Barbara Pearl Ogden, 88, of Manchester, Iowa, passed away on Saturday April 16, 2022. She was born on November 14, 1933, to Evelyn Lorraine and DeLoyd Claire Packer, in Amherst, Wisconsin. She was the oldest of eight siblings, spanning an age range of 26 years. Because she was the oldest, and it wouldn’t be until 10 years later when a brother came along, she grew up helping her dad on the farm, milking cows and driving the tractor, as well as learning from her mom how to cook, clean, and take care of others. The work ethic instilled in her as a child carried through her entire life: keeping house; the administrative support/secretarial jobs she held for the Manchester/West Delaware Schools and the former Delaware County Superintendent of Schools under Mr. Potter; keeping the books for Ogden Well Drilling Service; and working in the office of the Good Neighbor Home. Her last job was at Operation New View. Her community involvement included volunteering for the Regional Medical Center Auxiliary in the hospital gift shop and serving on the board for Area Residential Care.
in 1951, Barb graduated from high school in Amherst, Wisconsin, where she was selected as prom queen. In 1959 she moved to Manchester with her three children from her marriage to Leland Slater: Patricia Lynn (Pat or Patti to some), Sharon Kay (Shari), and Jeffrey Leland (Jeff). Back home, her siblings were still growing up and regular trips were made to Wisconsin on many weekends and holidays for nearly 70 years. In 1963, she married Rich Ogden. Rich adopted Patti, Shari, and Jeff. Barb and Rich were avid Iowa Hawkeye fans and had inaugural season basketball tickets at Carver Hawkeye Arena, which they kept for many years.
Barb was very active in church life, as a member for many years at First Lutheran in Manchester where she served on the church council. Later she joined St. John Lutheran in Dundee and continued to participate fully as she learned to do growing up at the Nelsonville Evangelical Lutheran Church; this included faithful attendance at church services, making bars for church events and helping with mission projects, sitting towards the front of the church, and occasionally, giving her input to the pastor.
She enjoyed taking trips with friends, her sister Peggy, and other family members; having a cup of coffee; attending activities of her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews; making cookies, bars and lefse; having another cup of coffee; trying new recipes, and hosting family. There were many Easter weekends where she hosted at least 30-40 people at the house south of town. Thanksgiving was also a big deal, and of course, Christmas Eve, where oysters were always served, even if only a few people took them. She was proud of her Scandinavian heritage and carried it on through family foods and traditions.
Barb had a remarkable sense of humor, with wit and sarcasm. She was sharp with responses and loved to have fun. Some may remember her dressing up for Halloween with one of her best friends and trick-or-treating around Manchester. She also loved trying new crafts and sewing projects. She was very frugal; gas prices were important to her, with the old Pronto usually having the cheapest gas in Manchester.
In 2021, she moved to The Meadows after much contemplation. She didn’t think she would like it, and had decided she wouldn’t, but it wasn’t long before it became her new home. Barb passed away at The Meadows in Manchester on Saturday, April 16, 2022, at the age of 88 years.
Preceding her in death were her parents; her brother, Gary Packer; many aunts and uncles, including Aunt Een (Aileen Alm) and Uncle El (Rev. Eldred Johnson); her grandparents, including Papa Johnson (Elmer Johnson); a nephew, Scott Packer; cousins; and other important family members.
Survivors include her three children and their families, Pat (Tom) Colthurst, Shari (Roger) Cummings, and Jeff (Diane) Ogden, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; her siblings and their families, Evelyn Lee, Richard (Linda) Packer, Peggy Packer, Jean (Terry) Schwirtz, Judy (George) Konkol, and Nancy Packer, and many nieces, nephews, and great nieces and great nephews; an uncle and aunt, Rev. Roger and Karen Johnson; many cousins and their families; and many other extended family members. Of course, memories of Barb live on through her many important and faithful friends.
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