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In Memory of Barbara Geving

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Funeral Services

Private graveside services were held at Willow River Cemetery of Hudson

Barbara Geving, 88, died peacefully in her sleep surrounded by her loving family on February 9, 2017 at Boutwells Landing in Oak Park Heights, MN.

Barbara was born October 12, 1928, in Fairfield, Iowa to Thomas and Norene Staves.  She graduated from Fairfield High School and attended Parsons College where she was homecoming queen in 1948.  In 1951 Barbara graduated from the University of Iowa with degrees in English (creative writing) and music.  She later attended graduate school at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Barbara used her gift of writing to teach English in several school districts in Iowa. She had an appreciation for poetry and beautifully written prose. 

On August 2, 1953, Barbara married Robert Geving.  They later divorced in 1959.  Barbara was a devoted single parent to her only child, Frances.

In 1966 while traveling through Washington, D.C., Barbara became captivated by the cultural and musical opportunities that the capital city offered.  She and her young daughter moved there from Des Moines and Barbara began a 20 year career with the U.S. Treasury Department. She moved from Washington to Bemidji, MN in 1998 to be with her daughter.

Barbara had a passion for music and played the piano many Thursday mornings at the hospital in Bemidji. Even well into her 80s she played her grand piano at home for many hours each day.  She passed on her great love of music to her daughter and they joyfully played music together for decades.  One of Barbara’s favorite pieces was Dvorak’s “Songs My Mother Taught Me” and she performed this with her daughter playing cello in a recital.  The Pioneer did a full-page feature story on Barbara and her daughter titled “Mom, daughter provide peace in distinct ways”.  Barbara would always go to the piano when things were amiss in the world and she would find peace.  She faithfully attended concerts at BSU and she also sat in on music and art classes for many years.  She particularly appreciated Dr. Kyle Crocker and Dr. Patrick Riley.

When she moved to Rochester, MN in 2015 she discovered the 7 grand pianos on the Mayo Clinic campus and played there every week.  Patients and staff were touched by her lovely music and Barbara developed quite a following. 

Barbara is survived by her daughter, Frances Van Dorn of Bemidji, granddaughters Laura Van Dorn of Tucson, AZ and Leah Van Dorn of Hudson, WI, and brother Harold (Nancy) Staves of Tucson, AZ.  Barbara was preceded in death by her sister, Eleanor, and her brother, Gregory.

Graveside Services will be in Willow River Cemetery in Hudson, WI.  

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