Barbara Altavilla, 85

Barbara Altavilla, 85, was spiritually reborn on October 5, 2020, surrounded by loved ones. Barbara was born March 26, 1935, in London, England, to Joseph and Ethel (Jones) Rayner. She met Robert James Altavilla at the tender age of 17 when he was stationed in the United Kingdom with the U.S. Air Force. Barbara arrived in Minnesota on May 1, 1954, to marry “her American” on June 12, 1954. Bob and Barb shared 66 years of marriage, raising their three children on the Iron Range. One of Barbara’s greatest joys was gardening, as flowers flourished under her care. She couldn’t be happier in her garden, wearing a new pair of sandals, eating a bar of Cadbury chocolate, sipping English tea and listening to her favorite music. Barbara always had a camera nearby and captured albums full of memories. A voracious reader, Barbara immersed herself in Ancient Egypt, extraterrestrial civilizations, the life of Jesus and the history of Native Americans. Barbara was also a talented artist who created a number of paintings depicting the things she loved. Barbara was an active grandmother to Tony, Nick, Katherine, Vincent, Austin, Angelo, Olivia, Julia, and Isabel. She created fun activities for them, including apple picking and slippin’ slides in her backyard, school shopping at the mall and the annual Christmas ping-pong tournament, that resulted in lifelong memories and laughter.

Barbara was preceded in death by her parents and baby brother Kenneth. In addition to her nine grandchildren, Barbara is survived by her devoted husband Bob, her son Bob Jr. (Tammy), and daughters Lorraine (Gordy) and Christina. The family wishes to express their heartfelt thanks to all the staff at Arbor Lane who provided our mother such tender loving care in her time of need. Your kindness is greatly appreciated. Arrangements are with the White Funeral Home in Lakeville, MN (952-469-2723). Online condolences at: