Barbara Kay Amelang, nee Heallen, daughter of the late Printess O. Heallen and Allene M. Heallen, nee Riddle, was born April 3, 1934 in Coleman County, Texas.
Starting in the first grade, Barbara was a precocious student, moving from first to third grade. She graduated from Lamar High School in Houston, Texas. During her high school years, she played the violin with the Houston Youth Symphony. She attended the University of Houston for one year.
Barbara met the love of her life, Jim Amelang, in Jr. High school. Their first official date during high school was by bus to see a movie. While she was attending the University of Houston, Jim asked for her hand in marriage. She was united in marriage to Rodric James Amelang (Jim) on July 21, 1952.
After their marriage, Jim left for Navy boot camp and thus they began their life together. They lived for two years in Virginia, during Jim’s time in the Navy. They returned to Houston with two babies, Mary Kay born in 1953 and James Joseph (Jimmy) born in 1954. Both were born in the United States Naval Auxiliary Air Station in Chincoteague, Virginia. Over the years this union was blessed with seven children. Mary Kay, James Joseph, Jon, Paul, Anna Marie, Claire Maria, Ernst Josef (Joe).
Barbara and Jim settled in Spring Branch, a new subdivision on the southwest side of Houston. It was there five more children were born: Jon and Paul in 1955, Anna Marie in 1957, Claire Maria in 1959, and Ernst Josef in 1960.
Barbara was happiest in her role as a mother, volunteering with their church, St. Jerome Catholic Church, by attending to the church rectory’s roses and serving with the Alter Society. During the children’s school years, they attended Margo Marshall school of Ballet where Barbara again found joy, sewing dance costumes for the recital performances. During the early 1970’s Jim and Barbara moved the family to Iowa Colony, Texas. Barbara worked alongside Jim in his home-based machine shop and in his later working years she followed as his employment took him to Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Venezuela.
Barbara began working at MD Anderson Cancer Center in 1994 and continued to work there after Jim’s death. After his death, Barbara fulfilled her wish to travel by rewarding 10 of her grandchildren with a trip of their choosing after completing their senior year of high school. These trips were far and wide and a memory not to forget.
Gardening and caring for her animals were Barbara’s joy in late life. Many hours were spent tending hers and others’ yards. Her dog, Orion, a miniature Greyhound, was her constant companion, traveling together and enjoying many a tea party.
Barbara was preceded in death by her husband Jim in 1995, children Jon and Paul in 1955, they survived only several days and James Joseph in 2014. She is survived by brothers, David Heallen, John Heallen and wife, Martha Heallen, children Mary Kay Raney and husband, Gary Raney (deceased), Anna Holton and husband Mike Holton, Claire Kucera and husband Ricky Kucera, and Joe Amelang and wife Pat Amelang.
She also leaves her wonderful grandchildren or in her words, her precious angels, Gary Raney and wife Julie Raney, Jennifer Amelang Schmidt and husband Gary Schmidt, Tommy Holton (T-Tex) and wife Gina Holton, Gretchen Phillips and partner Doug Harden, Kristin Marcum and husband Cody Marcum, Nicole Holub and husband Bryan Holub, Chance Kucera and wife Amanda Kucera, Jason Amelang and wife Jennifer Amelang, step-grandson Justin Osborn and wife Claudia, and Rachael Stout.
Included as her survivors are 16 great grandchildren, Henry Raney, Emily Holton, Elliot Holton, Madeline Holton, Cooper Marcum, Caroline Marcum, Vivian Marcum, Noah Holub, Collin Kucera, Gemma Kucera, Abbott Kucera, Isla Kucera, Joe Lee, Rayne Stout, step great grandsons Mateo Osborn and Ashton Caulk.
Barbara Amelang spread her wings and departed this earth for heaven with the angels August 11, 2021.
Even though flowers were a big part of Barbara’s life and love, in lieu of a flower memorial, contributions may be made to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Manvel, TX, St. Jude, or a charity of your choice.
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