Barbara Ann (Bandy) Walley, born Oct. 31, 1937, passed into the glory of her Heavenly Father on July 8, 2016, at the age of 78. She was preceded in death by her husband Lt. Commander Oliver Bruce Walley, on Feb. 11, 1969, and her parents John H. Bandy and Frances (Bisdee) Bandy. She leaves behind a loving family: son Michael Walley and daughter Susan (Walley) Schlesman, daughter-in-law Diana Walley, son-in-law Shane Schlesman, IMG_3708and 5 grandchildren: Bruce Schlesman, Brent Schlesman, Brady Schlesman, Kate Walley, and Caroline Walley; she also leaves her brother John Bandy, sister-in-law Martha Bandy, and 3 nephews and their families. On her husband’s side of the family, Barbara is survived by her sister-in-law Darleen Hozie, 9 nieces and nephews and their spouses, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Her love and devotion to her family has been admired by everyone who knew her.

Barbara earned a B.A. in English from Northern Illinois University and a M.A. from University of Illinois. She was married to Bruce Walley on June 10, 1961. Barbara accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior shortly after, and has been a devout follower of Christ throughout her life. Her faith proved an important support when her husband Bruce was killed while in the navy reserves on Feb. 11, 1969.
For 43 years, Barbara served in the field of education as a high school English teacher, aIMG_2092 college professor, and an English department head. She built 2 high school libraries and served as librarian at both. Her two favorite schools (with longest duration) were Pillsbury Baptist Bible College and Calvary Baptist School. She taught students in Illinois, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Barbara is known by thousands of her students as being intelligent, compassionate, funny, and dedicated to inspiring excellence. Throughout the years, hundreds of students have kept in touch with her and thanked her for the difference she made in their lives both academically and personally. Barbara has also filled many volunteer roles during her church life, like deaconess, Sunday school teacher, kitchen staff, and camp counselor; she was happy to do whatever needed to be done. But most of her labor went on without any applause or attention. She was a neighbor, friend, confidante, and servant. She inspired people to greatness, and she included them in whatever she was doing.
IMG_3667She enjoyed playing games, being outdoors, reading, buying books, refinishing furniture, learning history, camping, baking cookies, and traveling. She loved attending church and reading the Bible, which she faithfully memorized. She was always teaching–about life, love, and faith. She put everyone–most of all, her children–before herself. She will be greatly missed, but her legacy of faith will live on through her children, grandchildren and the countless lives that she’s touched along the way.

To accommodate her wide circle of friends and family, her children are hosting 2 memorial services: Wed., JIMG_1728uly 13 at 2 pm at First Presbyterian Church of Boulder, CO, and Sat., July 30 at Calvary Baptist Church in Lansdale, PA at 10 am. She is being buried at Oak Ridge Cemetery of Sandwich, IL, alongside her husband.


  1. Howard & Margie Wood

    We have such fond memories of your Mom. We relocated to the Lansdale area in 1989 to teach at CBS, that was the year that both of you started teaching also at CBS. I enjoyed working with her for many years as we taught in the high school and Margie worked with her in the library. Barb was a wonderful lady who loved the Lord, taught her subjects and students with passion and served others in many ways. She was a blessing and encouragement to us as a family. We will continue to pray for you and your family.

    1. Sue Schlesman Post author

      Howard, it’s so good to her from you both! I was just looking through pictures of faculty skits and saw you there next to Mom, laughing it up. Are you still in the area? Service is this Sat. at 10 am. Thanks for writing!

  2. Yvonne Harmon Rumsey

    Sandy Headford sent me a message early Sunday morning to tell me of your mother’s passing. Later that afternoon, I posted this message on my Facebook page:

    I don’t usually post about deeply personal events on FB, but I was incredibly saddened to learn this morning of the passing of a dear teacher and mentor of mine from college days: Mrs. Barbara Walley. She was the model I strived to emulate during my years as a teacher. She taught me to love diagramming sentences in Advanced Grammar and Composition. She inspired me with the breadth and depth of her knowledge of literature in 19th Century European Literature. She honored me by inviting me to take a course in Milton with her at Mankato State in 1984. (Every Monday night through spring quarter, she would drive us to Mankato where we would usually grab supper at Wendy’s–she almost always had a baked potato–then on to MSU for our class.) Although she told me to call her “Barb,” I could never bring myself to do so. It seemed to imply an equality with her that I was certain I would never achieve.

    We lost touch with each other after she moved to PA. I regret that I never had a chance to thank her properly for the tremendous impact she had on my life and my teaching, but I am eternally grateful that she invested her life in mine.

