Stella Frances Barger


November 18th, 1934 – March 31st 2015


Stella #1Stella Frances Barger nee Fischer, 80, of Everett Washington passed away March 31st 2015 at the UW Medical Center Hospital due to complications resulting from a recent surgery. Her grandson Bill Barger, (named for his grandfather/Stella’s late husband), was by her side when she passed. She was born to Elsie Pearl Deweese and Paul Henry Fischer in Kelso, Washington, on November 18th, 1934.


Growing up, Stella attended several schools including Monterey Bay Academy, Pacific Union College, and graduated as an LPN from Mesa State University.   Stella enjoyed learning. She was an avid reader and student of many subjects throughout her life. During her life she was a homemaker, Medical Records Transcriptionist at Loma Linda Hospital, a Nurse and Activities Director for La Villa Grande Nursing Home, Housekeeper, and Telemarketer for State Roofing in Everett, Washington. In later years she spent time volunteering for Providence Hospital in Everett Washington where she worked in the medical library. She also served on an advisory board at Providence that helped shape several patient policies. Stella was actively involved with her local church community at The Vintage Apartments where she served on the church advisory committee. In her earlier years she taught children’s Sabbath School classes for the Seventh Day Adventist church. Stella loved to write, and as a writer Stella sold several articles for publication. Stella was treasured by those close to her, and continually helped others within her community. On one such occasion she assisted her pastor with finding the funding for his eye surgery that restored his sight.


Stella Barger was a caring mother, beloved grandmother, and doting great grandmother.   Stella GraduationDuring her life she enjoyed long drives, hikes in the mountains, camping, visiting National and State Parks, and visiting amusement parks such as Knotts Berry Farm, Disney Land, and Sea World. Stella loved to crochet. Hardly a person in her family or circle of friends, was without an afghan, article of clothing, or stuffed animal that she had crocheted. She also taught crochet classes at The Vintage Apartments. Throughout her life she continued to be a passionate student of the Bible, assisting others in their Biblical studies while actively participating in her community church Bible studies. Spiritually she was often a mentor to other members of her church community. Even though Stella struggled financially in later years, she managed to find a way to purchase Bibles for all those in her community at The Vintage Apartments in Everett who were unable to afford them. Stella enjoyed cooking for her family and for her friends. She was always tinkering with a recipe to make it “better,” which usually worked great, but occasionally resulted in odd looking and tasting creations.


During Stella’s life she lived in Castle Rock and Everett Washington, Denver and Grand Junction Colorado, Phoenix, Arizona, Mariposa, Loma Linda and San Bernardino, California, but her heart always resided in Washington, the state of her birth. Stella grew up in Castle Rock Washington and Mariposa California. She would often regale friends and family for hours with stories of her childhood. She loved sitting at Mukilteo beach watching the water. She also loved ferry rides, which she called “the poor man’s boat ride.” Stella loved animals as long as they were not reptilian in nature. Stella also relished music, especially harp music which she could listen to for hours while reading or crocheting. When her son Mark began playing the Native American Flute she also learned to play the flute and enjoyed both listening to and playing this instrument.


Stella is survived by her daughter, Renee Martin of Pasco, Washington, and her son, Mark (Carol) Barger of Joplin, Missouri, her four grandchildren Ryan (Sarah) Martin of Newberg, Oregon, Levi (Jessie) Martin of Pasco, Washington. Darren Barger of Ben Wheeler, Texas, and Bill (Riley) Barger of Marysville, Washington. She is also survived by great grandchildren, Hannah, Isabella, John & Micaiah Martin, Evan & Gunner Martin, and Landon Barger. Stella also leaves behind several cousins, nephews and nieces along with a host of friends who played an important role in her life.


She was preceded in death by her husband, William C. Barger, sisters: Eileene Johnson and Edith Bumguardner, brother, Quaife Fischer, and son-in-law, John Martin.


