Cover photo for Barbara Helen Aikman Vogel's Obituary
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1925 Barbara 2024

Barbara Helen Aikman Vogel

December 4, 1925 — February 22, 2024


Barbara Helen Aikman Vogel, formerly of Terre Haute and recently of Carmel, IN, passed away February 22, 2024 at the age of 98 at her home with her two remaining children by her side. The youngest and last surviving of the five children of Homer Barton Aikman and Helen Myer Shambaugh Aikman, she was active and healthy until shortly before her death. Following her own mother’s death, Barbara changed her middle name from Ellen to Helen.

Barbara was a true and gracious lady and the Matriarch of the family. Barbara was deeply loved by her family and her many many friends. Her pride and joy were her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. And she was blessed by the love she shared with her second husband Ken. Barbara always focused on those around her and sought to avoid being the center of attention herself. Barbara was known for her caring and concern for others and for her generosity and grace, humor, quick wit, and talented storytelling. She was tireless in being of help to others – including caregiving for her husband Ken, being there for her family and friends, driving friends (younger and older) to appointments and get-togethers, and contributing her efforts to special events. She excelled at being sure everyone around her was introduced and felt welcome and included. Barbara was counted by many as a best friend.

Following a long and successful career at Bemis Co. Inc. and raising her children, Barbara was active in numerous community and arts organizations into her mid 90s. She leaves behind a legacy of community service and making a real difference. Of special importance to Barbara was The Swope Art Museum, along with the Wabash Valley Community Foundation and the 100+ Women Who Care, Trees Inc., Indiana University, and St. Stephen’s Church.

Barbara is survived by her daughter Mary Louise Bell of Dedham, MA, son Bart Bell (Debbie) of Carmel, IN, stepdaughter Melinda Vogel Michael (Tim) of Columbus, OH, step son-in-law Joe Haley, Sr. of Terre Haute, and her grandchildren Christopher Bell (Becca) of Indianapolis, Alice Bell-Sharp (Joshua) of Indianapolis, Carey Haley Wong of Indianapolis, Matt Haley (Taryn) of Nokesville, VA, Joe Haley, Jr. (Melissa) of Indianapolis, and Abbie Haley Jones (Nick) of Terre Haute, 22 great grandchildren, and 8 surviving nieces and nephews. She was pre-deceased by her husband J. Kenneth Vogel of Terre Haute, son William Wils Bell of Orlando, FL, and stepdaughter Chris Vogel Haley of Terre Haute, all very beloved to her.

At Barbara’s request, she was cremated with no service or visitation. Her preference was for a brief announcement of her death and not an obituary, but a life so fully lived and a person so loved needs more than an announcement. A Celebration of Life will be held in Terre Haute in the early summer.

 For those wishing to celebrate Barbara’s life with a donation, please consider The Swope Art Museum (25 South 7th Street, Terre Haute, IN 47807) or a charity of your choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Helen Aikman Vogel, please visit our flower store.


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