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Barbara Lewis-Lakin

August 3, 1953 June 29, 2021
Barbara Lewis-Lakin
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Obituary for Barbara Lewis-Lakin

The Rev. Dr. Barbara Lewis-Lakin

Barbara Lewis-Lakin, 67, died on June 29, 2021, with her family at her side, following a brief illness.

Barbara was born in Detroit, Michigan on August 3, 1953 to Dwight and Carrol (Smith) Lewis. After graduation from Dearborn High School, Barbara attended Albion College. In addition to her degree from Albion College, Barbara earned Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Garret Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois.

Barbara was an ordained elder in the Michigan Area United Methodist Church. While she served as a pastor with congregations in Redford (Aldersgate), Melvindale, Detroit (Central UMC), and Chelsea, her primary ministry was one of pastoral psychotherapy. She was affiliated with the Samaritan Counseling Center of Southeastern Michigan for nearly thirty years. She also served as a consultant in the United Methodist Church on matters of clergy sexual misconduct. Barbara was gifted in helping others discover safe and grace-filled spaces for healing. She was deeply committed to justice and truth telling as essential components of peacemaking.

Barbara’s friends and family knew her as a great source of wisdom and comfort. She was a friend, mentor, and counselor to many. Barbara’s most treasured role in life was that of mother and grandmother. She was always present and patient, and found great joy in those she loved.

She is survived by her husband of thirty-one years, Shawn; their children, Peter Menna, Abby Lewin-Ziegler, and Kate Lewis-Lakin; their children’s spouses, Errin Menna, Joe Lewin-Ziegler, and C.C. Huang; and granddaughters Sasha Menna and Nora Lewin-Ziegler. Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, older brother Allan Lewis, and husband David Byers.

Friends may visit at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 1368 N. Crooks Road (between 14-15 Mile Roads) Friday, July 16th, 5-8pm.

Barbara’s life and faith will be celebrated in worship at Birmingham First United Methodist Church (1589 W Maple Rd, Birmingham, MI 48009) on Saturday, July 17, at 10:00 a.m. The family asks that non-vaccinated persons attending the service kindly wear masks for the protection of non-vaccinated children and immunocompromised individuals. The service will be livestreamed; a livestream link will be available at on the day of the service.

Memorials celebrating Barbara’s life and ministry may be directed to the Samaritan Counseling Center of Southeastern Michigan (


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