May 30, 1919 – November 2, 2019
Barbara Flebbe-Anderson, formerly of Omaha, died on November 2, 2019 in Columbia, Missouri at the age of age 100 years, 5 months and 2 days. Barb was born in Omaha to Roy and Zella Flebbe on May 30,1919. She was the eldest of three children. Her sister, Claire and brother, David preceded her in death. She was a graduate of Omaha North High School, received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1942 from the University of Nebraska and her Masters degree from New York University in 1950. Following graduation, she taught at the Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Barb also taught physical education to elementary children both in Wyoming and Hastings, Nebraska before returning to Omaha as the girl’s physical-education teacher and coach at Tech High School for over 30 years. Barb loved teaching, sportsmanship and adventure, all which flourished throughout her life.
Barb was widowed from her husband of 20 years, Lambert (Ted) Anderson in 1973. With two daughters grown, she answered the siren call of Minnesota’s northern lakes and rivers. She moved her life to Ely, MN and her beloved Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). Barb’s innate love of adventure allowed her to see endless possibilities in the Quetico-Superior region. With her best friend of 39 years, Barb began her second “career of a lifetime” as an outfitter and guide into the BWCAW. Traditionally, most guides into the northern wilderness are men. Young men. People bet against these two women in their late 60’s lasting for more than a summer season. As owners of The B’s Wilderness Paddler’s, Barb and Bea Brophey guided until their 80’s and in some years turned away up to 100 callers hoping to canoe the waters of the wilderness with these amazing two women. Sharing the pristine beauty and all its mystery with others, Barb guided people into and safely back out of the depths of the wilderness. Ever the educator, she taught people reverence for the land, creatures big and small, and respect for the elements of weather, water, sun and storms. She sang grace before meals prepared in the wild and sprinkled their trip-treks with poems, prayers and a unique spirituality that let you know that you were about to do something amazing.
Barb loved to sing and belonged to both community and church choirs throughout her life. Just two weeks before her death she sang with Karaoke at the Senior Community where she had lived since 2012.
Barb is survived by her beloved daughters, Donna (Ken) Ostercamp of Missouri and Betty (Steven) Davis of Nebraska; four grandsons: Daniel and Gary of Missouri and Aaron (Sarah) and Kyle of Nebraska. She has left an indelible footprint on all our hearts.