Cover photo for Barbara Beth Jewell's Obituary
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1940 Barbara 2024

Barbara Beth Jewell

August 15, 1940 — January 23, 2024

Blue Earth


Retired ELCA Pastor Barbara B. Jewell was welcomed into her heavenly home on January 23, 2024 at St. Luke’s Lutheran Care Center, Blue Earth, Minnesota. Memorial services will be held at 2pm on Monday, February 26, 2024 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Blue Earth with Rev. Dr. Jeanette Bidne officiating. A time for visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. 

Barbara Beth (Rust) Jewell was born August 15, 1940 in Davenport, Iowa, daughter of W. Clifford and Dorothy Rust. Barbara was baptized December 5 1954 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa. Barbara was confirmed July 3, 1955 at First Lutheran in Glendale, California. She was united in marriage to Virgil Jewell in 1960 at Las Vegas and began their life together in Huntsville, Alabama. They later divorced.

Not one to back down from a challenge, she was several months pregnant when she flew her solo flight to obtain her small airplane pilot license. At age 26, Barbara was admitted to the University of Alabama, Huntsville, studying computer programming and accounting. She worked as a paralegal and as an office manager for an attorney and a CPA.  In 1988, she graduated from Christ College in Irvine, California, with a  B.A. in Parish Administration.

After much discernment, she moved from California to enroll in Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  She graduated with a Master of Divinity on May 29, 1994, being one of the few women in that graduating class.  Barbara was ordained at North Emanuel Lutheran Church in St Paul, Minnesota on June 22, 1995 and accepted her first call in Nebraska.  She was tasked with combining the congregations of St. John Lutheran of Daykin and St. Paul Lutheran of Gilead.

In May 2000, she moved to Minnesota to serve the congregation of Trinity Lutheran in Jeffers, until April 2006.  She enjoyed attending the text studies with other clergy at Shalom Hill Farm of rural Jeffers.  Barbara also served as an Interim Pastor to the congregations of Trinity Lutheran in Blue Earth, Minnesota, First English Lutheran in Tyler, Minnesota, Bethel Lutheran of Graettinger, Iowa, the 3-point of United/Bethany/South Blue Earth of rural Frost, Minnesota, and Medo Lutheran of rural Mapleton, Minnesota.  She retired in 2014.

Barbara was proud to have officiated at the wedding of her son, Jason, to Amelia Hayes at Castle Green, Pasadena, California, on June 28th, 2007.

Barbara was a frequent customer of McDonald’s, purchasing a Happy Meal for her beloved dog, Sheba.  The toy prize went to the young kids at church. In her spare time, she read James Patterson novels. 

While Barbara was serving as Interim Pastor, she kept her ‘home base’ as Blue Earth.  In May, 2017, she became a resident of Friendship Court Assisted Living and eventually moved into the    St. Luke’s complex.  

Barbara is survived by her son, Bryan, of Sun City, Arizona; son, Jason (Amelia) and grandson Quillian of Atlanta, Georgia; and brother Richard (Carol) Rust of Riverside, California.

Preceded in death by her parents, husband, sister, Dr. Geraldine Rust Gehle, and her four-legged companion, Sheba.

Memorials preferred to:          St Luke’s Lutheran Care Center, Blue Earth

                                                 UHD Hospice, Blue Earth, MN

                                                  ELCA Fund for Leaders

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