Barbara was born Nov. 28, 1931 in Waverly Township, Martin County, Minn. to Fredrick and Esther (Ehlert) Harder. She attended Lutheran Parochial School in Fairmont until the age of 14, when the family moved to Stanchfield, Minn. Barbara married Donald Ziesmer Nov. 28, 1948. They farmed in Stanchfield. In 1960 the family moved to Grand Marais where Donald was stationed as a MN State Highway Patrolman. Barbara worked as a bookkeeper, a dispatcher/jailer, postal clerk, and a Rural Route Star Mail Carrier. She was widowed in 1973 when Patrolmen Ziesmer was slain in the line of duty. In 1978 Barbara moved to St. Cloud and earned her Cosmetology license. She later moved to Duluth where she was lovingly known as the “Puppet Lady” by the St. Luke’s Hospital Auxiliary. Some years later, she moved to Cambridge to care for her father. Following his death she moved to Braham. On June 20, 1999, she married Dillon Kline. They spent their summers in Minnesota and wintered in Yuma, Ariz.; becoming permanent residents of Arizona in 2006. Dillon preceded Barbara in death in the midst of their return to Minnesota in February 2011. She resided in Sartell, Minn. until her death.
Barbara had many interests, and especially enjoyed oil painting on canvas and “church plates.” She loved to play the button box and the organ. She spent years completing the family’s genealogy, tracing back to the 1400s. She enjoyed bowling, golf, gardening, and she traveled across much of the USA.
Barbara had a rock solid faith throughout her life. She was always an active member of her current congregation; teaching Sunday School and participating in Bible Studies. She truly enjoyed being on the “funeral committee” at church, being able to provide both physical and spiritual comfort to those who were grieving. Barbara never saw herself or her service as being particularly important or remarkable; it was “just what you do.” Her humble attitude, years of care for others, and solid foundation on Christ the Rock brought untold blessings to all who ever encountered her. And so we say “Goodbye for now.”
Barbara is preceded in death by her parents, both husbands, daughters Cathyrne and Kendall Ziesmer; son-in-law Dale Nied, sisters Darlene Ziesmer, Arlys Bieber, and an infant brother.
She is survived by her daughters Deborah Nied, St. Cloud; JoAnn (Paul) Gunderson, Elk River; step-daughter Kathryn (Raymond Scott) Gay, Braham; brother Ken Harder, Cambridge; grandchildren Anna Nied (fiancé Tim Fuller), Josef Nied, Heather Jentsch (fiancé Patrick O’Conner) and Raell (Danny) Richardson; great grandchildren Isabella, Josephine, and Raymond Richardson; other relatives, and many friends.
A Funeral Service was held Sunday, June 5, 2011 at the St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, Braham, Minn., Rev. Steve Anderson officiating. Casketbearers were Deborah Nied, JoAnn Gunderson, Paul Gunderson, Raymond Scott Gay, Anna Nied and Josef Nied. Interment was in the Rice Lake Cemetery, Braham. Arrangements were by the Rock Ingebrand Funeral Home of Braham.