Obituary: Barbara A. Paugh

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Posted at 1:04 PM, May 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-13 15:04:01-04

Barbara Ann (Artus) Paugh passed away on May 4, 2024, at Highgate Senior Living in Bozeman, MT. Barbara was born on May 27, 1927, to George and Henrietta Artus in Chicago, IL. She grew up in Park Ridge and Downers Grove, IL. She attended Iowa State University to study Home Economics and Child Development. She was a member of the Kappa Delta Sorority. She met her future husband, Bob, an Air Force veteran from Bozeman, who was studying Dairy Science, and had a job as a waiter at the sorority. Before and during a break from college, Barbara worked for Illinois Bell as a switchboard operator and at an advertising agency in Chicago to raise money to continue her studies. When Bob graduated from college, they married in Downers Grove, IL on December 18, 1949, and moved to Boulder and then Denver, Colorado. Barb worked at Mountain Bell Phone Company in Aurora during this time.

In March, 1952, they moved to the Paugh family farm in the Gallatin valley in Montana and lived in the farmhouse where Bob had been raised. They made their life together on the farm for the next twenty-eight years. They then built a new home on the farm property and lived there until 2005. After downsizing and spending six years living in a condo in Bozeman, Bob and Barbara moved into Highgate Senior Living in 2011.

Bob and Barbara’s daughter, Jeanie was born just two weeks after they moved to Bozeman, and they went on to have three more children, Dorie, Bill and Peggy, in the next five years. Barbara was a dedicated homemaker. Having grown up in suburban Chicago, she had to adjust to the rural and farming life. Barbara raised chickens and sold eggs on a delivery schedule to several families in Bozeman, she raised vegetables in a big garden and canned and froze in preparation for long winters. She supported and worked hard alongside Bob in the day-to-day operations of the farm/ranch. She was known for making delicious crabapple jelly as well as keeping a well-stocked cookie jar. She participated in several bake-offs at the Annual winter fair and was proud of the first-place ribbon for her peanut brittle. Baking Christmas cookies and making candy was an important tradition. She was a patient teacher, ensuring that her children also learned these life skills. In her later years, Barb was known for her beautiful flower gardens and the raspberry patch in the backyard, which her grandchildren particularly enjoyed.

Barbara was an active volunteer in the community; she served as PTA president, was a 4-H leader, the Mother Advisor for Rainbow Girls, and taught Sunday School. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and served as Worthy Matron, was a member of the Daughters of the Nile, PEO, the KD Alumni organization, and served with the Winter Fair Board in the Foods Division. She was also a member of Country Home Extension Homemakers Club.

After her children had grown, she and Bob enjoyed travels around the U.S. to see their children and life-long friends in a variety of locations, including Alaska, Oregon, Hawaii, Iowa, and Minnesota. They also enjoyed a memorable trip to Australia and New Zealand. Barb and Bob especially enjoyed many long drives in and around the Gallatin Valley and across Montana. She became a proud and loyal Montanan and loved this precious place she called home.

Most of all, Barb and Bob loved their family, and Barb was filled with pride and joy watching all her children and then grandchildren and great grandchildren grow and succeed. She also was filled with joy to be with the extended family who resided within a few miles of the family farm. Gathering with the extended family, including with her eleven Paugh nieces and nephews, for holidays and birthdays was a cherished tradition.

During the thirteen years that she lived at Highgate, Barb was a member of the Resident Council and participated in and enjoyed the activities provided every day. She was grateful for the care of the staff and the friendship of the residents through the years.

Barb was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Robert Paugh; her parents, George and Henrietta Artus; her sister, Betty Zick; her daughter, Jean Paugh Bodle; and sisters-in- law and brothers-in-law.

She is survived by her children, Dorie (Dan) Heimbigner of Bozeman; Bill (Pam) Paugh of Nampa, ID; Peggy (Steve) Paugh Leuzinger of Livingston; eight grandchildren, Amy (Casey) Bruce and their daughters, Ryleigh and Daisy, of Spokane, WA; Barry (Jenna) Bodle and their children, Bear, Juniper and Colter of Stevensville, MT; Chris (Charla) Bodle and their daughters, Lillian and Noelle of Fairbanks, AK; Luke Heimbigner, of El Cerrito, CA; Casey Paugh, of Eugene, OR; Barbara (Josh) Bodle Peterson and their children, Corbin and Elaina of Stevensville, MT; Trevor Leuzinger of Santa Fe, NM; and Ethan Leuzinger of Livingston, MT. She is also survived by son-in- law, Will Bodle of Victor, MT; one sister-in-law and eleven nieces and nephews and their families.

A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, May 25, 2024, at Hope Lutheran Church, 2152 Graf Street in Bozeman at 11:00 am. A lunch reception will be held following the service.

Memorials may be made to the Gallatin History Museum, 317 W. Main Street, Bozeman, MT 59715, or to a charity of one’s choice.

The family wishes to extend heartfelt gratitude to the staff of Highgate for their loving care for Barbara during these recent years.