Barbara J. (Peterson) Hatcher, a longtime Stewartville, MN resident, was brought home to Heaven on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, where a space filled with many of her favorite things awaited her. Reunited once again with her Grandma MeMe, her parents, Helen and Rodger Peterson, sister, Margaret, and her husband of over 60 years, Ronald. She was greeted in Heaven by the most beautiful music and so many friends of times gone by.
Born in April of 1935 in Tecumseh, NE., she always spoke fondly of her younger years in a State known for "The Good Life". Barbara seemed comfortable with the thought of death. Her parents owned a funeral home and she could see all the love and care her parents provided to families through the years. She had a sense of peace as her life came to an end.
Barbara graduated from Elm Creek High School in 1953 with a class size of twelve and went on to attend Wesleyan University in Lincoln, NE. as a music major. During this time, she met a sailor from a neighboring town of Cozad, NE., returning from his time served on an island in Guam during the Korean Conflict. The sailor, knowing music was so important to Barbara, taught himself to play guitar to sweep her off her feet. This must have worked as Barbara and Ronald Hatcher were married in Elm Creek, NE., in December of 1955. They resided in Lincoln, NE., while Ronald completed his engineering degree at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. The family was and continues to be dedicated Husker football fans. The family apartment was across the street from the State Capitol building and they would spend much time on the Capitol lawn. In later years when Barbara would visit the Capitol, she often talked of the great memories she had of "my kids playing on their front lawn", the Capitol grounds. Barbara had worked at an insurance company across the street from the Capitol. The smiles she had whenever she visited Lincoln, said it all to her kids and grandkids. Lincoln was her favorite city in the world. So many happy memories.
The family, Barbara, Ronald and their three kids relocated to Owego, NY, after Ronald accepted a job with IBM at the Owego, NY, location. Once again, Barbara would create many happy memories with her family. She encouraged and was involved in so many of her kids activities including music lessons, IBM tap dance studio, horseback riding, Brownies and Girl Scouts. She would talk of these times for years to come. When her oldest son was diagnosed with a heart condition and needed surgery, the family, then with 5 kids, relocated to Rochester, MN., home of the Mayo Clinic, for her son to have an operation. The family would stay in the area for all the follow-up care her son would need. The family settled in Stewartville, MN. Barbara continued with her music interests and played piano and organ at a variety of churches and locations in the area. She knew how to play any size organ. She was a member of the American Guild of Organists, Central Nebraska Chapter. Her kids were amazed at how someone not that tall, could reach all the keys and pedals of large church pipe organs! During this time, two more kids were born. Now with seven kids total, the love of music continued to be shared with all of them. It wouldn't be unusual for 4 or 5 types of music to be playing loudly at the same time in the house.
Barbara was known to be a wonderful grandma and great-grandma. She always made her grandkids feel they were special, similar to how her Grandma MeMe had made her feel so special. One of the stories Barbara would share with her family was when Barbara was 4 years old, MeMe would let her take a pretty, little gold purse to church. She loved her Grandma MeMe and the times they had together. Her family is certain, MeMe was greeting her at the doorway to Heaven holding the gold purse and wrapping her arms around her like only a grandma can do. Barbara was the same type of loving grandmother to all her grandkids. Her family will miss her greatly, but they know when it is their time to enter the gates of Heaven, she will be there to wrap her arms around them once again.
Heaven has gained someone able to reach all the keys and pedals of an organ. Oh, what beautiful music and song she will bring with her on her Heavenly journey!
Her family would like to thank all of her caregivers- Dr. John Lust, Dr. Gertz and the Department of Hematology at Mayo Clinic, Mayo Palliative Care, Mayo Hospice, Dr. James Gregoire of the Department of Nephrology at Mayo, Madonna Towers and Madonna Meadows staff, and Barb with Adara Home Health, all in Rochester, MN. Barbara's care team members were God's angels on Earth. May you be blessed with love and peace, as only angels are able to bring such comfort to an individual at the end of life's struggle with cancer.
Barbara is survived by her 7 children- Shari Anderson of Zumbrota, MN; Linda VanSickle of Oronoco, MN; Steve Hatcher of Biloxi, MS; Roger Scott Hatcher, Toni Kay Mangskau (George Romano), Travis Lee Hatcher and Billy Joe Hatcher (Jolene Erickson) all of Rochester, MN; 10 grandchildren- Brandon Anderson, Kristy (Jeff) Vomhof, Nicholas Mangskau, Jason Harley VanSickle, Valerie Jeanne Mangskau, Cody VanSickle, Zachary Ryan Hatcher, Corey Gryzbowski, Nicole "Nikki" Gryzbowski, and Travis Dakota Hatcher; 16 great grandchildren- Gunner, Logan, Kaitlyn, Emily, Ryan, Alyssa, Tyler, Jayce, Justice, Grace Liberty, Faith, Michael, Aarayia, Nigel, Frank and Gianni; 1 brother- Larry (Mattie) Peterson of Fort Walton Beach, FL and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, sister, son-in-law- Bruce Harley VanSickle and a nephew- Greg Hatcher.
A time of visitation will take place from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. followed by a time of remembrance from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 10th, 2021, at Christ United Methodist Church (400 Fifth Avenue S.W.) in Rochester, MN. Burial with her husband- Ronald, will take place at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Preston, MN. on June 11th, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. A private family service will take place in September of 2021 in Gothenburg, NE., for some of her remains to be interned with her parents and sister. The family suggests memorials to PossAbilities of Rochester, MN. or the International Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia Foundation (IWMF). Condolences and memories of Barbara are welcome at www.griffin-gray.com
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