Bar­bara Jo Rich­ner

1932 ~ 2019

The Idaho Statesman - - Obituaries / News -

Bar­bara Jo McCann Rich­ner, age 86, died peace­fully sur­rounded by fam­ily on Mon­day Jan­uary 7, 2019. The Rich­ner fam­ily in­vites all who knew Jo to at­tend a 1:00pm me­mo­rial ser­vice on Sat­ur­day, Jan­uary 12, 2019 at Good Shep­herd Lutheran Church, lo­cated at the corner of Or­chard and Cas­sia in Boise. A re­cep­tion will im­me­di­ately fol­low at Hill­crest Coun­try Club.

Jo was born on Oc­to­ber 24, 1932 in Ch­est­nut, Illi­nois to Keith and Miriam (Swain) McCann. She and her older brother, Jack, grew up in this tiny ru­ral town of 200. She often said she had an idyl­lic child­hood with lots of ex­tended fam­ily nearby. She at­tended Mount Pu­laski High School where she took up the tenor sax­o­phone, so she could join the band and sit next to Dar­rell Rich­ner. Her sax­o­phone play­ing only lasted four years, but their love would last a life­time. She grad­u­ated in 1950, then at­tended sec­re­tar­ial classes in Peo­ria while Dar­rell was serv­ing in the Air Force. They mar­ried on June 7, 1953 in Ch­est­nut and set­tled in De­catur, IL where Jo worked for an in­sur­ance com­pany un­til Dar­rell grad­u­ated from Mil­likin Univer­sity. They then moved to Peo­ria, IL where they soon wel­comed their daugh­ter Lynn in 1956 fol­lowed by Les­lie in 1958. As Dar­rell’s work with WABCO took them from Illi­nois to Billings, Mon­tana to Calgary, Al­berta, back to Illi­nois, and fi­nally to Boise, Idaho, Jo set to work each time set­ting up their happy home. She pre­pared home­cooked meals and treats, sewed clothes for the girls, and made new friends all while wear­ing pearls, a smile, and danc­ing in heels with Dar­rell. She vol­un­teered in her girls’ class­rooms, sang in the church choir, joined so­cial com­mit­tees, and taught June Cleaver ev­ery­thing she knew.

Af­ter mov­ing to Boise in 1970, Jo em­braced Idaho and al­ways said she was glad they set­tled here – “a great place to live.” She loved tak­ing ad­van­tage of all the area had to of­fer es­pe­cially an­nual fam­ily trips to McCall (sum­mer and win­ter), the Sun Val­ley Jazz Fes­ti­val, and Boise State foot­ball. We could al­ways count on her to yell “Get him!” louder than any­one in the sta­dium. While they loved Boise, Jo and Dar­rell were lucky to be able to travel and see many sites around the coun­try and the world.

Jo and Dar­rell set an au­then­tic ex­am­ple for their fam­ily on how to love and live life. While they didn’t al­ways agree on ev­ery­thing, their sense of hu­mor and down­right stub­born­ness saw them through. They lived, laughed, and loved through ev­ery­thing.

Jo’s life’s work was her fam­ily. She never missed a soc­cer game, swim meet, recital, award cer­e­mony… any event that in­volved her kids, grand­kids, and great grand­kids. There was no place she would have rather been.

Jo was known for her great sense of hu­mor, her love of play­ing bridge, and for telling any­one who would lis­ten that her mother was a triplet. (They were born in 1903 and all sur­vived.) She never met a stranger and al­ways had a story to tell – with good na­ture and a smile. If you weren’t in one al­ready, she could al­ways put you in a good mood. She loved rain­bows, boom­ing thun­der­storms, good mu­sic (clas­si­cal, jazz, John Phillips Souza marches, and even some coun­try western), mu­si­cal the­ater (es­pe­cially Mu­sic Man, Ok­la­homa, Camelot), and above all her fam­ily. They were her ab­so­lute pride and joy.

Jo is sur­vived by her daugh­ters, Lynn (Todd) Giesler of Boise and Les­lie (Steve) Berch of Boise; grand­chil­dren Ben (Kim) Wil­son of Maple Val­ley, WA, Molly (Casey) Baben­dure of Merid­ian, Katie Berch of Boise; and great grand­chil­dren Lin­coln, El­liott and Colin Baben­dure and Scar­lett and Amelia Wil­son; neph­ews Chris (Mary) McCann and Mike (Jennifer) Rich­ner, and nieces Leigh Ann (Mark) Whit­son, Michelle (Ed­die) Puck­ett, Maddie Rich­ner; two sis­ters-in-law Pearle Jo Rich­ner and Mag­gie Rich­ner; and nu­mer­ous cousins, great-neph­ews, great­nieces; and awe­some neigh­bors.

She was pre­ceded in death by her hus­band of 45 years, Dar­rell; her par­ents, her brother, her in­fant grand­daugh­ter, and other ex­tended fam­ily and nu­mer­ous friends.

While our hearts are bro­ken that she is gone, we are happy that she is joined again with her hus­band in heaven. They are once again hand in hand. We will miss her fiercely but will carry her wis­dom and good na­ture with us al­ways and con­tinue to pass it along to our chil­dren just as she did to us – prob­a­bly while eat­ing choco­late ice cream like she taught us. So next time you’re hav­ing ice cream or a glass of wine, raise your cone or glass and make a toast to Jo and the won­der­ful life she lived!

Memo­ri­als in Jo’s name may be do­nated to Idaho Di­a­betes Youth Pro­grams (Camp Ho­dia), The Crohn’s and Coli­tis Foun­da­tion or Good Shep­herd Lutheran Church.

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