Barbara J. Kansteiner
March 13, 1927 – June 21, 2021
Barbara Jane (Closser) Kansteiner was born on March 13, 1927 in Kansas City, MO to Louise (Meyer) and Robert Closser, Sr. Barbara was an adorable child, filled with a spirit of adventure and playfulness from the get go. As we look back on Mom’s life, we see a life lived fully: a life of friendship, adventure and quest for spiritual depth. At 94, she was surrounded by her children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren to send her onto God with appreciation and love for the amazing gifts she gave us, simply by being a remarkable woman.
Mom began her career as a true friend quite early in life and maintained deep friendships over a life time. She was often the leader and inspiration of curiosity and playful adventures. Rather than using the staircase to attend Sunday School at Second Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, she would climb up the fire escape and entered her classroom through the window. She had the best ideas!
Mom loved her Camp MinneWonka in Wisconsin. It was there in the beauty of God’s nature that she discovered a yearning for a deep spiritual life. Mom’s longing for that union with God was an inspiration for many, especially her children and grandchildren and even her great grandchildren. She was a spiritual leader in her community on the North Shore of Chicago for decades.
Barbara attended Bradford Junior College outside of Boston, MA where she broadened her curiosity and went on new adventures. It was there she met our Dad, Walter Kansteiner, Jr. who was attending MIT in Cambridge, MA. They spent their weekends skiing with a gang of friends and thus began their love for each other. They were married on February 9, 1946 in Kansas City. They were a stunning couple and Mom was a radiant bride.
They lived in Chicago briefly, then Evanston, IL where Mom and Dad raised the three of us, Kristen, Kate and Walter. We had a wonderful childhood. Mom and Dad made sure we experienced their shared love of nature and outdoor activity at early ages, spending summers in Ephraim, WI, skiing in the winter and attending eight week outdoor adventure camps. We lived in an idyllic neighborhood in the northwest corner of Evanston where we made lifetime friendships with other families in the hood.
Mom was a loving mother who wanted more than anything to allow children to feel their feelings. She provided the safety and structure that allowed us to do just that. She gave us a sense of discipline as we watched her do her “back exercises” every morning without lack. Mom modeled dedication to daily scripture study and prayer. We would see her in the mornings in her wing chair pouring over her Bible, writing in the margins, underlining and making notes. Mom was open to seeking spiritual depth from many sources. She was a leader for many in her openness to receiving God from many directions. Mom was a steady and sturdy force of intention and discipline.
Mom went back to college and then onto graduate school at age 59 when our father passed away. She was a clinical social worker at the Salvation Army for 8 years. Mom retired at age 72 and moved to Ft Collins, CO to start a new life in sunny Colorado just down the road from daughter, Kristen. Mom made many wonderful new friends in Colorado. She was active in the Newcomers Welcome groups and the Ft Collins Opera Guild. She had a beautiful home on the bike path where she would often be found gardening or on her bike, always up for a ride even into her late 80’s.
Mom moved to Good Samaritan Retirement community in Windsor, Co five years ago. She made many friends there in her 90’s and loved playing, and often winning, chair boche ball. She had loving and dedicated caregivers this past year during the pandemic and into her final weeks of life. We are ever so grateful for the tender and loving care she received from her caregivers over the past year.
Mom was a fun gal. She was a bright light. She was a force of love and depth. We will miss her dearly and forever hold her in our hearts. And we are comforted to know that many will also hold her in their hearts.
There will be a memorial service for her on Sunday July 25th at 2 o’clock at Good Samaritan Water Valley chapel in Windsor, Colorado. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Barbara's memory to Book Trust, to help build a lifelong love of reading for students across the country.
- Book Trust
Sunday, July 25, 2021
Barbara J. Kansteiner
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July 25, 2021
May Eternal Rest Grant Unto Her O Lord and Let Perpetual Light Shine Upon Her....May She Rest in Peace. Amen. Kate Kansteiner and I were childhood friends and classmates at Lincolnwood School in Evanston IL....I remember Barbara and Walter Kansteiner being so kind to all the neighborhood children and welcoming us into their home. I remember her kind manner and beautiful smile. God Bless You
Laura Jane Harvey
July 3, 2021
So far as I know, I've never met Barbara or any of the family. But having read the wonderfully joyful and heart-felt testimony shared in the obituary, I felt compelled to offer this note . . . and hope you'll forgive my intrusion. What a magnificent legacy of love and faith! You, all, are blessed indeed.
Barbara Cain Hegarty
June 25, 2021
This obituary, so beautifully written, captures a woman held in high regard by long term friends, the Cain family. We considered her an Aunt by love if not by genetics. She touched our lives in so many ways, Ephraim, Green Cove camp and the friendship she had with our mother right up until this year. May Barbara and Jocelyn enjoy good memories as we miss them.