SPOKANE, Wash. - Barbara Vermillion, 84, being very close to the Lord, negotiated her departure from this world and into the next the evening of June 2, 2022.
Born in Havre, Montana, August 26, 1937, Barbara, affectionately known as Bobbe, was the youngest of four children born to Finley and Rosella Ross. Barbara spent many of her childhood years at the family ranch in the Bear Paw Mountains building experiences riding horses and branding cattle.
She was an excellent student who attended Northern Montana State College in Havre before transferring to Gonzaga University in Spokane. During her final year of college at Gonzaga, she acquired her teaching certificate so that she could pursue a career as an educator.
While at Gonzaga, she met her future husband, Dennis Vermillion. They wed in 1961 in Colville, Washington, and remained together for 59 years until Dennis' passing in 2020. Barbara was an exceptional teacher with a successful career in the West Valley School District in Spokane, where she taught for many years. Barbara touched the lives of many people, including her colleagues, who became dear friends over the years, but also many of her students, who went on to lead successful meaningful lives.
Her teaching background gave her the love of literature, the joy of reading, as well as perfecting the lost art of cursive writing. Barbara was also very instrumental instilling core moral beliefs and the value of hard work into her children; she always placed others before herself.
So much of Barbara's upbringing and faith were rooted in the Catholic Church. She enjoyed serving on the church Parish Council and was the President of the ladies Altar Society for many years. She spent selfless days serving other people in need at the parish, including funeral services, leading the Altar Society, hosting guild meetings and all fundraising events. She found great peace and comfort in her work for Saint Paschals, where her contributions were many and appreciated by all.
Barbara and Dennis bought their first boat (named "The Barbara Ann") when they fell in love with Lake Coeur d' Alene; their young family spent countless days every summer enjoying the lake and each other's company, along with extended family and friends, which later, led to the purchase of a family cabin in Powderhorn Bay the day Mount St. Helens erupted in May of 1980. For years Barb entertained cabin neighbors, hosted dinner parties, kid's birthday parties, uninvited guests, or even just a visit on the deck with the most beautiful view. Her favorite place on earth was always being at the cabin.
After retirement, Barbara spent many days knitting for orphaned Native American children, sending hundreds if not thousands of winterwear to those in need. When her husband's health began to fail, she took on the devoted role of being his primary caregiver. Throughout those challenging years, her dedication to her husband and family never wavered. She was truly a compassionate, caring, and faith-based person with so much to give. She will be terribly missed. Barbara leaves us with many wonderful memories whether you are family or friend.
The family would like to recognize those special neighbors that cared for Barb when she was in need.
Barbara is survived by sons Dennis Vermillion (Marlene) and Douglas Vermillion (Cyndi), and daughter Mary Erbland (David); grandchildren Kristie and Ross Vermillion, Lindsey Woody (Mat), Madison Barney (Lawrence), and Connor Vermillion; great-grandchildren Makai Woody, Maverick Woody and Mila Woody.
Barbara is preceded in death by Finley Ross (father), Rosella Ross (mother), Helen Finlen (sister), Mary Evelyn Lucke (sister), and Lawrence Ross (brother).
Services for family and friends: A Rosary will be held on Friday, July 22, 2022, at 6:30 p.m., and a Mass funeral will be held on Saturday, July 23, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. Both services will be at St. Paschals Catholic Church, located at 2523 N. Park Road, Spokane Valley, WA. A reception will follow immediately after the funeral service.
In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer any donations be made in Barbara's name to the St. Paschals Altar Society.