Cover photo for Barbara Ann Padberg's Obituary
Barbara Ann Padberg Profile Photo
1956 Barbara 2024

Barbara Ann Padberg

April 4, 1956 — February 8, 2024

Gillette

With a heavy heart, we bid farewell to Barbie, beloved daughter, sister, wife and friend who departed this earth on February 8, 2024. Barbie was born on April 4, 1956 in the suburb of Worth, Illinois. Those who knew her describe her as a fighter, but a better description might be that she resisted living a conventional life and did not need approval or acceptance.  She wanted to live life her way and, unlike most people, she did.  

From her formative years in Catholic grade school to her graduation from public high school, Barbie exhibited a penchant for hands on work.  She honed her skills in bodywork and painting while working for the family automotive repair business.  It was during these years that she trained and worked as a medical emergency technician which ultimately led to Barbie joining the Worth Fire Department and becoming her town’s first female firefighter.  

Barbie joined the army, was trained as a helicopter mechanic, and deployed to Korea.  Barbie viewed her service in the military as a vital turning point in her life.  She found meaning through duty to a higher cause and pride in serving her country. Following her years as a helicopter mechanic in Korea, she created a new career path as an entrepreneur and as a government servant.  

Back home, Barbie found her soulmate in Douglas Padberg. Together they built a home in the hills skirting Gillette, Wyoming. They found joy in travel and fishing.  Barbie loved her pups, plants thrived around her, and anyone who knew her raved about her cooking skills.  

Barbie is preceded in death by her father, Henry Benck; beloved aunt, Agnes Mrakovich, and her beloved husband, Douglas Padberg. She leaves behind a legacy of love and resilience, etched in the hearts of her devoted mother, Adele Benck and her brothers, Paul, Dave, Jim, and Steve. As well, her beloved husband’s family remains to mourn her: mother-in-law, Dixie Reeves, brothers - Gene, Tony, Jerry; sisters - Deborah, Joyce, Mayme, and many dear friends. Barbie touched the hearts of everyone she loved deeply.

To honor her memory, a memorial will be held at the American Legion in Gillette on Saturday, April 20, 2024 from 2 pm until 7 pm. Memorial contributions may be made in Barbie’s name, care of Joyce Spaulding, and sent to P.O. Box 938, Gillette, Wyoming, 82717. Condolences may be expressed at gillettememorialchapel.com  

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Ann Padberg, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, April 20, 2024

2:00 - 7:00 pm (Mountain time)

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