Tennis
 

Barbara Walters Milliken

December 7, 1935 ~ January 11, 2022 (age 86)

Obituary

A beloved friend and treasure to all, Barbara Winona (Walters) Milliken passed away peacefully after a prolonged battle with heart disease at her home in Santa Barbara on Tuesday, January 11, 2022. She was born in Winnsboro, South Carolina on December 7, 1935. Barbara lived in Oakmont, PA for many years, and also in Seattle, Washington and Santa Barbara, California.

Barbara is survived by her four children, Terrie Milliken, Homer Alan Milliken, III, Pamala Temple, and Michael Milliken (and wife Amy), her six grandchildren, Sarah (and husband Barry) Mayer, Maria Lucjak, Melissa Lucjak, Emerson Temple, Chloe Milliken, Van Milliken, and her great grandson Jaxson Mayer. Barbara, the youngest of five, was predeceased by her father Thornell Walters and mother Myrtle Walters, brothers William “Billy”, Grady, Homer “Peanut” Lendell, and sister Ganelle “Gay” Walters.

Many people know Barb from tennis, a sport she was passionate about well beyond her 80th birthday. She spent as much time on the court as she did with friends and family. She traveled the country playing in hundreds of tournaments making lifelong friends as she went. A fierce competitor, she was famous for her lobs and drop shots, but also for her warm smile and mischievous wink. Her tennis friends describe her as “fun-loving,’ with a ‘wicked sense of humor,’ and ‘so easy to love.’

You couldn’t hide a party from Barb! Whether she was attending or hosting her own, she enjoyed coming together with friends and family. But, hosting a gathering sent her into a cleaning and furniture-shuffling frenzy. You’d come home from school and the couch would be on the other side of the room, the lamps would be on different tables, and there’d be a new rug. And it would be fabulous, albeit slightly disorienting for a day or two. When the guests arrived, she would be in her glory, moving from room to room, welcoming, listening, handing out hors d'oeuvres, or pouring a drink. The guests might have been family, friends from tennis, friends from down the street, friends of friends. It didn’t matter who was there, she loved being around people. And she knew A LOT of people who called her friend, or cousin, or aunt, or sister, or mom, or nana, or beautiful Barb.

No matter where she lived, Barb was present in a room without needing to be in the room. Her interior design touch loomed large in every nook and cranny, and her clever placement of an arm chair or vintage photo brought together every room elegantly. In the home she made in Oakmont, the main rooms were always spotless, but the basement and attic were places where she stashed treasures that didn’t make the design cut. The basement in particular was filled with several trophies, some as high as 3-feet tall. Barb loved tennis. So, you might think those trophies were for tennis accomplishments, of course she had those too, but they weren’t. These were bowling prizes. Taking up much real estate on the basement floor was a sea of bowling trophies. She was even on the quirky TV show Bowling for Dollars, winning the honor by bowling a 298. Not surprising of course. Barb was good at practically any physical endeavor she applied herself to. You could sense her athletic acumen from just looking at her. She was tall, sleek, tan, strong, and beautiful. She was stylish without effort. She lived and died with elegance and grace.

Barbara was an entrepreneur with a passion for working with people. After raising her children, she attended beauty school with Terrie, her eldest daughter. Not content with just cutting and styling hair, she started her own salon, The Hair Shoppe of Etna, PA (outside of Pittsburgh, PA). Clients flocked to the little shop in a post-industrial mill town. It was like the Cheers of Etna – she knew everyone’s name. All of her children and some of her grandchildren answered the phone at some point, just like she taught us – “Hello, The Hair Shoppe, how may I help you?” And you better have had a smile on your face when you said that because “people can hear if you’re smiling.”

She was an unstoppably positive cheerleader in the lives of all of her children and grandchildren. She was an essential part of raising each of her grandchildren and great grandchild. She was able to dole out tough love, but be so soft and loving at the same time. It is a balance that is hard to find in this world. She had a quiet way of communicating as a parent and grandparent. She was always there, standing beside us, giving us the strength to do whatever it was we needed to do.

And that will be the largest hole that those who loved her, who walked in her light, will never be able to fill. We will all miss her presence next to us, listening to us, giving a dose of her brand of encouragement, and being the first to say, “I told you so, I knew you would do it.”

Barbara will be buried in Royal Pines Cemetery next to her parents Myrtle and Thornell on Saturday, January 22, 2022.  Graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. (Royal Pines Cemetery  is located on Ninth Street in Winnsboro, SC, 29180). In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Santa Barbara Tennis Patrons (www.sbtennispatrons.com). A celebration of life brunch will be held on Sunday, February 20, 2022 at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club.

Pope Funeral Home is assisting the Milliken family. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Barbara Walters Milliken, please visit our floral store.


Services

Graveside Service
Saturday
January 22, 2022

1:00 PM
Royal Pine Cemetery
9th Street
Winnsboro, SC 29180
Guaranteed delivery before the Graveside Service begins

Donations

Santa Barbara Tennis Patrons
PO Box 3886, Santa Barbara CA 93130
Web: http://www.sbtennispatrons.com/donate/

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