Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

November 11, 2013

Barbara Jean Hughes Wood

Pauls Valley Democrat

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — Barbara Jean Hughes Wood, 77, loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and endearing friend to so many, was called home by her Lord on Thursday, November 7, 2013 at Abilene Regional Medical Center.

Services celebrating her life are 1 p.m. Monday, November 11 at Merkel First United Methodist Church with Pastors Rhonda Greenwood and Jimmy Low officiating. Visitation will be Sunday 3 to 5 p.m. at Starbuck Funeral Home in Merkel, Texas.

Barbara Jean was born January 14, 1936 in Pampa, Texas, the fourth child of Frankie Lee Graves and Willie Wood “Bill” Hughes.

She was preceded in death by a baby sister, a brother Billie Pete Hughes, her parents and her stepdad Ford “Buddy” Smith Jr.

Since her dad worked for Skelly Oil Company she was raised in the Skelly Camp and attended schools in Kellerville, Merkel and Shamrock, Texas, having graduated from Shamrock High School where she was a majorette.

Barbara Jean met the love of her life, Kenneth, at 13, and dated until graduation. After graduating one year early, she also attended McMurry College. Having attended so many schools, she acquired and was loved by many friends.

After waiting for her one true love to graduate a year behind her with their real class of 1954, they married May 23, 1954, one night before his graduation. With great anticipation, they were looking forward to their 60th anniversary in 2014. She attended cosmetology school in Abilene and graduated the school of cosmetology in Pampa, Texas in January 1966. She was a gifted and creative hair stylist and had a large clientele in Pampa, Skellytown, and Merkel, Texas.

She had worked in many places over the years including a drug store, Safeway, Pampa Answering Service, Oklahoma Department of Corrections and most importantly was a protective mother and wife and diligent homemaker.

A loving and dynamic force as a volunteer, she was always the first and last one to be by the side of the sick or dying....human or animal. She volunteered at the Mitchell Co. Veterinary Clinic of Colorado City, Texas, having benefited lucky animals with her kind heart. Many stray animals found their way to her outstretched arms.

She was fierce in her loyalty to her family, always an advocate for the underdog or downtrodden soul. She gleaned great pleasure in helping where needed. Every family member, distant or close, was beloved by Barbara Jean. This lady was valiant in her defense of family.

“Nothing so strong as true gentleness, nothing so gentle as true strength.” Since the 1985 death of her mother, she became the family matriarch, amongst a heritage of very strong women. She was the family historian and curiosity lived at the core of her intellect.

She was familiar with life’s losses and depressions, but was tenacious and tried to be optimistic in her acceptance of life, always seeking through her exuberant love of books and knowledge. A woman of deep faith and always seeking, she attended many churches in her life, ultimately belonging and attending primarily First Baptist and First Methodist Churches. Forever a student of the Holy Bible, she always believed that with God’s hand, she could research the right herbal remedies to improve her health.

She loved to travel extensively all over the world by ship with her sister Lodie Hughes and by motor home with her husband, sister Ann Smith Doan and brothers Gary and Berry Ford Smith.

She will be greatly missed by her adoring family who are left to cherish her memory, husband Kenneth Wood Sr. of Merkel, Texas; two daughters Teresa Wood Priddy and husband Billy of Longview, Texas, and Tammy Wood Fangman and husband Pat of Stillwater, Okla.; son Kenneth Wood Jr. of Merkel; siste Lota Mae Hughes of Estes Park, Colo.; brother Berry Ford Smith and wife Myrna Loy of Amarillo, Texas; sister Ann Doan and husband Ronny of Merkel; brother Gary Lee Smith of Jewett, Texas; grandchildren Amy Priddy Smith and husband Fred of Sulphur, Okla., Amber Priddy Hobbs and husband Jeremy of Gilmer, Texas, Jeremy Fangman of Oklahoma City, Okla., Alisha Fangman Nelson and Brandy Fangman both of Edmond, Okla., Cassie Fangman Strader and husband Matt of Cushing, Okla., Emilly Fangman Edwards and husband Nick of Stillwater, Okla.; great-grandchildren Chaeli Smith and Chasta Smith both of Sulphur, Okla., Maddie Savory and Braydyn Fangman both of Oklahoma City, Okla., Courtney Hobbs of Broken Bow, Okla., Jessica Hobbs and Jaxon Hobbs both of Gilmer, Texas; and one great great grandson Raiter Case Leonard.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Longview Type One Diabetes Foundation, P.O. Box 3936, Longview, TX 75606.

You may sign the online guestbook at