Stella and Evan 2

A memorial service to celebrate Stella’s life will be held this Saturday April 11th at 1pm at The Vintage Apartments, 1001 East Marine View Drive, Everett Washington, 98201. The service will be held in the main floor activities room.




3 Responses to “Stella Frances Barger”

  • Maria Johnson Neilsen says:

    My dear great aunt Stella Barger. You will be greatly missed and I so loved you and your whitty conversations and wisdom. I have many fond memories of my childhood with you in them and all the crafts and your wonderful laugh and a hug always time for us kids. I am so sad to hear of your passing.

  • Renee Martin says:

    My mother, Stella Barger passed away last week…she was a pretty amazing woman. She could crochet better than anyone I knew, often re-wrote patterns to make them work, once crocheted a beautiful, full-size bedspread out of THREAD ….and also crocheted a 4 1/2 foot stuffed Alligator for my boys when they were little. She could be a lot of fun! I remember when we were little how she loved taking trips; hikes up the tallest peak in Southern CA, Mount San Gorgonio, (which she called “poop out hill”) the zoo, historical sites, arboretums, Yosemite, Sequoia, and Joshua Tree, picnics at the beach, or Lake Arrowhead & Big Bear, Disneyland, Japanese Deer Park, Sea World, Campmeeting,the Circus, Griffith Park Observatory, etc. If there was something to do or see, or somewhere to go, we went. She was a master of the “surprise afternoon drive”. One of her favorite places to go on a Saturday night was Knott’s Berry Farm….however, she was clever about that.. she would announce that we were taking a Sabbath Afternoon “drive” which usually elicited groans from my brother and I – and more often than not, our “drives” just happened to end up at places like Knott’s Berry Farm, or the Circus, a couple minutes after sundown. smile emoticon My mom taught Cradle Roll for the tiny tots at Loma Linda University when I was just a toddler. She had an entire closet in our house dedicated to all the Bible story felts. It was pretty impressive. And when SHE taught Cradle Roll, it was like “Cadillac Cradle Roll” almost like a miniature Bible Story Disneyland for toddlers. My mother never did anything by halves… if she did something, she was determined to WOW everyone by doing it better than anyone else.. and she usually succeeded. She was never satisfied with doing something adequately or just okay. If my mom put her hand to it, you could count on it being pretty much over the top, down to the last tiny, intricate,detail! Which usually meant she didn’t really trust anyone else to help, either, unless they were open to being carefully supervised by her. smile emoticon And she expected the same from us. I think I’m a pretty good housekeeper, but I never managed to keep pace with her standards. For a long time, I was certain my mother invented “spring cleaning”. smile emoticon And if she taught you how to clean something, you learned to CLEAN it! smile emoticon She was unwavering in her determination to get me to practice the piano, so she would set a timer for 30 minutes every day for me to practice.. however, she kept the timer where I couldn’t see it, and I would usually tire and complain that it seemed like my 30 minutes must have been up a LONG time ago… she insisted they weren’t as the timer had not yet dinged & I would dutifully go back to practicing. When i was grown, she confessed that she used to extend the time by 10-15 minutes or more to be sure I got in a good practice! smile emoticon My mother LOVED to cook…. and her Lasagna and Rocky Mountain venison were legendary. She also had many favorite foods she enjoyed, including date shakes and homemade pumpkin pie, which she considered, a great “breakfast” food. And every trip to the beach was topped off with a stop at Sees Candy on the way home. smile emoticon She taught me to cook and I learned that, if you bake a cookie it should be nice and soft. If it’s the least bit crunchy, it’s BURNT according to my mom, and completely inedible. She had the occasional culinary mishap and once managed to bake a pecan pie from scratch where the crust floated to the top! She enjoyed a good movie and back in the 60’s she would dress up in dress, heels and nylons, just to go to a movie in the theater. She also had an opinion on pretty much everything and she didn’t hesitate to share it. She defended her children fiercely, so much so, that I learned NOT to let her know if I had an issue with another student or a teacher. If she knew about it, she was down at the school the next day to straighten it out. I remember her favorite expression when she was determined to defend one of us, or set someone else straight was “I’m going to raise hell and build a fire under it” And she pretty much delivered, when she was protecting her family. My mother loved music, books, history, Biblical discussions, crocheting, knitting, cross stitch, baking, movies, entertaining, writing, and reading stories to great grandchildren as well as table games. She also loved animals and we always had cats in our home as well as a dog, parakeets, fish and even a pet rat, when I was growing up. I remember she once unsuccessfully attempted to raise 60 baby Red Platy’s in a punch bowl! She often told us stories of growing up in Mariposa, California and how her mother built their stone fireplace by hand. She told us about their baby goats that got in the mud and slid down the windshield of their car, and once got in the house, climbed the table and pulled down the curtains, as well as their BULL, named “Steaks & Gravy” that was practically a family pet. She told us about the time she ran barefoot, right over the top of a large rattle snake! My mom HATED snakes with a passion..and in her effort to rid the neighborhood of ANY snake she came across, she once unwittingly chopped a neighbor boy’s pet garter snake into very tiny pieces with a hoe from our garage. She felt really bad about that when she found out. Having grown up during the Tehachapi Earthquake, with it’s ensuing, 188 large aftershocks, earthquakes didnt’ phase my mom.When the ground started shaking she would calmly stand still and WAIT to see if it would turn out to be something REALLY big. She recalled dishes falling off their shelves throughout that whole summer, and although she was afraid of many things, including traveling outside North America, and especially germs; earthquakes didn’t bother her at all. My mother loved to laugh and she had an amazing ability to see the humor in much of life, and often even in the worst of situations. And I think that managed to rub off on the rest of us, even my boys. My mother was an avid learner, really enjoyed a challenge and was also fairly competitive. She loved God, and although she was NOT a fan of organized religion, the last couple of years, she helped organize and run a small church in the Senior apartment building where she lived. I love my mother very much, however, she was fiercely independent and try as I might I could never convince her to let us move her closer to me or my children, so we could spend more time with her and look after her. She was determined to remain independently where was, and was thankfully blessed with an extensive circle of wonderful friends in the building where she lived, and she will be greatly missed! She was 80 years old and still taught a weekly crochet class! I often find myself coming home from work, setting down my keys and thinking, I need to call mom before she goes to bed, before realizing, I can’t do that anymore… it makes my heart sad and doesn’t seem right that she’s no longer here.

