Barbara Rodman Obituary

David & Gail Kuhnlein

Barbara Mahase Rodman (July 15, 1927 – November 22, 2019) “left the Fair” peacefully surrounded by family in her final days. 

She used to have a dream many years ago that she spoke of often. She was at the fair and her son, Davey (1959-1977), was standing outside the gate calling for her and wondering why she was staying so long. They now have a beautiful and long-awaited reunion.

She was mother to three sons, including Kenneth and David (1959 – 1977) and a daughter, Gail, married to Timothy James Kuhnlein. Barbara’s grandsons, who she called her “grandlads”, lovingly call her “Babbie”. Born in Trinidad to Kenneth and Anna, she is survived by siblings Elaine, Stella, Anna and Kenneth. Cyril and Lenore passed before her.

Barbara touched many lives quietly and elegantly. She grew up in Guaico, Trinidad, where she loved storytelling and was a leader to her younger siblings. Her adventurous spirit and independence (passed down the family line from her grandmother Rookabai, who fled an arranged marriage at a young age in India and settled in Trinidad) took her to McGill University in Montreal, Canada where she majored in English, Spanish, and Latin, graduating in 1952, and met her husband, Hyman Rodman. She taught English, Spanish, and Latin at St. Augustine Girls High School from 1952-1955 in Trinidad.

For many years, Barbara and Hyman Rodman lived in Detroit and its suburbs, where Barbara loved feeding and watching the backyard rabbits, deer and birds (and chasing the squirrels away from the birdfeeder). She also enjoyed crossword puzzles, reading, writing and playing the piano. She had a delightful sense of humor, a playful spirit, and an interest in the occult. Most of all, she loved being with her family.

Barbara was a frequent contributor to the Detroit News Sunday magazine in the 1970s. She authored “Love Stories for all Centuries” and “Olas Grandes”, a murder-mystery/ gothic romance novel set in Trinidad, which was independently published just 12 days before she passed, with the help of her daughter, son, and grandson. The full story of the re-discovery and publishing of this novel is documented on Instagram @olasgrandesnovel.

According to Barbara’s wishes, a small, private family gathering was held in Greensboro, N.C. where her cremated remains were buried next to her son’s. Barbara’s legacy and memories live on in her writing and in her loved ones.