Barbara graduated to eternity, surrounded by her family, after a short battle with cancer.
Barbara was born to Frederick and Marguerite (Ruhnke) Damm of St. Joseph, Missouri, on December 23, 1945. After a childhood in Quincy, IL, career opportunities drew the Damm family to Marion, Iowa where Barbara attended Linn-Mar High School. She graduated in 1963. She then attended Iowa State University, majoring in Music and minoring in German. While at Iowa State, she met her husband, Marvin C. Van Haaften. They were married on December 26, 1970, and shortly after his graduation in 1971, they returned to the Van Haaften family farm in Oskaloosa, IA.
During her lifetime, Barbara willingly offered her time and talents to friends, family, and community.
She was a talented seamstress and tailor and offered alteration services for The Brass Buckle and The Village Cleaners in Oskaloosa. She later turned these talents toward quilting, which she enjoyed immensely. Barbara will also be remembered for her 20 years of service to Ameriprise Financial Services in Oskaloosa, where she worked as Executive Secretary until August of 2019.
She was an avid musician and a talented organist, and played regularly from her college years at Iowa State until August of 2019. She dedicated hours to selecting coordinated music for a single worship service, and spent much time in practice and personal reflection on her duties as organist. In short, she dedicated her life to the worship of God through music. Because of her God-given passion for music, she freely gave of her time to encourage and nurture many young musicians.
Barbara was always very involved with her faith family and made her family church home with Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oskaloosa. She is beloved of her church family and will be greatly remembered for all her contributions.
She is survived by her husband of 48 years, Marvin C. Van Haaften; by her son, Brian (and Patricia) Van Haaften of Oskaloosa; Daughter Martha (and Glen) Davis of Foristell, Missouri; Daughter Rebecca (and William) Fleming of Melcher, Iowa; Brother Frederick (and Helen) Damm of Phoenix, Arizona.
She was also blessed with three grandchildren, Becca Davis, Rachel Fleming, and Sarah Fleming.
Barbara is preceded in death by her parents, Frederick and Marguerite (Ruhnke) Damm, of St. Joseph, Missouri.
Barbara, in her grace, opted for cremation, and her final wishes were for her family and friends to contemplate and reflect on her life prayerfully without tears of sorrow, but with the realization of joy and the peace of God found only in her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She has truly come Home. A Memorial and Celebration of Life Service is being planned for 9:00 am, November 17th, 2019, at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1716 9th Ave E, Oskaloosa, IA 52577.
Memorial donations may be made to the church at this address.
Published on October 1, 2019