Barb Keene, long time resident of Fort Myers Beach and formerly of Silver Lake, Ohio, passed away on Monday, August 16, 2021, at the age of 96.
She is survived by her son, Bobbie Horner, and his wife, Joy; grandson, Alex Horner and his wife, Katie; stepson, Chip Wickenden and wife, Gail and family; niece, Liz Henriksen; a close circle of friends and her loving caregiver, Rose Pierre.
Barb was born on May 7, 1925, and grew up in Rockford, Illinois. She was very proud of the fact that she was the only female Engineering graduate from Purdue University in her class of 1946.
After some time raising her family she became a lifelong educator and finished her career as Superintendent of the Ravenna, Ohio School district. She was a significant contributor to Encyclopedia Britannica, and the co-author of a number of textbooks and supplemental education works. Research for the encyclopedia sparked a passion for travel with Barb, and she traveled to six of the seven continents of the globe. She was married three times; first to Robert Horner in 1947 with whom she had three children (later divorced), to Herbert Wickenden in 1972, and to Robert Keene in 1983. Her retirement in Fort Myers Beach has been filled with friends and extended family as well as continued community involvement. Barb was very active working toward the incorporation of the Town of Fort Myers Beach. She served as President of the Woman’s Club for two years and spent many hours playing bridge at the Club. Barb was also an active member and officer of the Estero Island Historical Society. Barbara loved the Historic Mound House and served on the Town’s Cultural and Environmental Learning Center Advisory Board for the Mound House. In addition, she has endowed scholarships in Education and Engineering at the University of Akron.
Barb cultivated many friendships during her time on Fort Myers Beach, including an original group of seven ladies who would get together on a regular basis to celebrate the milestones of their lives. She cherished her time with these dear friends affectionately known as âthe sinful sevenã; however, they were anything but sinful. Rather they were profoundly dear friends who loved each other deeply and truly enjoyed their times together.
Barb was preceded in death by her son Chuck Horner, her daughter Holly Horner, and all three husbands. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Estero Island Historical Society or the Historic Mound House would be greatly appreciated.