August 6, 1934 - May 19, 2020
Barbara Lee Gilbertson Miller (85) was born on August 6, 1934, in International Falls, MN, to John and Dorothy (Ruelle) Gilbertson. She was the oldest of five children. She graduated from Falls High School with the Class of 1952. Barb met the love of her life, Earl Miller, and on May 14, 1955, they were married at St. Thomas Aquinas Church. They celebrated 65 anniversaries together and showed us all the true meaning of love and commitment. Barb and Earl have four children - Pam, Patty, Wendy, and Jim, who love and adore them so much. She has three sons-in-law, Mark Rooney, Todd Pavleck, Steve Hanson, and daughter-in-law, Adena Borodkin. Barb was a wonderful Mother. When her children were young, she would sing songs to them and make up fun games. She even made washing the floor fun! Barb was a patient, kind, fun, and attentive Mother who spent countless hours sitting at the table with her children, reading them books, drawing pictures, and making them feel loved. She gave them the idea that they could accomplish anything. She instilled a love of art in each of her children - right through to her youngest great-granddaughter. She had a tremendously positive impact on their lives. Barb worked at International State Bank (Bremer Bank) for over 31 years before retiring. During that time, she started the Visions 55 Club, where she planned trips to places like Nashville, Branson, The Black Hills, House on the Rock, and organized many more events for this senior club. Barb loved getting to know the customers on a more personal level. Earl accompanied her on many of the trips. She had fun telling jokes and singing with the groups. She also hosted some of the women’s wellness workshops in town. Barb was a member of the Catholic Daughters at St. Thomas Church. Twice she held the office of treasurer. Barb also helped organize her high school class reunion every five years and loved getting together with her former classmates. She loved people and had so many good friends (with extra special friends Taffy Walls, Phyllis Karsnia, and Maryvonne Jorgenson). She always enjoyed spending time with them. Barb was very creative and had many hobbies. She was a wonderful seamstress and used to make matching dresses for her daughters and even a matching one for herself. She sewed and created costumes for her bowling league and dance club. She made more costumes for Halloween and the 4th of July parades. Her kids all won a lot of prizes with her creative ideas! Barb was an amazing self-taught artist and belonged to the local art club for years. Her children will forever treasure her beautiful watercolor paintings of finely detailed flowers and landscapes. She was a natural photographer too and took many beautiful pictures. Barb loved to bake and was insistent on making everyone a cake for their birthday. Her sweet spirit and easy smile made being around her an absolute joy. Her witty personality always made people laugh. Her sharp memory amazed everyone she was around. Her children and grandchildren loved it when she told stories about her youth. She wrote many of those stories down as a keepsake memoir for her family. Barb was so proud of her ten grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. They loved her so very much. Thank goodness for FaceTime so she could see them during the past few months. She loved her sister Gail Owen, brother-in-law, Bob, and brothers Jack and Ron Gilbertson. She always enjoyed their visits. She appreciated all the times Jack would visit and make her laugh, and all visits and meals that Gail brought over during the past few years. She missed her sister, Maxine so much, but was able to visit with her brother-in-law, Benny Beck over the years. She loved watching Jeopardy and doing crossword puzzles- and she was very good at them. Cribbage and Quiddler were two of her favorite games. She loved playing card games with her family and often got the giggles on game night– sometimes making us laugh until we cried. Barb was a beacon of strength through four major health scares. She faced each with courage and showed us all how to fight for what’s important. It is hard to believe how she was able to keep smiling through it all and never complain. Her husband Earl was always at her side and supported her in extraordinary ways. They were a truly amazing team, and she accepted her challenges with grace and elegance. We greatly admired her strength and fortitude. Her faith, the exceptional love and care from her husband Earl and her children, along with family and friends, helped carry her through some very tough times. What a great example to us all. We also appreciate the loving care, help, and support from the excellent people at Fairview Range and Hospice and caregiving by Lisa Bacon. Barb is survived by her husband Earl Miller, her daughters Pam (Mark) Rooney, Patty (Todd) Pavleck, and Wendy (Steve) Hanson and her son Jim (Adena Borodkin) Miller, sister, Gail (Bob) Owen, and brothers Jack Gilbertson and Ron Gilbertson, ten grandchildren: Lisa (Evan) Kari (Dan), Emma, Logan, Regan, Reid, Elyse, Jillian, Seth and Leah, and five great-grandchildren: Adam, Eric, Emily, Teddy and Evie. She was preceded in death by her parents John and Dorothy Gilbertson, her sister Maxine Beck, her grandparents, aunts and uncles. She lived a truly wonderful life. Memorials are preferred to Fairview Range and Hospice, St Thomas Catholic Daughters or St Thomas Church. A memorial mass service will be held at a later date.
Barbara Lee Gilbertson Miller (85) was born on August 6, 1934, in International Falls, MN, to John and Dorothy (Ruelle) Gilbertson. She was the oldest of five children. She graduated from Falls High School with the Class of 1952. Barb met the... View Obituary & Service Information
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