Barbara Gordon, affectionately known as “Babs,” was born January 8, 1944, to the late Oscar Lee and Doris J. Smith in Birmingham, Alabama. At an early age, she was baptized and accepted God as her personal savior. She found complete healing in the arms of our Lord on Friday, August 14, 2020.
After graduating from Parker High School in the spring of 1961, Babs traveled to North Alabama to attend Alabama A&M University that fall. She graduated from the University in 1965 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Education. After graduation, she took a job with the Huntsville City Police Department as their first black female clerk. She remained there for a year and in 1966, became the office manager at the North Huntsville Community Action Program.
In 1967, she was hired as the Graphic Arts Instructor at Drake State Technical College, where she had an illustrious career. Within her 30 years of service at Drake, Babs taught hundreds and affected the lives of many. Over her many years as an instructor and mentor, she assisted and supported hundreds of students in obtaining jobs and careers utilizing the skills and life lessons taught in her classes.
She became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated in 1976, and became one of the advisors for the Delta Delta Chapter at Alabama A&M University for over nineteen years, along with Marjorie Battle. Not one to be complacent, Babs still longed for more and ventured into entrepreneurship. In the mid 1980’s, she became an independent distributor of Faye Swafford bags ,as well as owner of a printing company called Pen & Ink with fellow colleague, Roberta Flakes. After a few years and with a broader vision of being a business owner, she created with her mother and son, B&D Distributors, a company specializing in Greek and Collegiate apparel which served Alabama A&M University, as well as the broader Huntsville community. From the 1980’s through the mid 2000’s, she served as an instructor, mentor, college greek advisor, business owner, and active alumnus, as well as a mother, sister, aunt, and daughter to her immediate and extended family. She lived to serve her church, family, profession, sorority, business, and university and did so with enthusiasm, moral fortitude, and success.
She is survived by: Thomas “Jay” Gordon, David (Adrian) Wheeler, Dwight (Kim) Stewart, Patrick Sharp, Dione “Trice” (Larry) Jordan-Hamilton, David S. Wheeler, Christopher (Catherine) Wheeler, Phyllene Washington, Melody Dawson, and Wendy (Tori) Kirk; grandchildren, Thomas “TJ”, Timbre, Adrianna, Nadia, and Nathan; great-nephews, Bakari and Julian; great-niece, Cassaundra (Cassie); great-great-niece, Brooke; cousin, Mariah; a special friend, Shirley Houzer, Ph.D; and a host of loving family and friends.