Barbara “Barb” Claire Rechtzigel

Published 5:14 am Friday, January 26, 2024

Our beloved and beautiful Mom and Grammie, “Barb” Barbara Claire Rechtzigel passed away peacefully at her daughter’s home in North Mankato, MN surrounded by her four daughters and other family at 10:16am on Sunday, January 21, 2024. She was 86 years young.

Barbara “Barb” Claire Rechtzigel

Celebration of Life will be held at 11 a.m., on Saturday, February 3, 2024, at Northview – North Mankato Mortuary, with visitation one hour prior. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to St. Croix Hospice. Livestreaming of the service will be available at

Barb was born in Northeast Minneapolis with her twin brother Bruce on November 23, 1937, to Chester and Alice Nelson. She had an older brother, Ray and a younger sister, Pam.

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She was baptized in the Covenant church and became a member of Crossview Covenant Church, North Mankato in 2023.

She graduated from Edison High School, Northeast Minneapolis in 1955.

Barb resided in Albert Lea, MN from 1965 until 1975, when she moved her and her girls to Fort Collins, Colorado for a fresh start. At 40 years old and raising four kids alone, she put herself through nursing school and earned her LPN degree. She was a float nurse at Poudre Valley Hospital and eventually settled into a rewarding position at Foothills Gateway, working with special needs preschool aged children.

Missing friends and her old bridge club, she made the decision to move her and her minor children back to Albert Lea in 1980 where she continued her work with special needs adults at Alpha School.

In 2022, Mom moved to North Mankato to be closer to family and quickly made wonderful, new friends at Garfield Place. She had lots of fun and laughs at Wednesday morning coffee, 500 a few times a week, and other fun events.

After Thanksgiving, our Mom moved to the Elliott’s home to be in Angie’s care. Soon after, Shari stayed fulltime to support her. With invaluable help from many other family members, and the skilled guidance of amazing St Croix Hospice nurses/aides, Mom spent her last moments on Earth feeling safe and loved. Just as she had always provided us.

Our Mom was fiercely strong and independent. She instilled faith, strength and confidence in her girls and supported and loved them to the depths of her beautiful heart. She deeply loved all of her family.

Mom had the quickest wit of anyone we knew. She would bust out in song, relative to the topic at hand, or would always have a hilarious response to a comment made.

She loved playing cribbage (skunking us pretty often!), buzzing down to Diamond Jo to play slots, watching Game Show Network and her Minnesota Twins. She was a skilled card player at Bridge, 500, Solitaire and more and liked anywhere for dinner if they had pull tabs! She enjoyed attending her grandkids’ sporting events, but more than anything, Mom just loved being with her family.

We believe she is now enjoying eternal life in Heaven, with her Lord and Savior and that she was greeted by her Daddy and Mom, her two brothers and her sister.

She is survived by her daughters: Vicki (Mark) Weinberg, Shari (Dave) Reuer, Missy Swenson, Angie (Kenny) Elliott. Grandchildren: Alyssa (Andy), Mitchell, Ryan, Megan, Amy, JJ, Carly, Spencer, Nick, Alyson (Brady), Ashley (Dustin), Austin, along with their significant others. Great grandchildren: Luke, Grant, Caiden, Ezra, Elijah, Peyton.

Our Mom/Grammie will be missed more than imaginable. She lit up a room with her beautiful smile and the love and laughter she exuded will be echoes in our hearts and minds forever. Her legacy lives on.

Until we are together again, Mom…Bye LOVE!