Barbara “Barb” Ellen Gagich Wilson, Lakeville, Minn., formerly of the Shenango Valley, passed away peacefully with her family by her side at 12:15 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, in University of Minnesota Hospital, Minneapolis. She was 61.
Ms. Wilson was born April 12, 1952, in Sharon to Joseph and Barbara Bralich Gagich.
She grew up in the Shenango Valley area and graduated from Farrell High School in 1970.
She had a free-loving spirit that took her to Pasadena College in California until an earthquake came and she quickly returned home.
For 15 years, Ms. Wilson worked on the assembly line at General Motors Corp., Lordstown, Ohio, car assembly plant before retiring to stay home and take care of her family.
Barbara, most commonly known as Barb, moved to Florida in 1993 with her companion Edward Davey; daughter, Jessica Smith; and granddaughter, Bianca Wilson.
The years in Florida were full of wonderful memories spent with friends and family. Feeling sand between her toes, sun on her skin and a cold margarita in her hand were Barb’s favorite things. There are countless memories of sunsets on the beach.
A compassionate and caring person, she cared for her sister, father and mother as they got ill through the years.
More recently, she moved to Minnesota to be close to her daughter, Jessica, and her family. It was an amazing year. She enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and watching them learn new things every day. They loved their “Mimi” dearly. She will be forever missed.
Surviving are: her companion, Edward Davey, Minnesota; a sister, Donna Gagich, Erie; two daughters, Jessica Smith and her husband Leon Smith, Minnesota; and Leaha Novotny, Farrell; seven grandchildren, Bianca Wilson, Florida; Autumn Taylor and Dustin Taylor, both Wheatland; and Leon Smith II, Morgan Smith, Vincent Smith and Stella Smith, all Minnesota; and a great-grandchild, Hayden Carrico, Florida.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Barbara Gagich; and her sister, Joann Houk.
A memorial Mass will be held this spring in Farrell, Barbara’s hometown, with dates and times to be announced.