Barbara Jean Vaneps, age 90, of Grand Rapids, MN passed away peacefully with family and a friend by her side listening to the Old Hymns on Thursday, November 18, 2021, at Pine Haven Care Center in Pine Island, MN.
Barbara was born in 1931 in Los Angeles, CA to Charles and Helen Davies. She attended schools in Glendale, California and junior high and high school in Grand Rapids, MN and graduated from Fairfax High School in Los Angeles, CA in January 1950. She worked for the old Filbert’s Dime Store, Gambles Super Market, Reed Drug Store all of Grand Rapids and Morton Sundour Company of Beverly Hills, CA, Woolsworth Dime Store on Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA prior to going into nursing. She attended St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing in Duluth, MN and graduated in 1954 and became a Registered Nurse. Barbara was united in marriage to Jerry Allen Vaneps on August 21, 1954, and they made their home in Grand Rapids, MN. Barbara worked for Itasca Memorial Hospital in Grand Rapids and the Nazareth Hospital in Mineral Wells, Texas from 1955-1956 while Jerry served in the U.S. Army. They returned to Grand Rapids, MN and Barb went back to work for Itasca Memorial Hospital from 1956 until her retirement in December 1987.
Barb and Jerry wintered in Texas where they enjoyed the warmth and wonderful friendships for 31 years.
She was a member of the First Church of God in Grand Rapids and Palm City Chapel Church of God in McAllen, TX.
She was a member of one of Minnesota’s First Nurse Practitioner Programs from the University of Minnesota in 1973. Barbara was also passionate about her occupation and pushed for having continuing education for nurses in order to improve, help them gain knowledge, and educating those choosing to work in the field of nursing. Barb was a past member of the Minnesota Nurses Association where she served several terms on the state legislative committee, District 10 Nurses Association, and Grand Rapids Sub District where she served as president and legislative committee.
Barbara is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Jerry; brothers, Charles and Harold Davies.
She is survived by sons, Michael (Colleen) of Lady Lake, FL, and Jeffrey (Corrine) of Grand Rapids, MN; daughter, Gail (Larry) Vukov of Rochester, MN; one sister, Elona (Dan) Novak of Greenville, WI; one brother, Alex Hannula of Norfolk, VA; six grandsons, Aaron, Joseph, Samuel, Luke, Seth, and Zachariah; and granddaughter, Katie Jean; twelve great grandchildren and two great grandchildren on the way; and many nieces and nephews.
The family of Barbara Vaneps wishes to extend a special thank you to Pat Hanson of Visiting Angels for being a good friend and companion to her, spending time by her side, and the lots of laughter that was shared at Creek Knoll and in the wonderful care of the staff of Pine Haven Care Center.
Also, The Family requests that you wear red in memory of Barb if you attend the service. During this time of COVID 19, The Vaneps family requests the wearing of face masks at the service. Should you have any symptom of the virus, please refrain from attending and extend a greeting by mail or telephone.
Visitation will be Monday, November 29, 2021, at 1:00 PM at the First Church of God, Grand Rapids, MN followed by the 2:00 PM funeral service. Pastor Dale Steele will officiate. Burial will be at Itasca-Calvary Cemetery, Grand Rapids, MN.
Arrangements are with Rowe Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Grand Rapids, MN. To sign the online guestbook or send condolences visit www.rowefuneralhomeandcrematory.com.