Barbara Ianiro (nee Wortman), beloved wife, mother, grandmother, friend and community member, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family, on Aug. 10, 2022.
Through the final moments of her life, while battling dementia, she was cared for
by her great-granddaughter Zoë and granddaughter Shelly, so she could remain in her home as she wished. They were supported by Elara Hospice, to whom the family is eternally grateful.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Raymond Ianiro; her children, Patricia and Michael; and her four siblings.
Born Dec. 19, 1934, in Wickliffe, to May (nee Meredith) and Raymond Wortman, Barb moved to Hambden Township, at age 15, where she settled and made her home. She and Raymond, her husband of 60 years, built a life, a family and a business, all of which she loved.
An active and passionate member of her community, Barb never met a stranger in her life. She was often found out and about in Hambden, whether for coffee, at a garage sale or an event – from the Bluegrass, to pancake breakfasts, to the Bondstown Bash. Everyone knew she’d arrived when they saw her telltale Hambden license plate.
It’s no surprise, then, that she was also the consummate hostess, especially when it came to her famous Fourth of July picnics, which came complete with food, family and entertainment in spades at “the lake” – her property that became the gathering place for family events.
Her days – and years – were full of meaning. She was often the first one up in the morning and the last to go to bed, after a long day of spreading kindness and compassion to all she encountered.
She touched many lives as a volunteer at Hannah House, taking care of drug-addicted babies, in her work campaigning for the Democratic party, as a CASA and bailiff for the Chardon and Willoughby courts, as a trustee and as the first woman to serve as Hambden Township Clerk, the co-founder of the League of Women Voters of Geauga, and co-founder of the Bondstown Bash. She worked well into her 70s, doing census work in her later years. In 2016, a resolution to honor her and her service was passed by the township.
Throughout all of her hard work and many achievements, she was also a foster mother to more than 18 children, cared for her special-needs brother, Bobby Wortman, and her granddaughter, and was an exemplary homemaker. No gourmet chef herself, Barb would wrestle anyone for the dinner check, and had a gift for singing any baby to sleep – despite a singing voice that wasn’t quite choir levels. She understood that you don’t have to be the best at a thing for it to bring joy.
She especially loved being a grandmother, never missing a game, graduation, practice or event that her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were a part of. Her infectious laughter, so large a part of their lives, will be greatly missed.
Barbara is survived by her bonus daughter, Helen Wilson; her five grandchildren, Michelle (Scott) Nelson, Jonathan (Diana) Howson, Rachel (Kyle) Korensek, Amelia and Tanner Ianiro; great-grandchildren, Zoë, Gianna, Rylee, Caleb, Alanna, Quinn, Sienna, Jocelynn and Emily; as well as many beloved nieces and nephews.
A private graveside service and celebration of life will be held at “the lake” at a later time.