  • Carolyn Barger says:

    well I guess you could say I knew mom for many years. She started out as Aunt Stella and later became my Mother in law/Mom. Growing up I stayed with Marla. On Sabbath afternoons when we didn’t go to Mesa we would go to Moms and visit. Some Sunday’s we would climb into there pinto and go to Glenwood Springs to the hot springs. . And when going to Palisade high school she would have lunch ready for me when it was time. Sometimes I would eat with mark other times not. He was a year or two ahead of me.
    As I got older and mark and I got together we would just have different conversations while the guys were out on the lake. She would be crocheting as we visited while dad, mark and sometimes Darren would be out on the lake fishing. She loved her grandkids and she was a big help with them. She homeschooled billy for about a year and when realized he needed that socialization she helped get him in soccer and went to his games. When sometimes Darren went over to her house after school she would help him with his homework. She liked to camp and went with us to many places such as Yellowstone, Jackson hole and then just places closer to home when the kids were younger. She tried really hard to teach me how to crochet but I was unable to learn other than the chain (which I couldn’t do today). When I started cleaning houses she went with me the first time and showed me the little things that should be done To make it better for the homeowner. You know mom has taught me a lot. I wanted to say thank you. We will miss calling you and talking to you and receiving your calls. Also your advice about various different things. We all love you. Rest in peace.

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