Barbara Kleewein Van Horsen, 79, passed away peacefully, after a long illness, Sept. 8, 2013, in Fairbanks at Hope Haven assisted living residence.
Barb was born in Castle Rock, Colo., on May 22, 1934, and was one of 10 children raised in a hardworking, rural Colorado family. Barb married Peter Daniel Van Horsen in 1951 in Denver.
After several duty stations, including the lighthouse on Tatoosh Island, Wash., Barb and Pete moved to Kodiak in 1968 with their two daughters, Peggy and Janet, where Peter served as the executive officer aboard the USCG Cutter Storris.
Barb lived for 42 years in Alaska, with 21 of those in Fairbanks where she was the matriarch of four generations of her family. Barb was an adventuresome spirit and loved to travel and experience the world. She treasured her souvenirs from the Philippines, the Amazon jungle, Greece, the Middle East, Argentina, Mexico and many other exotic locations. She always had an exciting and often humorous story to share, but her most treasured stories were about her extensive, loving family in Fairbanks, Wasilla and Denver.
Barb worked as a real estate tax appraiser for the Municipality of Anchorage for many years and later in the accounting department of Northern Testing Laboratories, Inc., an Alaskan company founded by her daughter, Peggy, and son-in-law, Mike Pollen.
She is survived by her ex husband, Peter Van Horsen and his wife, Gail; daughter, Peggy and son-in-law, Mike Pollen; grandsons, Jonathan Pollen and wife Elizabeth, Jerod Pollen and wife Tammy, all of Fairbanks; Damon Morrison and wife Jenna, of Wichita, Kan., and grandchildren, Sydney and Kristin Pollen and Amber and Hunter Pollen, all of Fairbanks; grandchildren, Elizabeth, Meghan, Robbie, Katie, and Samantha Morrison, of Wichita, Kan.; and her sisters, Mary Welch and Tony Schacht, of Palmer/Wasilla; Rosann McKinney of Denver; and brothers, Walter Kleewein, of Wasilla; Hank Krizman, of Anchorage; and Joe Kleewein, Frank Krizman and Steve Krizman, of Denver.
She was preceded in death by infant son, Peter Van Horsen, and daughter, Janet Van Horsen; brother, John Kleewein, and sister, Joanne Kleewein, of Denver.
A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, at the Fairbanks Funeral Home on South University Ave., and a second celebration of life will be held in Denver on Sept. 28, 2013.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Hospice of the Tanana Valley. Per Barb's request, half of her ashes will be scattered in Alaska and half in Castle Rock, Colo.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Fairbanks Funeral Home.