Barbara Jean Zahn, 67, of Cambridge, Minn., passed away peacefully Tuesday, March 19, 2019, after a five-month illness and a short stay at Allina Health
Hospice in Brooklyn Park, Minn.
Barb was born on May 29, 1951, in Ladysmith, Wis., to Edwin and Carol (Knutson) Zahn of rural Exeland, Wis. She attended North Star Country School, Exeland
Grade School and graduated in the top 10 of her class from Bruce High School in 1969. She attended UW-Superior, finishing her degree and graduating from UW-Eau Claire in 1973 with a bachelor's degree in special education.
She grew up at her family-owned Zahn's Riverview Resort on the Chippewa River where she and her older sister, Carolyn, made up "work" songs as they cleaned cabins in preparation for the next occupants. She enjoyed fun times with the Walter Gerber kids, Luther League activities with friends and looking forward to summers when the Hamilton family and friends would visit from Indiana to pull taffy, squish lightening bugs on their faces and play Nutsy!
Barb taught special education in the Cambridge-Isanti School District, retiring in 2009 after 36 years of dedicated service. She started out at the state hospital, with the CADRE center program, moving to Cambridge Elementary and High School mainstream programs and then to METO.
Barb, along with her CADRE teacher friends, was a pioneer in developing curricula for progress when none had yet been established for those very challenging kids. She had a positive influence on many, along with a great sense of humor.
She loved life and all the good things it represented: faith in God, her family, her many friends (numbered like the stars with her closest being like constellations shining brightly around her), traveling, taking pictures of flowers, kids and nature, gatherings with family and friends and, of course, the Packers.
Barb is survived by her BFF, Karen Nielsen of Ladysmith, Wis.; her brother, Bob (Laurie) of Champlin, Minn., and her sisters, Carolyn Erickson of Ladysmith, Wis., Dr. Arleen Zahn-Houser (James Houser) of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Donna Weber of Ladysmith, Wis. She is further survived by nieces and nephews, Melissa, David and Nicole Weber, Emily (Ryan) Boylen, Leslie Zahn, Amy (Sean) Roberts, Scott, Brooke and Brent Houser; and her grand-niece and nephew, Louella and Atticus Boylen.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her paternal grandparents, Otto and Lydia (Bileau) Zahn; her maternal grandparents, Albert and Bertha (Clausen) Knutson; and her brothers-in-law, Ronald Erickson and Bernard "Ben" Weber.
A memorial service will be held on July 20, 2019, Nathaniel Lutheran Church, in Bruce, Wis., followed by a celebration of Barb's life at Zahn's Riverview. The Cremation Society of Minnesota is assisting the family.
Memorial gifts will be donated to Cambridge-Isanti Special Olympics in Barb's name.