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Marguerite Hoffman Barker

Marguerite Hoffman Barker

Marguerite Hoffman Barker, age 96, of River Falls, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully on January 29, 2019, from congestive heart failure at Kinnic Health and Rehab. She was born on April 15, 1922, to Horace and Minetta Tresselt and grew up on their farm near Kellogg, Minnesota. In the spring of 1930, her father bought a farm north of River Falls in Kinnikinnic Township. Marguerite began high school in River Falls, but finished her last two years at Roberts High School. Horace thought it made sense for his daughters and oldest son to deliver the farm's morning milk to the creamery in Roberts on their way to school which was the reason for the change of schools. Marguerite graduated from high school with her sister Grace, in 1939. After graduation, she traveled to Chicago and was a nanny for Tresselt relatives for a year. When she returned home, her father and mother urged Marguerite and Grace to enroll at River Falls State Teacher's College. She obtained a two-year rural teaching degree. Marguerite was determined to become a teacher rather than a farmer's wife. Both sisters had a glorious time in college, making new friends and playing tennis in their spare time. During this time, Marguerite met Maynard "Spike" Hoffman. They were married on June 13, 1942. A few months later, Maynard began serving in the United States Army. He spent 30 months active duty overseas in World War II. With her husband gone to war, Marguerite began her first teaching position at a country school near Spring Valley. The next year, she was hired to teach just down the road from her parent's farm so she could live at home. When Maynard came home from the war in December 1945, Marguerite resigned her teaching position. After living for three weeks with her parents, they purchased a used car and drove to Oakland, California to visit Spike's family. A few years later, Maynard and Marguerite welcomed their first child, Barbara, followed by Vicki, Deborah, Gary, and Russell. As her children grew up, Marguerite went back to work as a cashier at Isaacson's IGA Grocery Store in River Falls. Her real love however, was teaching. She returned to college and obtained her bachelor's degree in elementary education from the newly renamed Wisconsin State College at River Falls in 1963. Upon graduation, she was hired to teach Sixth Grade in the River Falls School District. Later in her career, she taught Second Grade. In 1981, she received her master's degree from UW-River Falls. She retired in the fall of 1990, with a total of 28 years of teaching experience. Marguerite valued the relationships she had with her students above all. She nurtured her students, showered them with love, empathy, and encouragement to learn. Many of her former students remember her as a caring and warm teacher. Marguerite outlived three husbands. Spike died suddenly in 1972. She was widowed for 19 years. Spike's sister introduced Marguerite to her second husband, Max Campion. Marguerite and Max were married in 1990 and traveled extensively. He died of cancer in 1995. She married William "Bill" Barker, a close family friend, in 2003 and they had 12 wonderful years together before he died in 2015. Besides teaching, Marguerite was devoted to her church and volunteered whenever needed. She enjoyed her sewing club meetings for more than 50 years and was an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary. She also enjoyed spending her free time reading, sewing and gardening. She remained very close to her sisters, Grace and Laurie, and her brother Dick. They enjoyed spending time together playing cards and games. Marguerite's greatest joy was giving and doing things for her children and grandchildren. She was a devoted and loving mother and grandmother. She was a wonderful blessing to her family. Marguerite was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Robert, and three husbands. She is survived by her children Barbara (Larry) Peterson, Vicki (Brad Williams) Hoffman, Deborah (Greg) Elwood, Gary (Randi) Hoffman, and Russell (Connie) Hoffman; 14 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren; sisters Grace Paulson and Laurine Paulson, brother Richard (Shirley) Tresselt and sister-in-law Doris Tresselt; and many nieces and nephews. A Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, February 6, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. at the First Congregational United Church of Christ 110 North Third Street, River Falls, WI. Visitation will also be on Wednesday from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. at the church. Lunch will be served following the service. Marguerite will be interred beside her husband Max, in the Greenwood Cemetery in River Falls. Memorials are preferred to First Congregational United Church of Christ in River Falls. Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services.