Barbara Fisher ’64 Happel

Barbara Rae Happel, age 81 of Spring Lake, passed away on Sunday, October 22, 2023, in Murfreesboro, Tenn. She was born on March 16, 1942, in Grand Haven, Michigan, to the late Ray and Willamen (Nyland) Fisher.

Barb married Thomas Happel on July 19, 1997, in Grand Haven. He preceded her in death on December 31, 2022, after 25 years of marriage.

Barb graduated from Grand Haven High School. She then went on to Hope College and Ball State University, where she earned her master’s degree. Barb taught music at Marion (Indiana) Elementary School, and later at Grand Haven Area Public Schools and Muskegon High School. She also worked for Ottawa County Probate Court for 27 years.

Barb was a member of the West Michigan Symphony and taught music lessons to students. She was very talented musically, playing the cello and teaching strings. She enjoyed being a member of the First Reformed Church choir, and working on word searches and crossword puzzles. Barb took great comfort in her faith, and did her daily devotionals without fail. She especially looked forward to her weekly visits with friends at various restaurants in town.

Barbara will be lovingly remembered and missed by her son, Mike (Vanessa) Happel of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; three beloved grandchildren: Stefanie Marvin-Miller, Madeline Happel and Harrison Holthause; her brother, John (Marie) Fisher; sister-in-law, Susan (Bart) Masi; and her two nephews, Stephen and Timothy Fisher, and their daughters.

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