Barbara DeFries

Barbara DeFries

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Barbara DeFries received her angel wings on November 14, 2019. Her final days were spent surrounded by family and friends at her home in Sheridan, Wy. Visitation will be 5-7pm Thursday, Nov. 21st at Kane Funeral Home. Barbara’s funeral Mass will be Friday, Nov. 22nd at 10:30am at Holy Name Church with Father Glenn Whewell and Father Clark Lenz as Celebrants. All are welcome to attend a luncheon to celebrate Barbara’s life at the Powder Horn Clubhouse following Mass around 12pm.She was preceded in death by her parents Barbara and Matthias Strahl, brothers Joseph and Frank Strahl, and survived by her loving husband, Bob, her sister Erika and proud mother of her son Erin and three granddaughters Maya and twins Aislin and Talia; son Rick and his family. Devoted Aunt of many nieces and nephews.Our Dear Barbara’s journey of life began near the end of World War II. Her parents Matthias and Barbara Strahl were driven from their home in the town of Gakowa Yugoslavia, by the Serbs and Russians because they were ethnic Germans. Separated from Matthias, Barbara’s mother escaped with her son Frank-3 and daughter Erika-6 mos, while pregnant with Barbara in an open train car with other women and children. Between the frequent bombings along the way coupled with little food or milk for the children (many of whom did not survive), they managed to reach safety in Austria where American soldiers were present. The family was then reunited with Matthias, who also escaped a war camp, and they settled in Adnet, Austria, where Barbara was born on September 8, 1945. The family settled in an upstairs apartment of an Inn in Adnet, Austria where American soldiers frequented and provided necessary essentials to the family. After two years in Austria, the family emigrated from Austria to Germany, applying for immigration to the United States. After a five year wait, the immigration papers were approved. Matthias and Barbara with their children Frank-10, Erika-7 and Barbara-6 successfully made the perilous voyage aboard the General C H Muir ship, arriving in America in March 1952. After being processed at Ellis Island, they traveled by train to their sponsor in Michigan, staying for three months, before settling in sweet home Chicago. Thus began the rest of Barbara’s incredible life.Barb was accomplished in so many areas, sewing, carpentry, a master gardener and an excellent cook. Renowned for her cooking and baking skills, preparing many a meal for family, friends and loved ones and sitting back to enjoy a Turner Classic Movie. She designed and oversaw the construction of two family homes in Sheridan and their log cabin on Crane Lake. Many a trip to the family cabin in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters. She was known to sing the “walleye song” in an effort to fill our limit of fish.Her entrepreneurial spirit was always evident. Her own artistry talent and love of fine art led to the opening of the Foothills Art Gallery & Framing business in Sheridan, Wy. She owned and operated Foothills Gallery for 16 years in Sheridan, selling it in 2004. Now retired, it afforded Barbara more time to care for her parents. She leaves us rich in memories. Memorial contributions may be made to Holy Name Catholic Church, 9 S. Connor St., Sheridan, WY 82801. Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with local arrangements.

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