Helen Barber of Rapid City, formerly of Long Valley, S.D., died on Friday, August 3, 2018, at the Hospice of the Hills in Rapid City at the age of 84.
Helen Lorraine Barber was born June 4, 1934, on the island of Akutan, in the territory of Alaska. During the bombing of Dutch Harbor in 1942 the people of Akutan were forced to take shelter in the hills. They were then relocated to Ketchikan, Alaska where she was raised by her mother Vera and stepfather Earl Gilbert.
In 1953 she met Stanley Barber who was stationed in Ketchikan with the United States Coast Guard. On September 24th, 1954 she married Stanley Barber and subsequently moved to the Barber family ranch near Long Valley, in 1955.
Helen was a loving giving mother, who along with Stanley raised six children on the ranch. She loved gardening and tending to her flower beds. She still found time to become an expert seamstress, baker and cook. Other things she enjoyed were painting and helping her children with their 4-H projects. Living on the ranch, Helen developed a love for cats after rescuing two strays cat that showed up on the deck at Christmas time one year. Helen was a woman who dedicated her life to helping her family and animals in need of shelter.
She is survived by her husband Stanley, six children: David Barber (Rapid City), Teresa and Gary Hicks (Rapid City), Joan Barber (Sioux Falls), Danny and Lesa Barber (Black Hawk), Pat and Shannon Gartner (Interior), Amy and Bill Chapman (Black Hawk); eight grandchildren: Will, Emmy, Lacey, John, James, Sonnie, Brett and Austin; eight great-grandchildren; two sisters, Judy Wright-Hoyt and her husband Herb, Alaska, Geri Gilbert (Alaska), and one brother, John Gilbert and his wife Audrey of Alaska.
Helen was preceded in death by her mother Vera, stepfather Earl, and a younger brother.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, August 17, at 11:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Kadoka with Father Tyler Dennis officiating.
Interment will immediately follow at the Kadoka Cemetery.
Arrangements are with Rush Funeral Home of Kadoka.