Barbara Janelle Byman was born in Rolla, North Dakota to Reno and Marian Juntunen on September 23rd, 1950. She was raised on a farm east of town and spent her childhood years helping with farm chores while attending public school. Barb graduated from high school in 1968 and moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota for work. Later that same year, she met Lawrence Byman at the wedding of Steve and Judy Byman where Lawrence was the best man and Barb sang a solo. Later, Barb moved to Seattle to look for work and Lawrence moved there as well to attend the University of Washington. During this time, Barb and Lawrence began to become friends. In 1971, Lawrence was drafted into the Army and sent to Korea for 18 months of service. After his discharge in 1972, Lawrence began working at the hospital and he and Barb became reacquainted and soon began courting. Lawrence returned to his university studies in January of 1974 and married Barb on June 29th, 1974.
Their marriage was blessed with two daughters, Angela Hänninen (Jouni) of Tikkakoski, Finland and Joanna Davis (Andrew) of Longview, Washington, and five sons, Phillip (Cortney) of Castle Rock, Washington, Kenneth (Ann) of Silt, Colorado, Kevin (Kelly) of Wasilla, Alaska, Travis (Sara) of Cokato, Minnesota, and Joshua (Melanie) of Sebeka, Minnesota.
Barb enjoyed music through playing piano and organ and singing. She willingly accompanied family members and others in musical arrangements. She was actively involved in church music projects including musical programs, editing and writing songs. Along with her husband, they organized a project to set up a bell choir for the church youth. She also spent many hours reading books for personal pleasure and loved spending time reading kid’s books to her grandchildren. Barb was talented in her sewing abilities. In her later life, she actively sewed handmade gifts for others. She loved spending time with her family and loved ones and always had time to listen. Her warm and gentle approach touched many hearts and will be missed by many.
Barb passed away unexpectedly at St. John Medical Center on June 12th, 2021, at the age of 70. She is survived by her husband of nearly 47 years, Lawrence Byman of Longview, Washington, her two daughters and five sons, 48 grandchildren, and three sisters: Carole Groff, Marlene Lake, and Loraine Kumpula (Gordon).
She was preceded in death by her parents, Reno and Marian Juntunen, her in-laws, Eino and Miriam Byman, and two brothers-in-law, Gene Groff and Rodney Lake.
Personal faith was most important to Barb as a lifelong member of the Laestadian Lutheran Church.
Funeral Services will be held at the Longview Laestadian Lutheran Church on June 24, 2021, at 11:00 am.