Barbara Luhrs
Barbara Luhrs
Barbara Luhrs
Barbara Luhrs
Barbara Luhrs
Barbara Luhrs

Obituary of Barbara L. Luhrs

Barbara Luhrs died peacefully at Merry Heart of Boonton Township on February 17, 2018.

She was born Barbara Janet Lee in Elizabeth NJ in 1932.


She summered in the Rainbow Lakes section of Parsippany NJ until age 4 when the family became year-round residents in the house the family built in 1924.


Barbara loved sports in her youth.  She competitively swam, played volleyball, softball, and dove on the Rainbow Lakes team with diving champion Lloyd Delaney and Olympian Carol Frick.  She was a member of the Rainbow Lakes Lifeguard Corps as well.


Barbara graduated from Mountain Lakes High School, class of 1950.


Barbara met the love of her life as a teenager at the Rainbow Lakes beach when Rudy Luhrs came there in his hot rod with some friends from Nutley.

On April 18, 1953 Barbara and Rudy Luhrs married.

They moved into the house on Highwood Road in Rainbow Lakes that was built by her grandparents, and never left.


Barbara was well known for her incredible memory, and could recall names and dates better than everyone else.  This made her an obvious choice to be the official historian for both the Rainbow Lakes Community Club and the Rainbow Lakes Volunteer Fire Department.  She also served as Membership Trustee for the Community Club for nine years and volunteered for decades assisting with publication of the Over The Rainbow newsletter.  She was Community Action Coordinator for the committee that saved 19 acres of wetlands and woodlands at Birch Lane from development.


Barbara loved music.  She listened to Big Band music in the 1940’s with her cousins Ruth and Al McDougall and other friends.  She and Rudy were always the best dancers at the many Rainbow Lakes club and fire department dances and events.


Barbara made friends wherever she went, and stayed friends forever.  Some lifelong friends in Rainbow Lakes were Ed & Florence Fleming, Bud & Ann White, Budd & Ann Mathews, Dot & Walter Freeman, Carmine & Terry Malanka, John & Marion Orso, and Doris & Bill McCafery.  They travelled to Europe, the Caribbean, Myrtle Beach, and elsewhere together.


For many years, she was an active member of the Rainbow Lakes Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary.  She remained in that position supporting the volunteer fire company that her husband dedicated 50 + years to. Each year Barbara and the Auxiliary would sponsor the Easter Egg Hunt at the ballfield for all of the children in the community.   Forever friends made here included Joan & Bob Lefferts, Maurice & Jane Monti, Rich & Midge Warnette, and Lucille DeGrosky.


Barbara had a Top Secret clearance for work she did at Bell Labs for the cold war era Nike Missile defense program. 


Barbara also worked for Warner Lambert, appearing in a magazine ad for them.

She ended her working career at Tiffany's, making many more friends at all of her work places.


She was always thinking of others.  Her many friends and relatives knew to expect a card on their birthday and at every holiday. 


Barbara was predeceased by her loving husband of 52 years Rudolph Luhrs.

She is survived by several cousins including Carolyn Emerson of Rochester NY, Virginia Meade of Beaverton Oregon, Linda Rosengart of Hagerstown Md., Nancy Morrison of Dana Point Calif., George Downsbrough of Bellafonte PA, Bruce Downsbrough of Knoxville Tenn., Barbara Cadow of Los Angeles CA., Edward Cadow of Los Angeles, CA., Gail Schomers of Tampa FL., Karen Dwyer of Montague NJ, Susan McDougall of Denville NJ, Steve McDougall of Denville NJ, and Dorothy Smith of Denville NJ.


Viewing will be held on Friday, February 23rd from 2-4 & 7-9 pm at Norman Dean Home For Services at 16 Righter Avenue, Denville, NJ. Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, February 24th at 11 am at the Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Restland Memorial Park, East Hanover. Donations are being accepted to Rainbow Lakes Volunteer Fire Department, 1 Rainbow Trail, Denville, New Jersey 07834 or Rainbow Lakes Community Club, P. O. Box 277, Denville, New Jersey 07834 in Barbara’s memory. Please leave a condolence and special memory for her family.