Barbara Beckstrom, age 68, of Santa Clara, Utah, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family and loved ones, on March 8, 2016 after a valiant fight with cancer. She was born on July 3, 1947 in Hurricane, Utah, to Clarence and Phyllis Theobald and was the second of four children. She was the loving and devoted wife of Kenneth Beckstrom for 48 years, who preceded her in death just seven months earlier. They were married in the St. George, Utah temple on June 10, 1967.
Barbara grew up in Toquerville, Utah where she worked on her father’s farm and learned first hand the value of a hard day’s work. She took great pride that she was a “farmer’s daughter.” She graduated from Hurricane High School in 1965 and from Dixie College in 1967.
After living in Elko, Nevada for four years, Barbara and Kenneth moved to Santa Clara in the spring of 1975, and built one of the first homes on the Heights. They raised their family in that home and lived there for the next 41 years until her death. She loved Santa Clara and served the community in many capacities during these years. In 1984, realizing that there was no park in Santa Clara for her children, she decided to run for the city council. She was elected and immediately went to work on putting in a park.
Barbara served on the city council from 1984-92. During this time she oversaw the installation of the Canyon View Park, and was instrumental in the improvements made to the Santa Clara City Cemetery and creation of the annual Santa Clara Swiss Days celebration. Barbara also served as the Chairman of the Washington County Fair Board in the late 1980s, and as the Chairman of the Washington County Solid Waste District in the early 1990s.
Barbara was heavily involved in her children’s education. She served as PTA president at both Santa Clara Elementary and Dixie High School in 1982 and 1985 respectively. Her love of education ultimately led her to finish her degree in Elementary Education at Southern Utah University in 1987, and her Master’s Degree in 1997.
She began teaching school at Bloomington Elementary in the 1987-88 school year, and taught there for the next 20 years. She loved the opportunity teaching gave her to shape and mold young minds. She received multiple awards for her dedicated work as a school teacher. Towards the end of her teaching career Barbara served as the president of the Washington County Education Association from 2003-07 where she represented the interests of teachers in Washington County.
In retirement, Barbara stayed busy entertaining guests and hosting many family events at her Pine Valley cabin. She also traveled extensively. Ultimately, this was not enough to sufficiently occupy her time and talents and in 2012 she was elected to the Washington County School Board and served in this position up until her death. In 2015 she was elected as the vice president of the Utah School Boards Association and was scheduled to serve as president in 2017.
Barbara was a member of, and actively involved in, the LDS church. She served as Primary President, Young Women’s president, and in many other leadership positions. She particularly loved family history and was serving as a family history consultant up until shortly before her death. In 2008-09, Barbara fulfilled a lifetime dream of serving an LDS mission in England (England London South Mission) where her mother grew up and where she has several close relatives.
Barbara’s family was the joy of her life. She always stressed education and each of her five children graduated from college. She also loved attending the sporting events and other activities of her children and grandchildren. In life, Barbara and her husband, Kenneth, were inseparable. They loved spending time together, which included watching nearly every Utah Jazz game.
Barbara was known for her love of Christmas and the elaborate decorations and Christmas lights she put up each year. She enjoyed hiking the hills near Pine Valley looking for the perfect Christmas tree, and loved making Christmas magical for her children and grandchildren. Christmas music played non-stop at Barbara’s home throughout the holidays.
Barbara enjoyed taking on projects of many varieties. She loved life and was known for her relentlessly positive attitude and ability to accomplish many tasks. She had numerous friends and had a way of making everybody feel important and accepted. Anyone was welcome in her home. She will be missed deeply by all who knew her.
Barbara was preceded in death by her husband Kenneth Beckstrom, and her parents, Clarence and Phyllis Theobald. She is survived by her sisters, Carol (Quay) Simons, Las Vegas, Sheila (Kelly) Cannon, St. George; brother David (Nancy) Theobald, Toquerville; sons, Britt (Natalie) Beckstrom, St. George; Brice (Nicole) Beckstrom, Dayton, Ohio; Brian (Lacy) Beckstrom, Santa Clara; and daughters, Brenda (Josh) Forest, Mesa, Arizona, and Brooke (Ben) Neumann, Santa Clara; and 18 grandchildren.
- Funeral services will be held Monday, March 14, 2016, at 11 a.m. at the Santa Clara LDS 3rd Ward Chapel, 3040 Santa Clara Drive.
- Visitations will be held Sunday evening, March 13, 2016, from 6-8:00 p.m. at the Chapel and on Monday prior to services from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Chapel.
- Interment will be at the Pine Valley Cemetery at approximately 3:30 p.m.
The family would like to thank the medical providers at Dixie Regional Medical Center, Intermountain Cancer Center, and Dixie Hospice Care for their kind and dedicated care of Barbara.
Friends and family are invited to share condolences online. Arrangements and memorial tree planting are under direction of Serenity Funeral Home of Southern Utah, 435-986-2085.