Cover photo for Barbara Jean Ham's Obituary
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1934 Barbara 2023

Barbara Jean Ham

September 27, 1934 — June 30, 2023

Barbara Jean Ham passed away on June 30, 2023, at the age of 88. She was born September 27, 1934, in Superior, Arizona to Floyd Merrill and Etta McKelvey Merrill. 
Barbara was the youngest of four, who all pre-deceased her; Floyd Merrill 1928-1928, Geraldine Merrill 1929-2006, and William Merrill 1931-2006. She resided for the last two years in Solterra Memory Care in Lakeside, Arizona.
Barbara grew up in Superior and Florence, Arizona. The family lived overseas in Antofagasta, Chile from 1939 through 1944 where Barbara’s father worked in silver mines. The children and Etta returned to the United States upon the breakup of Floyd and Etta. When Barbara returned to the States, she was fluent in both English and Spanish. She attended Superior High School, where she received her diploma in general studies. She had a hard childhood, being from a broken family. Barbara expressed much love and appreciation to her siblings for guiding and many times raising her during her youth. 
On April 9, 1954, Barbara met the love of her life, Herbert Charles Ham (1932-2013), as she waitressed at a café in Superior. Herbert was in Superior doing work for Mountain Bell. The two married in Superior on November 26, 1954.
Barbara was mainly a homemaker but very proud of the years she worked as a teacher’s assistant at Maryland Grade School. She and Herb had four children: Lynn Ann Spire (Kari) was born in 1955; Herbert Charles Ham Jr. (Myrna) was born in 1957; Rodney Pierce Ham was born in1960; and Randy Floyd Ham was born in 1962 and passed away in 2009; fourteen grandchildren and fourteen great-grandchildren, who she loved dearly. 
Barbara was an expert at sewing, crocheting and cooking. She was not perfect, but as one of her sons said, “she was perfect for us“. She deeply loved each of her family members.
The family lived in Phoenix and spent many summers in the White Mountains. Barbara was a Christian woman and found solace in the teachings of Christ and gospel music.
After Herb’s retirement they moved to the Show Low area and built their dream home, designed by their son-in-law. The building of this home was a family affair, with all siblings contributing time and effort to it’s construction. Barbara resided in this home until 2021, when the family was no longer able to give her the care she deserved.
The family wishes to express their deep gratitude to all who helped Barbara during her battle with Vascular Dementia for the last fourteen years; dear friends, Debbie, Lucy and Serena; caregivers, Lori and Mandi from Southwest Private Services; Laura with ALTCS program for United Health Care; Sammy from Compassus Hospice; Sunshine, Director of Operations at Solterra; all of the caregivers in the Memory Care Unit at Solterra, with special thanks to Annie; and special thanks to granddaughters, Teresa and Sara Ham, who spent a month living with and caring for their grandma.
Barbara requested no services. She requested to have her ashes spread where her beloved son, Randy, and husband, Herb, are. All family members are invited to this on Sunday, September 24, 2023 at 12:00 noon.


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