Barbara Brucks Lewis
1956 – 2023
Barb Brucks Lewis, 66, of New Franklin, MO passed away May 28, 2023, with her family at her side. Barbara Ann Hickam was born September 22, 1956, at St. Joseph Hospital in Boonville, MO. Barb was the oldest of three children born to William Henry and Dorothy Sue Whitlow Hickam. Barb was raised in New Franklin on a farm and attended New Franklin Public Schools. She graduated with the Class of 1974. Barb loved living in the country and having the freedom of roaming the farm. She loved dogs, cats, horses and any baby animal. Barb loved the smell of newly mown hay, freshly plowed ground, roses and lilacs and the smell of the earth right before a rain. She enjoyed a full moon, the sound of whip-por-wills and tree frogs, seeing a field of cattle or horses and farming activities, the smell of wood smoke on a snowy night and reading. Barb always had a book with her and read widely from several different genres. She enjoyed sending cards and notes to family and friends, sending thousands over the years.
Barb attended Burge School of Nursing in Springfield, MO and received her diploma in 1977. She began her nursing career at Cox Medical Center in the Intensive Care Nursery and continued her education, receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing in 1978 from Drury University. At that time, she returned to Mid-Missouri and began working in NICU at University Healthcare, a position she would hold for 36 years until her retirement. Barb earned a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Missouri. She firmly believed learning was a lifelong activity and completed over 500 hours of continuing education after she retired. Barb was certified in High-Risk Neonatal Nursing for a number of years.
Barb was adventurous and traveled a great deal before she married, including Scandinavia, Europe, India and Nepal and the Caribbean. She visited all 50 states and enjoyed seeing the different parts of the United States. She loved seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and meeting new people. Barb married Arnold D. Brucks in Columbia, MO on October 31, 1998. To this happy union came two very special children from the People’s Republic of China. Barb and Arnold traveled to China in 2001 to bring home Haley Elizabeth Cai Brucks and in 2004 to bring home David William Yun Brucks. These two were the light of their parents’ lives and greatly loved. Barb often said, “not many things in this life are completely satisfying, but my children are.” She considered being a Christian and a mom her greatest accomplishments. Arnold preceded her in death in 2008. Barb married Tommy Warren Lewis on June 2, 2018, in Boonville and gained another son, Darin Jaime Lewis. Barb dearly loved chlldren and babysat many hours as a teenager. She was a great friend to several of the neighborhood children over the years. She loved her nieces and nephew dearly and then spoiled her great-nieces and nephews when they came along. Barb was very close to her family and kept in touch with many of her large extended family her entire life. Barb is survived by her husband, Tom, of the home, her sons David Brucks and Darin Lewis and her daughter Haley Brucks. She is also survived by her sister, Karen (Matt Ilsley), and brother, Bill (Jennifer) Hickam. She is also survived by her nieces, Morgan Hickam, Megan (Austin Spradling), Paige (Josh Noble) and her nephew, Austin (Lacie) Ilsley. She is survived by her great-nieces and nephews, Aris and Lilly Ilsley, Genevieve Noble and Hank and Whit Spradling. She also leaves behind mnny cousins, friends and acquaintances. She also leaves behind a very special maternal aunt and uncle, Laura and Howard Hamilton. They were very giving and kind to Barb and her siblings as they grew up and took them on several adventures, enriching her life immeasurably. When Haley and David lost their grandparents at an early age they filled in and closed that gap, Barb would have said her priorities in life were her relationship with God, her children and her family. She gave her life to God and was baptized. She enjoyed fellowship meetings with other church family members and was so grateful for her choice.
Services honoring Barb’s life will be held at 10:00 AM, Friday, June 2, 2023, at Markland-Yager Funeral Home in New Franklin. Visitation will be held Thursday, June 1, 2023, from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at the funeral home. Burial will follow the service at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in New Franklin where Barb will be laid to rest by family members. In lieu of flowers, please do a kind deed for someone in need. Barb liked to help people and would appreciate these gestures.
Condolences may be shared at www.marklandyager.com.
Markland-Yager Funeral Home is honored to serve Barb’s family.