    1. Sue Schlesman Post author

      Yvonne, it was so lovely to see you today at the memorial service! Thank you for coming! You are a really special person. It was so thoughtful that you’d come out to honor my mom. We appreciate it!

  3. John Hodnett

    Sue, what a pleasure it was to work side by side with your mom at Calvary! She was passionate about her work, loved the students, and was THE guardian of every book in that library! Such fond memories of her. I’m so glad that God had our lives intersect for those few short years.

  4. Tim Connor

    I’ll never forget a few tricks we played in Mrs. Wally’s English class at CBS. Inside, she laughed at every one. I’ll never forget the exchange we had when I wanted to use a made up word as the title to my English paper. She told me she’d take points off, but I boldly kept it anyway. I still remember it – Convictimizers. I’m not sure what the paper was about, but I kept it & she took the points off!

  5. Linda Melin

    Dear Sue, what a beautiful tribute to your mom. She was indeed a remarkable lady. Selfless, uncomplaining, always ready to be of help and brilliant! I loved talking with her. I loved going over to your house the semester we roomed together. Your mom always made me feel at home. Later, I loved having her as a family member! You are a reflection of the best of her. She lived well the life she was given.

    1. Sue Schlesman Post author

      Thank you, Linda. Yes, she was amazing. I’m glad you appreciated her. She’s one of the many reasons that a lot of us are English teachers. 🙂

  6. Lauren Owlett

    That was such a beautiful tribute to your mother! Thank you for sharing that! I was blessed to have your mom for my English teacher in high school! I was so well prepared for college! I am pretty sure my Dad, Richard Harris, had her when he was at Pillsbury or maybe it was at Calvary. I can’t remember! Prayers for you and your family!

  7. Sarah

    I graduated from Calvary in Lansdale in 2004 and moved to Colorado in 2010. I was able to reconnect with your mom in 2013. She is my reason for obsessive proofreading and a profound love of classic literature. She loved Jesus so well in the way she carried herself and interacted with her students. I’m so glad to live close enough to Boulder to be able to attend the service tomorrow.

    1. Sue Schlesman Post author

      Sarah, thank you for writing. I’m so excited to meet you at the service. Thank you for the kind things you’ve said about my mom. You were lucky to have her for a teacher. See you tomorrow!

  8. Doug Bookman

    Barbara’s was a life truly and stunningly – if quietly – well-lived. Constantly joyful, selfless and noble, she consistently and delightfully lived out the happy side of Jesus’ thrice-repeated equation, “Whoever loses her life for my sake will find it.” Can anyone imagine that there is any person whose life overlapped with hers – in whatever measure and under whatever circumstances – who was not demonstrably the better for the experience. To borrow a term from her world, Barbara’s oeuvre – her life’s work – was the lives she so generously touched. All of us who knew, regarded and cherished Barbara, but especially those who lived out their lives in her company and are most obviously and entirely the happy results of her life’s labors, can write with John, “She has rested from her labors, but her works do follow after her” (Rev 14:13).

    1. Sue Schlesman Post author

      Doug, It’s so good to hear from you. Thanks so much for your kind words.I couldn’t agree more with your assessment of my mother’s character. It’s a blessing to me that her influence was widely felt. Thank you!!

  9. Kirsten Smith

    Thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time. God called another one of his angels on earth back to heaven. She loved to teach, and i do remember when she’d read a poem or a paragraph from a book out loud, you could see her eyes light up and she just loved it and really enjoyed poetry/reading etc…and she really must have been an angel to have had the patience she did for us little jerks. 🙂 She made a huge impression on ALOT of lives, and i know you all must be so proud of the life she lived!! Again, thoughts and prayers to your family and loved ones during this time.

    1. Sue Schlesman Post author

      Kirsten, You are so right! Literature excited her instantly. I have the same disease, which I am happy to have. Thanks so much for your kind words and observations. I appreciate that you have shared this bit of your interactions. Thanks for blessing me!

  10. Geralyn (Warwick) Lindow (1982)

    Dear Michael and Susan, I have never met the two of you, but know well that your mother was a blessing to so many. Your tribute to her is so beautiful and filled with love. I think I can see the red A++ at the top. My sincere condolences to you as you grieve the home going of your mother. She, Mrs. Payne, Mrs.Dell, and Mrs. Price all taught so muchore than English and Literature at PBBC. They are ladies of the highest caliber, and wonderful role models of Christian womanhood.

    1. Sue Schlesman Post author

      Dear Geralyn, I’m so pleased that you knew my mother and was influenced by her. She is a saint, for sure. I’m grateful for your willingness to share a little about her with me. Thank you!

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