Deedra Ann Barber


Posted: Tuesday, July 18, 2006


  Deedra Ann Barber

Deedra Ann Barber

Former Alaska resident Deedra Ann Barber died Tuesday, July 11, 2006. She was 60.

A memorial service was held Monday, July 17, at First United Methodist Church in Polson, Mont.

Mrs. Barber was born Aug. 1, 1945, in Portsmouth, Va., to Warren and Adelaide Bilben. She grew up in Mankato, Laporte, Hollandale and International Falls, Minn.

After graduating from Falls High School in 1963, Mrs. Barber attended one semester of college at Mankato State College in and took two years of nursing training in Virginia, Minn., leading to her profession as a licensed practical nurse. In 1967 she sold her car and flew to Alaska. She was hired first by Alaska Native Health for the winter and then worked at Alaska Psychiatric Institute in Anchorage. While working at Alaska Native Health, she spent a lot of time in remote villages.

In Alaska, she met and later married Bill Boswell. They had three sons, Eric, Beowulf and Will. Through her life, she worked as a nurse and lived in North Carolina, Minnesota, Montana and Ontario, Canada.

In 1976, the family settled in Plentywood, Mont. While there, Dee and Bill divorced. A couple of years later she met, and on Nov. 29, 1986, married a United Methodist minister named Russ Barber. To her family was added Mr. Barber’s three children: Tasha, Holly and Paul. The family lived in Choteau, Mont., and Worland, Wyo., before moving to Polson, where she spent the rest of her life.

Mrs. Barber’s hobbies included gardening, listening to music, oil painting, reading, nature and photography.

“Her greatest love was for her family and friends. Dee has taught us all so many lessons; to enjoy the small and simple things in life, that sometimes the small gestures mean the most, to care and help others, and always enjoy life,” her family said.

Mrs. Barber is survived by her husband, Russ, of Polson; children, Eric Boswell (Alicia Bradshaw) of Bozeman, Mont., Tasha (Clint) Brockmier of Billings, Mont., Beowulf (Julie) Boswell of Crystal, Minn., Holly (Eric) Simonson of Plentywood, Will Boswell, currently serving in the U.S. Army in the Philippines, and Paul (Annie) Barber of Missoula, Mont.; grandchildren, Amie and Noah Brockmier, Carter, Jacob and Nolan Boswell, Marshall, Dakota and Kia Simonson, and Garrett and Franchesca Barber; parents, Warren and Adelaide Bilben of International Falls; brothers, Steve “Butch” (Renae) Bilben of Kasilof, Hans (Jeanne) Bilben of Anchor Point and Ted (Joanne) Bilben of International Falls.; sister, Jill (Doug) Chapman of Soldotna; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Mission Valley Aquatics or to the charity of the donor’s choice. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.grogan

Arrangements were made by Grogan Funeral Home and Crematory in Polson.

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