Peaceful 06

Barbara Ann Biers Portman

December 13, 1938 ~ May 24, 2021 (age 82)


Barbara Ann Biers Portman of Destin, Florida, passed away in her home on Monday, May 24, 2021, with her husband, daughters, and sons-in-law by her side. 

Barbara was born on December 13, 1938, in Somerset, Kentucky, to Herbert and Nellie Biers. She spent her childhood in Somerset before attending Georgetown College where she met and married her husband of 64 years, Robert “Bob” Portman. Barbara and Bob made Hendersonville, Tennessee, their home raising their two daughters, Marcia and Melinda. After their daughters were a bit older, Barbara returned to college and earned a degree in Elementary Education from Belmont University and began a 20 year career at Wessington Place Elementary School.

Barbara and Bob built their dream home on Old Hickory Lake in Gallatin, Tennessee, where they enjoyed many years before relocating to Knoxville to be closer to their daughter, Melinda. After 17 years in Knoxville, Barbara and Bob moved once more--this time to Destin, Florida--where they lived just around the corner from their daughter, Marcia.

In addition to being a well-loved, intelligent, respected, and dedicated educator, Barbara was most known for her grace, kindness, and devotion to her family. She will forever be remembered as a person who was incredibly loving, thoughtful, selfless, and tender-hearted.

Throughout her life, Barbara enjoyed traveling—together, she and Bob visited all 50 states at least once and saw much of the country from their camper. As an avid University of Kentucky fan, she also enjoyed traveling the country with the Big Blue Nation to watch the Wildcats play. Barbara was an active member of her church and loved singing in the church choir. She was an excellent seamstress, quilter, and artist. Barbara loved animals of all kinds, but was especially fond of dogs, rabbits, and birds. She always decorated her home impeccably for each season and loved hosting events to celebrate holidays, birthdays, or any reason to congregate with family and friends. Barbara’s grandchildren were the joy of her later years. Lindsay, Carleton, Cory, and Bo adored and revered their grandmother as much as she did them. 

Barbara is survived by her loving and devoted husband, Bob; daughters Marcia Thompson (Jim) and Melinda King (Tom); grandchildren Lindsay Ross (John), Carleton Haack (Mallory), Cory Cook (Kinsey), and Bo Cook (Morgan); great grandchildren John Ross and Charlotte Ross; sister Bonnie Mathis (Larry); nieces Pam Quinn, Jodi Tillotson (Rodney), and Candi Whitmer (Blaine); nephew Alan Mathis.  

Barbara is preceded in death and welcomed home by her father and mother, Herbert and Nellie Biers. 

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made “In Honor of Barbara Portman” to The Alzheimer’s Association ( or Shriners Hospitals For Children ( 



Graveside Service
May 27, 2021

1:00 PM
Destin Memorial Cemetery
111 Stahlman Avenue
Destin, FL 32541

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