Barbara Jane Almstead Stoughton, 90, of Midland, Michigan passed on into the infinite Monday, August 3rd, 2020, surrounded by all her remaining immediate family.
Barb, as most called her, was born to the late Morris Joseph and Anna Jane (Holden) Almstead in Lakeview, Ohio on October 9, in 1929 and was mostly raised in Syracuse and Skaneateles, New York, where she graduated from Skaneateles High School in 1947 before moving on to get her degree in Radio Broadcasting from Stevens College in Columbia, Missouri. She married the late Dr. Clinton S. Burhans, Jr. in 1949 and traveled extensively with him to Scotland, England, Wales, and Germany before spending much of 1952 as “Miss Melody,” host of a popular radio show on TFK/Armed Forces Radio Service at Keflavik, Iceland that was heard by all at the US Naval Air base there, Icelandic residents, and all the ships at sea in the North Atlantic.
Upon return to the States, Barb and husband Clint (now teaching at the University of British Columbia at Vancouver, Canada) and began to raise a family, which continued with their move to Michigan State University and Eaton Rapids, Michigan. There they survived the sixties with style, but their marriage did not. Dr. Burhans buggered off about 1971, leaving Barbara with their four children, a St. Bernard, a giant cat, a huge, beautiful but crumbling Victorian-style 1880s lumber baron mansion on the Grand River in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, and not much else, until she met the late Harold “Bud” Stoughton, pharmacist, actor, and model, marrying him in 1973 and moving the family to Mt. Clemens, Michigan. Bud was such a good man and great father to all and was one of the best things to ever happen to Barb and the rest of the family.
Barb and family moved to Midland, Michigan in 1978, where she went on to be the receptionist at top Midland law firm Currie and Kendall, where she became both the “Mother Superior [and the one who] kept the lawyers in line for decades at C & K” (Fred Rolf Esq.) until retiring in 1997. During this period, she continued as a writer of many published articles in books and magazines.
Barbara, always caring more for family, friends, and colleagues than about herself, was the beloved mother of four who raised five and was predeceased by Bronwen (Burhans) McKenzie, 1955-2020, and Jeffery Lee Burhans (1962-2015).
Barb is survived by her brother, James Lee Almstead, his wife Janice (Ozark) Almstead, their son Neil Gregory Almstead, daughter Elizabeth Leigh (Almstead) Elmer and several nieces and nephews, son-in-law James McKenzie, son Clinton Searles Burhans III (1957) and his wife Rebecca Zeiss, son Michael Remington Burhans (1959) and his children Shelby and Kayleigh Burhans, grandson Dylan Michael Burhans (born to Clinton III and first wife Beth Brisbay 1988), raised by Barbara as her fourth son.
Barbara Jane Almstead Stoughton has met the challenges of the hard world of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries for her family and herself relentlessly and done so with beauty, grace, style, humility, humor, and love. She now returns her matter to stardust and her energy to the infinite flow.
As per her wishes, cremation has taken place. Due to Covid-19, there will be no public memorial service. Plans are made for interment at the Midland Cemetery, next to her beloved Bud Stoughton.
Smith-Miner Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Stoughton family; to share a special memory please visit www.smithmer.com.