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of Buffalo, MN

December 13, 1932 – July 1, 2023


Tuesday, July 11, 2023

one hour prior to the service

The Peterson Chapel – Buffalo, MN

Funeral Service

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

11:00 a.m.

The Peterson Chapel – Buffalo, MN


Lakeview Cemetery – Buffalo, MN

Margaret Pauline (Winner) Barnard, much beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, died peacefully at home July 1 from complications with breast cancer. She was 90.
The second of seven children, she was born December 13, 1932, at home in rural Iowa to Ruth and Ralph Winner. She had fond memories of growing up, playing with her brothers on the farm and appreciated her mom’s way of making life sweeter with little money or resources.
She attended country schools around Hedrick and Delta and graduated in 1950 from Fremont High School. She took a correspondence course, and with the help of her mom, rented a Smith & Corona typewriter for $7 a month. She eventually bought it and kept it her whole life.
Her first job was wrapping Christmas gifts at Kresge’s Five and Dime in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Upon graduation from high school, she was hired to do office work at Burlington Truck Lines in Ottumwa, Iowa.
It was while working there that she met the love of her life, Claire Barnard. They were married September 2, 1956, in the First Christian Church in Oskaloosa. Dad’s job with the Milwaukee Railroad entailed moving to numerous different locations. Over the course of their marriage, the couple moved nine times throughout the Midwest and Spokane, Wash. When Dad left the railroad in 1979, they settled in the Minneapolis area. Mom moved to Buffalo to be near family after Dad passed in 2001.
Mom made every move an adventure for daughters, Kathy, Kris, Karen, Kim and Kelly, helping ease any fears by talking about the new friends they would make and planning how to decorate their rooms, etc.
Loving and caring for her family was Mom’s life work. She forged a special relationship with every child, grandchild and great-grandchild – really with everyone she met. She was an amazing listener and paid close attention to the needs, hopes and dreams of everyone. She could cure any ill with a puffy pancake, a cup of hot tea or a warm, wet washcloth. She had a great sense of humor and laughed easily. She was a devout Christian, who lived her faith daily.
Mom loved babies, flowers, traveling, Anne Murray music and garage sales, where she delighted in finding treasures for family members. She enjoyed playing board games, but especially playing cards. SkipBo, Smear and Five Crowns were among her favorites. She was sneaky and masterful, quietly winning with a “Well, look at that” and a smile.
She loved to cook and eat. She often said that good food is one of life’s greatest joys. Fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy or chicken and dumplings were her favorites. She baked hundreds of pies in her lifetime – rhubarb, apple, cherry, Bob Andy custard and pecan.
Mom crocheted more than 50 afghans for family and friends. She said she thought about the person she was making it for the whole time she worked on it. Every afghan she made was like the love she put into it – warm, comforting, durable and beautiful.
She had a natural curiosity that never left her and would say “how cool is that?” when she encountered a new technology or something she didn’t know about. She loved having one of us Google everything from recipes and the weather to when “her” Minnesota Twins were going to play their next game. She also loved looking at the pictures family posted on Facebook.
Mom impressed upon all of her daughters that they are part of a long line of strong, loving women. In a letter to her family, she wrote, “Keep the love going; pass it on to the next generation as it has been in the past. Carry on; do all the good you can, for all the people you can for as long as you can.”
She was preceded in death by her parents, three brothers and a sister, husband Claire, daughter Kim and son-in-law Greg Walls, and grandson-in-law Tony Swanson. Survivors include daughters, Kathy and her husband Tom La Pointe of Moscow, Idaho; Kris and her husband Jim Bressler of Maple Lake, Minn.; Karen Barnard of Sauk Rapids, Minn.; and Kelly and her husband Jon Rygiel of Buffalo, Minn.; 11 grandchildren – Michael (Megan) Bressler, Matt Bressler, Elizabeth (Bryce) Gill, Dani Swanson, Anne (Jeremy) Boldt, Marc La Pointe, Mykenna (Mike) Bressler, Amy (Mark) Trehey, Levi (Cassidy) Walls, Maggie Seaton and Sirena Rygiel; and 12 great-grand-children; son-in-law Fred Pawelk; sister Linda Hutchison and brother Steve Winner; numerous nieces and nephews and many friends.

4 Guestbook Entries

  1. Darla

    I have nothing but enormous love for Aunt Margaret. She was the most gentle soul on the face of this earth.
    Rest in peace. Love you forever Aunt Margaret.

  2. Sherry Melhorn

    What a loving tribute/ biography of Margaret. I briefly knew her sister in Gaithersburg and nephew, Brian.

  3. Evan Schnack

    I always enjoyed aunt Margaret’s visits to Iowa. Loved hearing the old stories with her and my grandparents.

  4. Pam Nelson

    What a beautiful life story she lived. So very sorry to hear about her passing. Moms are pretty special, this will be a great loss for all of you. So sorry, I was out of town when this posted and opened it up to see when the visitation was and I see it was earlier today. So sorry to have missed it. Big hugs to you friend… Pam


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