Barbara Ann (Ulwelling) Gilgenbach, 79

Published 10:18 am Saturday, September 21, 2019

Barbara Ann (Ulwelling) Gilgenbach, 79, of Adams, Minnesota, passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, at the Adams Health Care Center.

Barbara Ann (Ulwelling) Gilgenbach, 79

Barbara was born on June 30, 1940, in Osage, Iowa, the oldest child to Bernard and Lillian (Landherr) Ulwelling. She grew up on a farm west of Johnsburg, Minnesota. As a child, she attended Johnsburg Catholic School. During her high school years at Adams High School, she met the love of her life, Kenny (Yogi) Gilgenbach. They dated throughout their junior and senior years of high school and were married on Aug. 23, 1960, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Johnsburg. Barb worked at St. Olaf Hospital for a time and the Pine Room in Adams. They initially settled in Adams and then moved to the family farm outside of Taopi, Minnesota, in 1962.

Barb enjoyed being a farm wife and homemaker. She and Kenny welcomed five children: Jane, Mark, Ronald, Theresa and Karen. Barb helped on the farm as needed and loved maintaining her flower gardens and yard. She always enjoyed cooking, canning vegetables and baking homemade bread and rolls. She was known for her cookies and was often asked to bake for others for holidays and special occasions. Even when diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at a young age, Barb continued to remain as active as possible. She was involved in 4-H as a leader, CCW at Sacred Heart Church, and Farm Bureau, taking part in several commodity baking contests and winning some as well.

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Barb and Kenny loved dancing to polka and country western music. They were regulars for many years with a wonderful group of great friends and neighbors at the Rusty Rail. They were often seen dancing to the stereo in the dining room or living room. Barb and Kenny were married nearly 40 years before Kenny’s death in 2000. Barb continued to maintain her independence with her health and remained on the farm acreage for 10 years before moving to Adams Assisted Living and finally to Adams Health Care Center. During the later years, she continued to work part-time for the Adams Monitor Review. Her favorite day of the week was Thursday as she enjoyed playing cards at the golf course with her friends for Ladies Day. She continued weekly card games after moving to Adams with her friends coming to visit her to continue the games. Barb enjoyed her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and attended many sporting and music events. She loved to keep up with the Minnesota Twins and Vikings.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth; parents, Bernard and Lillian Ulwelling; grandparents; brother, Dennis; and in-laws, Francis and Isabelle Gilgenbach. Barb is survived by her children, Jane (Alan) Steinkamp of Adams, Mark (Kris) Gilgenbach of Rochester, Minnesota, Ronald (Polly) Gilgenbach of Taopi, Theresa (Mark) Christian of Grand Meadow, Minnesota, and Karen (Shawn) Ruechel of Adams; 14 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; brother, Bill (Sandy) Ulwelling of Hampton, Virginia; sister, Sharon (Joe) Gardner of Dexter, Minnesota; and nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with Father Swaminatha Pothireddy officiating. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m., with a rosary at 4 p.m., at the Adams Funeral Home on Monday, Sept. 23, 2019, and will continue from 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the funeral home. Interment will be at Sacred Heart Cemetery.