Barbara Anne Phelps, 93, of Longview, Washington, passed away on March 14th, 2023, at home with family.
Barbara was born on October 24th, 1929, to Anne Stensrude in Portland, Ore. Barbara was first born American from Norway and was very proud of her Norwegian heritage. Barbara’s grandfather Ole Stensrude taught her father, Albert Newkirk, the stone masonry trade; her grandfather and father were also skillful carpenters. This developed a lifelong love of collecting rocks and remodeling homes. Barbara renovated each of her homes, creating the floor plans and doing all the finishing work herself. Her father was able to help with the beautiful rock work finish on Roy and Barbara’s final home.
As a child, Barbara cared for her younger sister and brother and did many household chores; she was a great help to her mom. She was responsible and industrious and earned her own money picking berries. Barbara was a hard worker, and with the many responsibilities she had as a child, she became a great mother and homemaker.
Barbara loved the Lord and dedicated her life to him at a very young age at Vacation Bible School. Barbara was a member of Beacon Hill Baptist Church, where she taught Sunday school, organized vacation bible school and was a member of the Women’s Auxiliary. Barbara helped build and then remodel the church and faithfully drove a station wagon full of kids to Sunday school & Bible school. However, the most meaningful work to Barbara was when she taught her Japanese neighbor to speak and read English, took her to church, helped her pass her driving test, and led her to the Lord. Barbara was a woman whose character of faith, honesty, and love shone brightly in all aspects of her life. Barbara was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and aunt. She was devoted to her husband Roy of sixty two years. She dedicated her life to her family and faith.
Barbara met Roy in 1947 after her high school graduation. Roy and Barbara married in 1948 and moved to their first home on Beacon Hill in Longview, Washington, while Roy worked for Weyerhaeuser. Daughter Dyan was born in 1949. When Weyerhaeuser went on strike, Roy and Barbara returned to the coast to live near Roy’s family for a while. Roy worked with his brothers in the timber industry. Daughter Karen was born during this time in 1951. The family moved to the Kelso area, purchasing property on Ostrander Road where they enjoyed rural farm life. Daughter Cheryl was born in 1957. Barbara and her family returned to Beacon Hill in 1962, living two houses down from their original Beacon Hill home. In 1965 Barbara went to Longview Business College, she earned her secretarial and accounting certificates. After that, she worked for Welsh Paneling and then Weyerhaeuser.
Barbara loved sewing, gardening, camping, traveling, flowers, and baking. She made the most delicious jelly rolls, cakes, cookies, donuts, candy, cinnamon rolls, and pies. Her daughters remember these treats fondly, as well as the beautiful clothes and doll clothes she would sew for them. In her forties, Barbara became very health conscious, and no more sugar meant no more baking. However, her family will always cherish the memory of her baked goods.
Barbara retired in 1984, starting the best years of her life traveling with her husband. They traveled to the Arizona desert for 20 years, where they enjoyed hiking, being with friends, and working at the Christian Center. They traveled through most of the United States, visiting National Parks and Historical landmarks. Her favorite state to visit was Alaska, where they made two trips. Barbara’s goal was to visit every National Park, and they almost made it. Unfortunately, Barbara lost her beloved Roy in 2010.
Her three daughters survive Barbara; Dyan McKinnis (Mike), Karen Stange (Mark), and Cheryl Phelps: Grandchildren; Todd Stange, Jason McKinnis (Jill), Mike Stange (Teresa), Molly Verduzco (Sal), Chris Bryant, Carrie Granados (Fred), Jeffery Roy Stange, Jaimaka Dawes (Chris), Jarid Roy Phelps (Cheyanne): Great Grandchildren; Ashley Roose (Matt), Zach Arthur (Mikayla), Jordan Flynn, Zach Flynn (Stephanie), Elijah Bryant, Dylan Stange, Allegra Bryant, Conner Stange (Ellie), Malachi Bryant (Taylor), Kyler Granados, Jillianne Dawes, Carli Williams, Gabriel Bryant, McKale Granados, Brayden Dawes, Gavin Hahn, Hunter Williams, Serafina McKinnis: Great Great Grandchildren; McKenna Handley, Presley Stange, Revyn Roy Phelps, Deekan Arthur, Hayden Stange, Grady Flynn, Anya Phelps, and Jude Roose.