barbara Thornber Profile Photo
1954 Barbara 2020

Barbara Thornber

February 7, 1954 — September 12, 2020


Barbara Thornber passed away Saturday, September 12, 2020 in Tulsa, OK. She was 66 years old.

Barbara was born on February 7, 1954 to Francis and Earl Shelley in Lynwood, CA. She married Jim Thornber on March 26, 1994. She was a member of Journey Church in Independence, where Jim is the pastor.

More than anything else, Barbara loved her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She had a passion not only to study the Word of God, but to live it out in her daily life. Furthermore, she loved to share her passion for God with others, teaching them how to live their life in the glory and love of God.

Next, her love was for her family. She cherished being a wife, mother and grandmother. Few things gave her greater joy than to be with the family, especially when they could all be together at one time. She was the spirit who united the family, the crazy soul who pushed them out of their comfort zones, the tender heart who loved them unconditionally.

Third, she loved growing flowers and giving them away, creating crafts with shells she gathered from the shores of California, and searching for the perfect deal in thrift stores to decorate her garden plates, her church, her home or the homes of others. She had a truly generous spirit and was always a champion of the underdog.

T.D. Jakes once said, “When you leave a place, leave a hole.” For those who knew Barbara, this statement could not be more appropriate. Whether she left a job, a city or this temporary residence called earth, her absence created an empty space that was difficult to fill.

There will be two services for Barbara. Sunday, September 20, 2:30 pm at Journey Church, 136 Catalpa St. Independence, KS. For her Arkansas friends, there will be a service on Saturday, September 26 at 10:00 am at Church On The Hill First Assembly, 907 South Main, Berryville, AR.

In lieu of plants or flowers, the family is asking you to donate to two places of your choice. These are two places Barbara dedicated her time, resources and love over the years.

First, you may send a donation earmarked for IPHC Missionaries Aaron and Esther Helland (Brazil). Send it to 3905 S. Elm Place, Broken Arrow, OK, 74011. Make checks payable to New Horizons Ministries with Thornber/Helland memorial gift in the memo line.

Second, you may send a donation to Hannah’s House, PO Box 187, Independence, KS 67301.

Barbara was survived by her mom Vera Nell Shelley, her siblings Maggie, Norie and Tony, her children Jason (and Heather) Brown, Eric (and Melody) Brown, and her grandchildren Brooklyn, Jaelyn, Beau, Aiden and Elijah.

To leave the family a special message of condolence, please visit

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Thornber, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Starts at 2:30pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Starts at 10:00am (Central time)

Church On The Hill First Assembly

907 S Main St, Berryville, AR 72616

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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