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Family's role model exuded a caring nature

Patrick Varine
| Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, 11:00 p.m.

Barbara Givan usually told people she was from Cleveland. But that was a bit of an oversimplification.

“Her father traveled all over the world for work, and she lived in China, she lived in Chile. But she spent most of her teenage years in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,” said her husband, Mike Givan.

Barbara F. Givan of Youngwood died Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, following complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. She was 76.

Mrs. Givan was born Aug. 15, 1941, daughter of the late Richard C. and Avis (Caie) Fallon.

Mrs. Givan met her future husband on Valentine's Day in 1960, when they were pledging the Alpha Chi Omega sorority and Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity, respectively at Purdue University.

“At the time, they had a tradition where the sororities would pick four or five fraternities and have what they called a ‘kissing party,' ” Mike Givan said. “The girls would line up, and the guys would go down the line and kiss every girl.”

They met at the party, “and we've basically been together ever since,” he said.

They married in 1961 and moved to Youngwood in 1969.

Mrs. Givan was involved with many community groups including the Girls Scouts, Order of the Eastern Star, Ladies Auxiliary of the Youngwood Volunteer Hose Company No. 1 and Daughters of Scotia Lady MaGregor Lodge No. 73 in Youngwood.

“It was always a busy household,” said her daughter, Julie Webb. “She was always very involved with us kids.”

That involvement continued with her grandchildren.

“She would help my daughters show animals at the Hendricks County Fair and the Indiana State Fair,” Webb said. “She came down 16 years in a row, and if she hadn't broken her arm last year, she would have come again.”

Given her extremely proper Scottish upbringing, Webb said it was a great joy to see her helping her granddaughters.

“Here was this shy girl who lived in a bunch of other countries, but you put her down at the county fair with horses, cows and hogs and she was great at it,” Webb said. “She grew up very proper, but there she was, fixing up a cow to show and scooping cow poop at the county fair.”

Mrs. Givan was an excellent seamstress, with an entire room in the house dedicated to sewing.

“Wedding gowns, prom gowns, alterations — she'd have work stacked up,” Mike Givan said. “The only problem is I'd complain she wasn't charging enough.”

Webb said she couldn't have asked for a better role model.

“She was very caring,” Webb said. “She put her family first, and that legacy has lasted with her kids and now her grandkids.”

Mrs. Givan was preceded in death by a son, Richard K. Givan. She is survived by her husband, C. Michael Givan; two children, Julie E. Webb and husband, J.R., of Maplewood, Ind., and Gregory M. Givan of Pittsburgh; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday in the C. Richard McCauley Funeral Home, 101 S. Fourth St., Youngwood. Additional viewing will be from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Friday in Christ United Methodist Church, 100 Lincoln St. in Youngwood, where a service will be held at 11 a.m.

Memorial donations can be made to the ALS Association, P.O. Box 37022, Boone, IA 50037-0022.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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