Barbara West Erwin, 90, the only child of Marguerite and Edgar Debernia West was born April 9, 1931. Barbara passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 2, 2021 surrounded by family.
After Marguerite’s death in 1933, Edgar married Louise Barton in 1935. Upon Edgar’s death in 1940, the family moved to Johnson City, TN. Barbara attended the 1st Girl Scout International Camp in Cooperstown, NY in 1948 and graduated from Science Hill High School in Johnson City in May 1949. She continued her education at Agnes Scott College (Atlanta, GA) earning a BS in Economics and Sociology in 1953. While in college, Barbara met William Lawrence “Bill” Dickens and they married on June 13, 1953. The couple lived in Decatur, GA; Decatur, AL; and Hoover, AL and welcomed five children along the way. The couple divorced in 1977 and Barbara married Robert D. “Bob” Erwin, Jr. in 1984. Bob preceded her in death in 1992.
Barbara was life-long Presbyterian and an ordained elder. She was a member of Oakmont Chapel Presbyterian Church in Hoover, AL for 47 years where she sang in the choir, was a member of the Women of the Church, and served on multiple Sessions and committees.
Barbara worked as a real estate agent and a school teacher, but truly shined as a volunteer worker where she gained her “Mama D” nickname from church youth. She was a member and frequent leadership position holder, in the Assistance League of Birmingham, Friends of Hoover Library, Hoover Service Club, and the Dogwood Garden Club.
Barbara’s favorite spot was the Erwin’s lake place. After Bob’s death, Barbara maintained the residence and spent as much time there as possible.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents Marguerite Dearman West, Edgar Debernia West, and Louise Barton West; husband Robert D. Erwin, Jr; and daughter Laura Dickens Phillips Cumbo.
Barbara is survived by her four remaining children: Sally Dickens Hilliker (Rob) of Calera, AL; Ed Dickens (Cindy) of Cedartown, GA; Ross Dickens (Michelle) of Montgomery, AL, and Betsy Dickens Guy (Johnny) of Hoover, AL; thirteen grandchildren; and thirteen great-grandchildren.
The family wishes to extend sincere thanks to the staff at The Oaks on Parkwood‘s Orchard and Highlands facilities who cared for Barbara with tenderness – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visitation will be Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 2:00 PM before her memorial service at 3:00 PM at Oakmont Chapel Presbyterian Church in Hoover, AL. Burial will be in Johnson City, TN at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests any contributions be made to Oakmont Chapel Presbyterian Church, Assistance League of Birmingham, or Agnes Scott College.