Barbara J. Root of Kimball died Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, near Litchfield in an automobile accident.
Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, at Ostmark Lutheran Church near Watkins with Pastor Joe Midthun officiating. A private family burial will take place at Redeemer Lutheran Cemetery. Friends may call from 4-8 p.m. Friday at Dingmann Funeral Care Chapel in Kimball. A prayer service will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at the funeral chapel.
Barbara Jean Root was born to Wayne Viktor and Mayme Louise (Johnson) Laitinen Oct. 21, 1951, in Litchfield. She was baptized by Rev. Claire Jennings and confirmed by Rev. Arthur Edstrom at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Kingston. Barb attended elementary school at the Pleasant Grove Rural School and graduated from Kimball High School in 1969. Barbara attended Association Free Lutheran Bible College for two years and then pursued her Piano Performance and Music degrees at Concordia College in Moorhead and at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. During a night of Christmas caroling in the streets of Kingston in 1974, she got re-acquainted with Ned Root; they were married a year later Dec. 13, 1975, at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dassel.
Music and her family were Barb’s life. She was the organist at First Methodist of Mason City, Iowa, Redeemer Lutheran of Kingston, and most recently at Zion United Methodist Church of South Haven. Barbara also was a substitute organist for many churches throughout the area. Barbara taught her love of music through piano lessons for nearly 40 years; she passed this passion to more than 1,000 children and adults.
Barbara is survived by her husband Ned of Kimball; three sons Christopher (and Maggie Hake) Root of Philadelphia, Penn., Stephen (and Sydney Tolchinsky) Root of Flagstaff, Ariz., and Daniel (and Rachel Rosha) Root of St. Paul; brother Tom (and Helen) Laitinen of Decorah, Iowa; sister Iva Gunnerson of Remer; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and piano students. She is preceded in death by her parents; son Nathan in 1981; and brother-in-law Colin Gunnerson in 2010.
Pallbearers for the service will be Mark, Lane, Gayle and Chad Gunnerson, Annette and Janelle Laitinen, and Mary Keelan. Music for the service will be provided by Judy Zylstra, Dana Schauer-Koehn, the Rainbow Singers, and piano students of Barbara’s. Arrangements are entrusted with Dingmann Funeral Care Burial & Cremation Services of Kimball.
Blessed be Barbara’s memory.