Barbara’s life adventure began October 29, 1932, as the youngest child of Chester and Edna (Vaara) Bruce. She joined two older brothers, Norman and Jimmie on the family ranch near Boyes, Montana. As the Great Depression deepened the family temporarily traveled to Oakland, California where her dad and older brother worked as welders in the shipyards. She fondly remembered that as a young girl, she and her best friends would get to go to Saturday or Sunday matinees. Shirley Temple was her favorite actress and in many ways her role model.
Returning to Montana and the ranch allowed her to attend the Osgood Country School, usually riding her horse to and from. Academic abilities allowed her to double up a couple of school years. High school began in Denver where she stayed with an aunt and uncle. High school was completed in Miles City, Montana at the age of 16.
Barbara had the dream of becoming a teacher. She completed one quarter of schooling at Eastern Montana College, Billings was to receive her emergency certificate to teach in rural Powder River County. Her 25-year career in teaching began at the age of 17 as she assumed the duty of teacher at the Powderville school where she boarded with the Susie and Earl McGill family.
She attended summer schools every year, while continuing to teach throughout the school year. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in 1968 from Black Hills State College in Spearfish, SD. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in 1968. Schools she taught at included Boyes, Hammond, Johnston School near Ridgeway, Duncan Creek, Belle Creek School, and eventually spent the last several years in the Broadus Elementary School System prior to retiring at age 42.
In her personal life, an early marriage left her with one son, Jimmie Davis born in 1951. In 1955 she married Frank Rosencranz. Together they lived, loved, and argued throughout their over 50-year marriage only ending with Frank’s death in 2013.
Following her professional retirement, she filled her days as a ranch wife on the Neate ranch near Coalwood where she and Frank remained for 25 years.
Always competitive, she enjoyed horseshoes, bowling, pool, card games, and gaming (locally, Reno, Vegas, Jackpot and Deadwood). She excelled at bowling and horseshoes and was a tough opponent on a pool table. Spare time was frequently filled with crocheting and most family members and friends were gifted with afghans. Christmas and New Year’s Parties were not complete without her divinity, fudge, and homemade Tom and Jerry batter. Other special occasions were not complete without a cake, frequently an angel food cake topped with whipped cream and strawberries.
Barbara was preceded in death by her husband Frank, her parents, Chester and Edna, as well as both brothers, Norman and Jimmie. Surviving are her son Jimmie and his partner Sheila Weaver, sister-in-law Lula May Bruce and numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Depending upon how you knew her, her name was either, Barbara, Barb, Mrs. Rosencranz, Mom or Grandma. Definitely a multifaceted person, always memorable.
Family will receive friends on Saturday, September 23, 2023 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. at Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home in Broadus. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.stevensonandsons.com.
Should friends desire, memorials may be made to the charity of one’s choice.