Barbara E. DeWitt (Pithan, Melander)

Barbara E. DeWitt (Pithan, Melander)

Barbara Elaine DeWitt, age 91, of Stillwater, MN, a high school English and reading teacher, passed away on June 5, 2017 in Stillwater. She came to Stillwater Area High School in 1976 after teaching nine years in Mason City, Iowa. At Stillwater she taught for another 20 years before retiring in 1996. Prior to teaching, Barbara was a medical technologist in her native Brookings, SD and in Mankato, MN.
By the time she applied for an English position in late summer 1976, the job had been offered to another, but her interview impressed such that SHS offered her a different post that eventually became a combination of reading and English. Due to her hard work and positive attitude, Barbara quickly became a favorite of Principal Jon Swenson and took on more duties at the school, including her roles as cheerleading coach over a 5-6 year period, homecoming committee and senior week advisor. After retirement she continued to serve with on the Distinguished Alumni committee and attended Retired Teachers luncheons.
Barbara’s greatest influence was in the classroom where thousands of Stillwater students benefited from her love of reading. Strict as a teacher, she stayed long extra hours at school and worked one on one with numerous students. She worked closely with troubled students and often found ways to help with volatile home situations, including taking some students in for the night or weekend until a safer environment could be determined.
Barbara’s kindness and giving of herself, combined with her positive energy and irresistible force, made her unique and loved and admired by family, friends, peers, and students alike. She is dearly missed by all who knew and loved her.
She is survived by loving sons Craig Forester of Laguna Beach, CA and Todd Melander of Minneapolis, brother-in-law William McDonald of Stillwater, sister-in-law Josephine DeWitt (John), as well as niece Deborah (McDonald) Landrith and nephews Patrick McDonald, J. Scott McDonald and Bradley McDonald, all originally from Stillwater and many other nieces and nephews.
Preceded in death by parents John Irvin DeWitt and Jayne Matilda (McClemans) DeWitt, siblings Bette Jean Ford, Marianna McDonald, Gerald Irvin DeWitt and John DeWitt, Jr.
To honor Barbara a Celebration of Life Memorial will be held at King of Kings Lutheran Church in Woodbury at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 22 with a reception to follow at Ray J’s, also in Woodbury.
For more information, see bradshawfuneral.com

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