Alas, not again...
Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their families in the tragic shooting that happend Saturday, January 8th, 2011, in Tucson, Arizona.

From the Family and Friends of Barb Monroe
to the Family and Friends of the VA Tech Victims

We are sorry for your loss and send you our support
and comfort during this time of grief.

Readings from the Tucson Service

When voices of children are heard on the green,
And laughing is heard on the hill,
My heart is at rest within my breast,
And everything else is still.
'Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down,
And the dews of night arise;
Come, come, leave off play, and let us away,
Till the morning appears in the skies.'

'No, no, let us play, for it is yet day,
And we cannot go to sleep;
Besides, in the sky the little birds fly,
And the hills are all covered with sheep.'
'Well, well, go and play till the light fades away,
And then go home to bed.'
The little ones leaped, and shouted, and laughed,
And all the hills echoed.
      — Poetry of William Blake

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise....
      — Maya Angelou

Love doesn't end with dying
Or leave with the last breath.
For someone you've loved deeply,
Love doesn't end with death.
      — John Addey

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
      — Helen Keller

Minnesota eulogy by Alan Storry

I'm under strict instructions to keep this light...and short! So I'm going to try to keep it under 45 minutes.

Most of you know who I am, but for those who don't, my name is "Barb's brother"

While I was preparing to do this, I decided to look up the word "Eulogy" in the dictionary. I found that there are a few different definitions. The one I liked the best was: "The celebration of the life of someone who has died."

And today we must truly make this a celebration of the life of an extremely special person. One who was a wonderful friend, aunt, cousin, sister, daughter and wife.

I know many of you knew Barb, but for everyone, today I hope to help you REALLY know Barb.

As difficult as this may be, I am going to try to summarize Barb and the life she lead by categories.


Barb had many friends, from a close group of high school friends here in Madison to an equally close group of friends in Tucson.

Growing up in Madison, Barb's circle of friends included a group of girls who called themselves REPTILES. Barb (Warehouse), Marsha (Musk), Peggy (Melon), Deb (Hen Butt), Mary (Mill Hill), Val (Jane Head) Cindy (Camper)- Barb Trost, Sue, Pam, Kim, Chris, Marg, Beth, Linda.

Why did they call themselves Reptiles? Only they know but evidently they sometime would line up with their heads against the wall and make reptile sounds. I'm not so sure that many of the Reptiles were too proud of this club in their adult years, but I'm sure today they are all proud members.

She cherished the friendships in high school and kept in close contact with many of these friends.

Barb and Don also developed a rather large group of close friends in the Tucson area. They were very evident this last week in Tucson, sharing with us pictures and stories of their escapades that could make many people blush. They formed a group call the FAC (Friday Afternoon Club). Every Friday, as many of the group that could make it would meet at someone's house to talk and just to be together.

Talents and Challenges:

Barb had both.

Barb was a very talented human being. She was an accomplished nurse, a passionate teacher and a caring mentor.

She was always up to speed on what was going on with her relatives. She was the gatekeeper for our family tree. She usually spent much of her time at a reunion not only catching up on what others were up to, but updating her Palm Pilot with the latest address and phone number information, to ensure she could always keep in contact with everyone.

She had many more talents, but because I am her younger brother, I want to focus on some of her challenges.

Barb couldn't whistle. I could.

Barb was not the type of person who would be asked to join the choir. You have sopranos, altos, tenors, basses and baritones...and then you have monotone. Barb would sing monotone. And it never stopped her from joining in and singing to her hearts content.

Barb was prone to motion sickness. This became evident as a young child when the family to a car trip somewhere, Barb usually brought along her favorite ice cream bucket.

Whenever Barb would come home, I got to go pick her up at the airport. She would (hopefully) proudly show me her latest and greatest motion sickness prevention device.

She could be very strange:

We've already addressed the Reptiles.

She also developed a reputation in Tucson for wearing a Tiara and doing "The Queen.s Wave". Elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist, pearls, pearls.

Another strange (Medical?) challenge: Barb had itchy hair.

She had the weird habit of scratching her hair, while in deep thought, talking, walking, reading, watching TV.. Well. Pretty much all the time. Barb was known as a teacher who loved props and interaction. I.d like us all to become interactive. I want all of us to itch our hair the way she did. If you have enough hair to do it, grab a chunk of hair and wrap it around your index finger, secure said hair with you middle finger. With your thumbnail, it your hair in a way that makes a squeaking sound. Repeat as necessary.

Family member:

I'd mentioned before Barb being the gatekeeper of information on all our relatives.

Didn't have children of her own, but "adopted" her nieces and nephews. She always knew what they were up to. I know that when she came to visit my family, we knew that she would want to take the kids somewhere to do something new. This summer she took Pam and the kids canoeing through Lake of the Isles. Afterwards, she cooked beer chicken for us.

When dad was very sick with cancer, Barb came home for an extended period to take care of him. She also did the same for a cousin of ours who was also dealing with terminal cancer.

Family was everything to her.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't make mention of Don her husband. She loved this man dearly, and I know that she had found her soul mate.


  • Pray for the families of Cheryl McGaffic, Robin Rogers as well as the family of Robert Flores
  • I challenge you today to go up to someone never met before and not only introduce yourself, but strike up a conversation with them. Be interested in what they say. Barb did it all the time:
    • Meeting People on planes.
    • Talking to another colleague at conference: "Always have your hand out to shake because you never know when you'll meet a really great person"

  • Barb's rules of life
    • Do something to embarrass yourself
    • Laugh — laugh at yourself
    • Smile more
    • Say hello
    • Be more tolerant
    • Care more about others — less about yourself
    • Say kind things about others.
    • Teach — it's not restricted to a classroom
    • Live life to the fullest
    • Find a lot of time to play
    • Help someone with out conditions
    • Be yourself
    • Allow others to do the same
    • Carry On

  • Quote chorus from "The Ones Left Standing"
     "Who on earth could ever explain the great mysteries of life or the mournful and untimely face of death? But as long as we remain, we grow better, even stronger, though we'll never be the same...Cause the ones left standing have to dry all the tears, and replay all the memories, the good and bad from the years. And we carry the weight of the work left to be done, and the ones left standing, carry on."

  • Quote from a friend of Barb and Don's: "A very special baby was born on October 28th who needed a very special guardian angel."

  • I know that the minute Barb died, she went straight to heaven, and when she arrived at the gates, Dad was there with his hands outstretched saying "Gravel Gertie — Welcome Home"