Barbara Ruth Hastings

Barbara Ruth Hastings (nee Bray), aged 85, left this earthly plane on Sunday, 19 November 2017. The cause was a massive stroke.

Barbara was born 3 April 1932 in Des Moines, Iowa to Chalmer and Ruth Bray. She spent her 85 years positively impacting many lives. She was a great mother to 5 children as well as a devoted military wife who moved her family in service to this nation 7 times in 20 years. She was a caring friend and a compassionate, skilled Registered Nurse. Barbara was awarded the Meritorious Service Medical twice during her time in government service at the Fort Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital.

Barbara graduated from Iowa Methodist School of Nursing in 1953 and worked as a nurse in ICU/CCU, maternity and emergency wards and taught for the American Red Cross. After her retirement, Barbara volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and was an election polling place worker. Her interests were social justice and caring for the environment. She was brave enough to para-sail off the Remarkables Mountains in New Zealand (at age 70), take college classes (and get A+ grades) and also get her Emergency Medical Technician – Ambulance (EMT) certification after her children left home. She traveled to Iceland the week before her death – walked on a glacier, saw the Northern Lights and floated in geothermal pools.

Her husband Ronald Dale Hastings, an artist and career Navy Non-Commissioned Officer, predeceased her in 1996. She is survived by her five children, 10 grandchildren and six (soon to be 7) great-grandchildren and one child for whom she served as a governess. Earlier in life, Barbara had elected to have no heroic medical measures if she had a non-recoverable illness. Her family cared for her at home with the help of wonderful hospice nurses and her physicians.

Barbara’s final gift was to donate her body to medical school so the physicians-in- training could learn from it. Her family will have a memorial at the time her ashes are returned in 12-18 months.

A special thanks to her physicians Dr. Daly, Dr. Koreckij and Dr. Elliot and their nursing staff for care over the years. They allowed her the freedom to be actively involved in her own care and this added to her quality of life. The family also wishes to express an incredibly deep gratitude to University Medical Emergency Department and Compassus Hospice nurses.

Bye-Bye Miss American Pie. We loved you.

Memorial gifts may be sent to the Columbia Food Bank in Columbia, MO.


  1. Dolores (Bush) Ogden on November 29, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    I remember her from my teenage years always caring about others first. What a great lady she was! Prayers for the Hastings family. ?

  2. Ginger Carlisle on November 29, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    I’m very grateful that her legancy will live along with my awesome daughter-in-law (Niki Carlisle) and beautiful grand daughters. I’m truly sorry for your loss.

  3. Dawn Thompson on November 29, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    David Terri and family was so sorry to hear about your loss. What I have read she was one fantastic lady. That is in proof how Terri thought so much of her. Love to you and prayers as time goes on.

  4. Beverly Wallace on November 29, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Barb and I were friends for more than 20 years. I met her when she was visiting her sister Merrilyn in Texas. She was a wonderful and caring person and so lucky to have her adoring family. I miss her every day and so thankful for the years we shared our friendship…..

  5. Rosemary Zelazek, RN, BSN on November 29, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    Can’t ask for a better send-off Barb! You and your kids did it to the MAX??

  6. Daniel Patterson on November 29, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    What a remarkable lady! She lived a long and prosperous life. She will certainly be missed!

  7. Nancy Smeby Collins on November 29, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    So sorry for your loss.

  8. Charlene McCracken on November 30, 2017 at 9:38 am

    Because of Jesus there is hope in times of sorrow and hope for the heart. For he is always with you and promises never to depart. Please know that I am praying for you all!!

  9. Mary Pat and Mike on November 30, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    David and Terri,
    She was such a wonderful woman! I am so sorry for your loss!! Hugs to all!!
    Praying for you!

  10. Judy Dunn on December 1, 2017 at 7:20 am

    To all the family, What a memorable and precious life she led and even better , the memories she created and left to each of you ! Love and Prayers Teri, Hugs and love !

  11. Robin Bratten-Woerheide on December 1, 2017 at 7:42 am

    David and Terri,
    I remember when you lived across the street. She was a very sweet and kind lady. My prayers go out to you and your family. Many Blessing, Robin

  12. Gisela Richey on December 4, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    My sincere condolences to your family at the passing of an incredible woman. What a beautiful tribute to her, in this obituary. What a gift that her final days were full of adventure in Iceland, shared by her loved ones.

  13. Terri Leedom & Donna Keeton on December 5, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Barb was a truly amazing woman! She was in nursing school with my mom, Donna Keeton. I learned so much about my mom from Barb – some things I am sure my mom didn’t want me to know….and we laughed about that. I have truly been blessed by knowing Barb, and have been inspired by her strength, her generosity, & her love for life. Mom & I will miss her tremendously, although I know our paths will meet again someday. Our hearts go out to Barb’s family. We truly loved this lady!

  14. pH on May 27, 2020 at 10:29 pm

    Miss you, Mom

  15. PH on July 17, 2023 at 2:18 pm

    Still miss you, Mom,

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