Barbara A. Garrels

Written by Theresa Rose on May 21, 2018

Barbara A. Garrels, 76, of Mt. Pleasant, died Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

A funeral service for Mrs. Garrels will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, May 25, 2018 at the First United Methodist Church, 309 N. Main St., Mt. Pleasant. The Rev. Deborah J. Stowers and Pastor Luann Benge will officiate. Burial will be in the Forest Home Cemetery, Mt. Pleasant. Friends may call from 12 Noon to 9:00 PM on Thursday at the Kimzey Funeral Home, 213 N. Main St., Mt. Pleasant. The family will be present to receive friends from 5-7 PM on Thursday.

Those considering an expression of sympathy may direct memorials to the Burlington Art Center or the New London Public Library. Online condolences may be directed to

Mrs. Garrels, the former Barbara Ann Hill, was born December 13, 1941. She was the daughter of Irvin and Evelyn (Weiss) Hill. Barbara was raised in New London and graduated from New London High School in 1959. During her high school years, she played French Horn in the band, a skill she kept for many years by playing in the Mt. Pleasant Municipal Band. Barbara was selected as the Homecoming Queen her senior year. On August 30, 1959 in Burlington, Barbara married the love of her life, Warren Robert Garrels.

Barbara worked for a brief time at Sylvania in Burlington. For many years, Barbara was the secretary at Pleasant Lawn School, rural Mt. Pleasant, and later at the First United Methodist Church.

Barbara was a member and served as the Sunday School Superintendent at the former Beulah Methodist church until its closing. She then became a member of the First United Methodist Church in Mt. Pleasant. She was a member of the 79 Club – a social club of farm neighbors. Barbara was a gifted artist, working primarily in the medium of oil paintings. She taught adult painting and drawing classes at both Southeastern Community College and the Burlington Art Center. She had an extensive collection of swan figurines. She maintained beautiful flower gardens and loved to keep feed out for the birds and “critters” who visited her yard. Barbara was very supportive of her husband’s interest in the horses he raised, always accompanying him to shows and races.

Family was of crucial importance to Barbara. She made sure holidays were special and took time to organize games at all the family events. Her family took a back seat only to Warren, with whom she shared a very special love and relationship for all of their dating time and 58 years of wedded bliss.

Those thankful for sharing in Barbara’s life include her husband Warren of Mt. Pleasant; 2 daughters and their husbands, Kerry & Craig Voelker and Kendra & Jerry Ruschill, all of Mt. Pleasant; 3 granddaughters and their husbands – Jerilyn & Tyler Horn, Jordie & Tyler Dingman and Karley & Damien Dawson; 4 great grandchildren – Anders & Kendall Horn, Lucy Dingman and Demi Dawson; a brother, Robert Hill and a sister, Mary Harmon. Barbara’s 5th great grandchildren will arrive in November.

Her parents, a son – Scott Garrels and 2 brothers, Dennis & Donald Hill, precede Barbara in death.