Barbara Flebbe-Anderson, formerly of Ely

Barbara Flebbe-Anderson, formerly of Ely, died on November 2, 2019 in Columbia,Missouri at the age of age 100 years, 5 months and 2 days. Barb was born in Omaha, Nebraska to Roy and Zella Flebbe on May 30,1919. She was the eldest of three children. Her sister Claire and brother David proceeded her in death. She graduated from Omaha North High School, received received a Bachelor of Science in1942 from the University of Nebraska and her Masters from New York University in 1950. Following graduation she taught at the Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Barb taught physical education in Wyoming and Hastings, Nebraska before returning to Omaha as the women's physical-education teacher and coach at Tech High School for over 30 years. Barb loved teaching, sportsmanship and adventure, all of which flourished throughout her life.

Barb was widowed from her husband of 20 years, Lambert (Ted) Anderson in 1973. With two grown daughters, she answered the siren call of Minnesota’s northern lakes and rivers. She moved her life to Ely, MN and her beloved Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). Barb’s innate love of adventure allowed her to see endless possibilities in the Quetico-Superior region. With her best friend of 39 years, Barb began her second “career of a lifetime” as an outfitter and guide into the BWCAW. Traditionally, most guides into the northern wilderness were men. Young men. People bet against these two in their late 60’s to last for more than a summer season. As owners of The B’s Wilderness Paddler’s, Barb and Bea Brophey guided until their 80’s and in some years turned away up to 100 callers hoping to canoe the waters of the wilderness with these amazing women. Sharing the pristine beauty and all of it’s mystery with others, Barb guided people into and safely back out of the depths of the wilderness. Ever the educator, she taught people reverence for the land, for creatures big and small, and for respect for the elements of weather, water, sun and storms. She sang grace before meals prepared in the wild and sprinkled their trip-treks with poems, prayers and a unique spirituality that let you know that you were about to do something amazing.

Barb loved to sing and belonged to both community and church choirs throughout her life. Just two weeks before her death she sang with Karaoke at the Senior Community in Columbia, MO where she lived since 2012.

Barb is survived by her beloved daughters; Donna (Ken) Ostercamp of Columbia, Missouri and Betty (Steven) Davis of Omaha, Nebraska and four grandsons, Daniel (fiancé, Hayley Smith) and Gary Ostercamp of Columbia, Missouri and Aaron (Sarah) and Kyle (fiancé, Lisa Spence) of Omaha, Nebraska. She has left an indelible and permanent footprint on all of our hearts.