A lifelong traveler, Barbara Herlong visited every continent

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 | 7:04 p.m. CDT; updated 10:47 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2014

COLUMBIA — During her life, Barbara Herlong traveled to all seven continents and almost every state in the United States. But, wherever she was going, one of her favorite parts of any trip was the planning that went into it.

"She was always extremely well prepared on a trip," her daughter Joy Boan said. "She enjoyed the planning as much as she enjoyed going."

Barbara Morton Herlong of Columbia died Tuesday, July 8, 2014. She was 79.

She was born Feb. 16, 1935, in Warren, R.I. She married William P. Herlong on July 5, 1959.

When Mrs. Herlong met her husband, she hadn't been anywhere, Boan said.

"When she met my dad, she always wanted to travel and go places," Boan said. "So we did. She got to almost all 50 states and all seven continents."

On these voyages, Mrs. Herlong rode in a hot air balloon over Kenya, viewed the Northern Lights in Alaska and saw polar bears in the Arctic.

"She always tried to do things normal tourists wouldn’t do," Boan said.

Mrs. Herlong often took her children and grandchildren with her on her travels, Boan said. When her grandson was enraptured with the movie "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York," Mrs. Herlong took him to New York City to visit all of the locations featured in the movie. They stayed at the Plaza Hotel, went to Central Park and saw a Broadway show.

At home in Columbia, Mrs. Herlong worked at AAA and was an ever-popular leader for her daughter's Girl Scout troop.

"She knew nothing about camping," Boan said. "That was not her thing at all. (But) they needed a leader, so she read all the manuals and went to the training. It was nothing she had any background for."

Mrs. Herlong was also active in the community in many other ways, Boan said. She was a Sunday school teacher for many years. And she was a playground teacher at Parkade Elementary School in Columbia. Her job was to watch the kids during recess, but she often went extra lengths to take care of the kids under her watch, Boan said.

"If a child needed a coat, she’d find their address and leave a coat on their doorstep, so that child could have a coat," Boan said. "She would go out and buy one, and wrap it up like it was a present and leave it on their doorstep."

In all that she did, though, Mrs. Herlong left an impression, Boan said. 

"She had to go to the hospital a few years ago, and one of the nurses said, 'Oh, Mrs. Herlong, you probably don’t remember me, but you were my Girl Scout leader,'" Boan said. "Even as an adult, people remembered her."

Mrs. Herlong is survived by her daughters, Joy Boan and her husband, Kelly, of Overland Park, Kan., and Jill McCallie and her husband, Jay, of Fulton; a sister, Margaret Moody of Texas; and three grandchildren, Bradley Boan, Kyle Boan and David Boan, all of Kansas.

Her husband, William Herlong, died earlier.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Community United Methodist Church, 3301 W. Broadway.

Memorial contributions can be made to Community United Methodist Church, 3301 W. Broadway, Columbia, MO 65203, or to Columbia Second Chance Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 10186, Columbia, MO 65205.

Condolences can be posted at

Supervising editor is Edward Hart.

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