Barbara Jean Visser, 80, of Billings, Mont., passed away Oct. 13, 2015, surrounded by her family that loved her so.
Barbara was born in Corpus Christi, Texas on July 18, 1935, to Boyd and Lorraine Hawkins. She graduated in 1953 from Roy Miller High School in Texas. Barbara’s father told her not to go to the Navy Ball because she might meet a Navy guy and he would steal her away. And that is exactly what happened.
She met the love of her life, James P. Visser and they married on Sept. 25, 1954. They then moved to Rapelje, Mont., to the Visser ranch to start their family. Their first son, James Randall, came in 1955, followed by Teresa Ann, Michael Patrick and Denise Lynn. Barb was a stay at home mom and wife and drove school bus and worked in the kitchen for Rapelje High school for 17 years.
After retiring, Barbara and Jim spent over 30 years enjoying their winters in Arizona with all of their friends, along with traveling to Alaska, Australia, Hawaii, Washington D.C.
In 2011, Barbara suffered a major stroke that stopped her body, but not her spirit. She made the best of it and always enjoyed seeing family and friends, going to Guadalajara for her birthday lunches and seeing her grandbabies run around her. She also loved her Grand Marquis Family!
Barbara is preceded in death by her parents, her sons Michael and Jim and niece Roberta.
She is survived by her husband Jim of 61 years, daughters Teresa (Dale) Carpenter, Denise (Bret) Conover, and daughter-in-law DeAnn Visser. Grandchildren Sara ( Justin) Murgel, Brandon Visser, Kendra (Matt) Eaton, Chad (Jill) Conover, Craig (Buffy) Conover, Brooke Conover, Jeff (Katie) Carpenter, Patrick Carpenter and nine great grandchildren.
Barbara’s contagious laugh and beautiful smile will be missed but there is relief in knowing that her outgoing personality is no longer confined to the limits she experienced here on earth.
A celebration of Barbara’s life was held Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, at St. Thomas Church in Billings, Mont. Rosary was recited. Memorial mass at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Riverstone Hospice, P.O. Box 1562 Billings, MT 59103 or a charity of your choice.