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Barbara Ann Menke

Kossuth County Advance - Staff Photo - Create Article


June 18, 1941 - August 7, 2023


A funeral Mass for Barbara A. Menke, 82, of Bancroft, will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 21, at Divine Mercy Parish – St. John’s Catholic Church in Bancroft. Burial will take place at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in Bancroft. Visitation will be held 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 20, at Oakcrest Funeral Services in Bancroft. A rosary will be recited at 1 p.m. and there will be a scripture prayer service at 3:30 p.m.

Barbara Ann (DeGeeter) Menke was born on June 18, 1941, in Bancroft, the second child of Screal and Victoria (Goche) DeGeeter. She grew up on the family farm just south of town and attended St. John’s Catholic School, graduating in 1959. Barb went on to complete a one-year business school program in Mankato, Minn. Shortly after that, she met the love of her life while attending a Sadie Hawkins dance. On May 11, 1963, Barb married Harold Menke and lived with him and their six children in Bancroft. She experienced wedded bliss with him for 50 years.

Barb’s Catholic faith and prayer life guided her daily in all that she did. She was very active at St. John’s Church by singing in the choir, ministering the Eucharist, and being a part of the Altar Society. Barb loved playing cards and games with friends and family, golfing, gardening, sewing, quilting and spending time with family. She found happiness in attending all of her kids’ activities, including baseball. Barb was a huge fan of the Minnesota Twins. She was known for her scotcheroos and made sure she always had them at the house when family came to visit. In addition to her primary job of homemaker, Barb also worked as an eye doctor and chiropractor’s assistant, as well as librarian and daycare worker for local children.

Barb died at home in Bancroft on Aug. 7, 2023. She is survived by five children, eight grandchildren, two great-grandsons, and one great-granddaughter due in Oct. of 2023. Family includes: Anita (Kevin) Osweiler of Kearney, Mo. and their children Adam (Melissa) of Fayetteville, Ark. and Allison of Iowa City; Eileen (Gregg) Elsbecker of Bancroft; Mark (Glenda Kelm) Menke of Madison Lake, Minn. and their son Aaron (Lindsay) Mende and their children Levi and Austin of LeSueur, Minn.; Dean (Ann) Menke of Algona and their children Grace and Halle of Cedar Rapids and Gavin and Gibson of Algona; and Erica (Mike) Eikren of Ankeny  and their daughter Annabelle.

Barbara is also survived by three sisters: Rita Torkelson of Sioux Falls, S.D., Susan (Sal) Rios of Aurora, Ill., and Ruth Irwin of Broomfield, Colo.; two brothers: Melvin (Per) DeGeeter of Richmond, Texas and Joe (Patricia) DeGeeter of Bancroft; four sisters-in-law: Joyce Hatten of Bancroft, Lynn (Roman) Lynch of Ames, Shirley (Denny) McCarthy of Bancroft and Mary Menke of Ledyard; one brother-in-law Billy (Barbara J.) Menke of Bancroft; as well as many beloved nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her husband Harold, her son Paul, and her parents Screal and Victoria.

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