Barbara Taylor

February 11, 1943 - September 2, 2016
Holland, MI



Wednesday, September 7, 2016
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Dykstra Funeral Homes
Mulder Chapel
188 West 32nd Street
Holland, MI 49423
(616) 392-2348
Driving Directions

Thursday, September 8, 2016
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Christ Memorial Chapel
595 Graafschap Road
Holland, MI 49423

Please use entrance D


Thursday, September 8, 2016
11:00 AM EDT
Christ Memorial Chapel
595 Graafschap Road
Holland, MI 49423

please use entrance D


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Greater Ottawa County United Way
115 Clover Street, Suite 300
Holland, MI 49423

Community Action House
345 West 14th Street
Holland, MI 49423

Disability Network
426 Century Lane
Holland, MI 49423

Life Story / Obituary


Although words such as selfless, hardworking, and compassionate come to mind when reflecting on the life of Barbara Taylor, perhaps it will be her unwavering strength and courage that will be her lasting legacy. Although she accomplished so much of which to be proud, she was a humble and faith-filled woman whose family was her greatest source of pride and joy. Barbara was a dreamer who didn’t back down from a challenge, and she accomplished everything she did with such poise and grace. Life will never be the same without her here, but she leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will forever cherish.

During the early 1940s, the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as countless young servicemen and women were serving during WWII. Those who remained stateside became all too familiar with rationing on common goods such as coffee, sugar, paper, and rubber. It was during this eventful time that Cornelius and Bessie Yskes were pleased to announce the birth of the baby girl they named Barbara Lynne on February 11, 1943, in Holland, Michigan. She was one of five children in the family as she was raised alongside her siblings, Kathryn, Gerrit, Dick, and Dave. Barbara was often looked after by her older brothers, Gerrit and Dick. As a result, she learned to play baseball, football, and cards with them and their friends. Barbara also learned to cook by the age of four, and every Saturday they were busy baking all of their bread for the week. She looked forward to visiting her Grandma and Grandpa Kule's farm in Grand Haven. When she got a bit older, Barbara and her friends enjoyed going downtown to have a Coke or a shake at Fabiano's. They would later race their cars through the streets of Holland. Even as a young girl Barbara was always up for an adventure!

Life was forever changed for Barbara when she gave birth to her first child on October 2, 1967. She named her son Jason Randolph, and it was nearly 10 years later that her life was made whole when she gave birth to Jolene Rae on June 26, 1977. Barbara was an amazing mother who was an active part of her children’s lives, and she had a special way of making the ordinary extraordinary. They spent their summers going to the beach with Barbara’s best friend, Sharon, and her daughters, and they also spent a lot of time hanging out with Barbara’s brother, Dave, and his two sons, David Lee and Eric. Sundays were always reserved for church and family dinner, usually followed by a large gathering of people at Barbara’s parents’ house to debate politics and religion. There were also epic family gatherings for Christmas with Barb and all her siblings at her parents’ house. Thanksgiving usually found Barbara and her kids with their family at Aunt Kathy’s with everyone watching the Detroit Lions play. One Thanksgiving, however, Barbara and her kids skipped the turkey and decided to go to the Lions game in person! Their cat, Belle, was like another member of their family. Her claim to fame was chewing on electrical wires as she destroyed not one, but two Christmas trees, among other various electrical items.

Throughout her life Barbara was one to work hard. After being out of college for years, she decided to go back to school while also working full-time to support her family. Things only became even more difficult when Barbara also fought breast cancer in the midst of it all. In the end she was so proud to earn her Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Davenport University. She worked at Perrigo for several years, and after retiring she volunteered at United Way of Holland, Community Action House, and Disability Network as she was always willing to give of her time and her resources. Barbara was a longtime member of Christ Memorial Church.

In addition to her time spent volunteering, Barbara kept busy in other ways. She loved watching football and cheering on her favorite teams, the MSU Spartans and the Detroit Lions. Barbara’s favorite hobby was to read mysteries, and she also enjoyed watching Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and anything about history. She liked watching silly comedy movies and listening to classic rock like AC/DC and George Thorogood among others. When relaxing, Barbara could often be found crocheting.

Described as a dreamer, Barbara was forever dreaming about big things. It was her dreams that kept on pushing her, even as she was deeply entrenched in the fight for her life. Barbara continued to think of others ahead of herself, and she also taught her children to give to others. “Just do your best,” and, “Just pray about it,” were pieces of advice that she often gave to others in times of trial and hardship. Barbara’s faith was always so strong, and it was also her faith that allowed her to leave this world behind and enter into her eternal home.

Through the life she lived each day, Barbara Taylor was such an inspiration. Her strength of character and desire to persevere were easy to see, and they are among the invaluable qualities and lessons that she passed on to her children. Selfless and faithful, Barbara was eager to serve, and she made such a significant impact in the lives of so many others. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.

Barbara Lynne Taylor, of Holland went home to be with her Savior Friday, September 2, 2016, at Lacks Cancer Treatment Center of St. Mary’s Hospital. Barbara’s family includes her children, Jason Stacy and Dianna Armstrong of Holland and Jolene and Bruce Gower of Eldridge, Iowa; brothers and sister: Kathryn Strehlke of Allendale, Dick Yskes of Holland and Dave and Janet Yskes of West Olive; sister-in-law: Carol Yskes of Grandville; nieces, nephews and cousins. Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, Cornelius and Bessie Yskes; brother, Gerrit Yskes in 2006; brother-in-law, Bill Strehlke in 2005; and sister-in-law, Mary Yskes in 2015. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, September 8, 2016, at Christ Memorial Chapel, 595 Graafschap Road in Holland. Please use entrance D. Reverend Dewey Thompson will be officiating. Burial will be in Restlawn Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, September 7, 2016, at Dykstra Funeral Home – Mulder Chapel, 188 West 32nd Street in Holland and from 10-11 a.m. prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be given to the United Way of Holland, Community Action House or Disability Network in Holland.