PORTZ, BARBARA JUNE Age 80, departed this life on April 13, 2013. She was born in Ann Arbor, MI, daughter of George D. and June (Hoagland) Ward. She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Alex T. Portz; three children, Linda Wirth, Mark Wirth and Ward Wirth; four grandchildren, Sandra Madden, Jill Chou, Steven Wirth and Wendy Rose Wirth; sister-in-law Hilda (Mast) Ward; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. After graduating from Ann Arbor High School she married Jack Wirth with whom she spent one and a half years at a US Army base in Liverpool, England. They later founded the Wirth Canoe Livery in Ann Arbor. After divorce and remarriage she nursed her eldest son, William, through his fatal bone cancer. This inspired her to obtain an RN degree and work in hospitals or nursing homes in West Virginia and Florida. For many years she enjoyed making pottery and weaving. She managed the Arts and Crafts Shop in Elkins, WV until 1987 when Alex retired and they moved to Florida to care for her aged parents. In 1998 Alex and Barbara moved to the Magdalena Mountains in NM where they both did volunteer work until health problems dictated moving in 2007 closer to medical services in Albuquerque. Barbara requested that there be no local memorial service. Memorials may be sent to the New Life Presbyterian Church, 5440 Eubank Blvd. NE, Alb, NM 87111. A celebration of live service will be held at a later date in Ann Arbor.
Published on: Sun April 21, 2013