Barbara Gail Thomsen, 81 of Creston, Iowa passed away on February 18, 2022 at the Creston Hospice House surrounded by her loving family. She was born February 12, 1941 in Sioux City, Iowa to the late Elmer and Mary Sanders. She graduated from Bishop Heelan High School in 1959. After graduation, she attended Wayne State Teacher's College for one year where she met the love of her life, Gerald “Jerry” Thomsen. They were united in marriage on August 5, 1961 and moved to Rockford, Iowa. Barb considered herself very fortunate to be able to stay home and raise her 3 children.
In 1969, Barb opened “Gingerbread Nursery School” with 8 children. She received her BA from Upper Iowa in 1982 and began teaching special education in Greene, Iowa. She continued her education at Iowa State University where she earned her MS in school counseling in 1993. She went on to become the elementary counselor in the Rockford School District until she retired in 2003.
Barb and Jerry relocated to Creston after they retired and have made it their home for the past 17 years. She continued as a substitute teacher for the next 15 years and in 2019 she concluded her 53 years in education. Barb stayed busy by volunteering at the hospital, food pantry and the Rerun. She loved belonging to several bridge and book clubs. She also served on the library board and was a member of the Catholic Daughters. She enjoyed following her grandchildren's activities, reading books and spending time at their cabin in Clear Lake. Barb and Jerry loved to travel, they went to Europe 3 times and visited 49 states. She never met a stranger and always cherished her “coffee time” in Creston and “happy hour” at the lake. She loved entertaining and celebrating the holidays with her family.
She is survived by her best friend and loving husband, Jerry, of 60 years. Son and daughter-in-law, Dr. John and Dr. Linda Thomsen of Creston, IA; Son and daughter-law, Dr. Thomas and Lisa Thomsen of Atlantic, IA; Daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Judd Gibb of Fort Dodge, IA; 7 grandchildren, Daniel, Michael and David Thomsen, Dr. Trey Thomsen and Alli Frain (Trevor), Andrew and Lauren Gibb; 2 brothers, John (Judy) Sanders and Raymond Sanders; sister-in-law Sharon Sanders. Numerous nieces and nephews that she adored and loved like her own children.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Henry Sanders; sisters, Rita Carper and Rosemary Tipton; and her in-laws, Meta and John Thomsen.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, February 24th at the Pearson Family Funeral Service & Cremation Center in Creston from 3-7 pm. The family with greet friends from 5-7 with a Rosary to follow at 7:15 pm. The funeral service will be held on Friday, February 25th at 10:30 am at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Creston. Burial will take place at the Calvary Cemetery. Memorials will be left to the discretion of the family.