Barbara Kay Eller, 76, died peacefully at home, surrounded by family, on Sept. 30, 2020, in Wilkesboro. She was born March 6, 1944, in Leavenworth, Kan., to Robert William and Catherine Frances (Klimcak) Murray, a golf pro at Fort Leavenworth Army post and homemaker.
She graduated from the Old Cathedral Grade School and Immaculata High School in 1962. After school, she went to work at Fort Leavenworth in the finance department for several years. There she met her husband, Ernest Eller, who was stationed at Fort Leavenworth.
The Celebration of Life Mass will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at St. John Baptiste de LaSalle Catholic Church, 275 C.C. Wright Road, North Wilkesboro, N.C., 28659.
If you cannot join the Celebration of Life Mass in person, you can view it at the following website: https://www.stjohnnc.org.
Ernest and Barbara were married on Jan. 3, 1970, at Immaculate Conception Church in Leavenworth, Kan. Though she loved her home in the Midwest, they decided to move east to North Carolina in 1976 to be closer to extended family and for an opportunity to share the beautiful mountains and beaches with her children.
She quickly fell in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains and spent many years with her family enjoying camping, hiking and picnicking throughout the scenic parkway as well as shopping and dining in the town of Blowing Rock. She also discovered her love for the Carolina beaches, especially Kiawah Island and spent many years vacationing there.
Barbara loved being active and never stood on the sidelines. She participated in the Charleston Cooper River Bridge Run, walking 6.2 miles with her children and grandchildren many times. She also enjoyed sports and cheered on the Carolina Panthers weekly when attending the games.
When it came to Wilkes County, she loved her “hometown” and one of her favorite days was the annual Brushy Mountain Apple Festival. She spent many years attending and volunteering at the St. John Catholic Church booth. Her apple pies were the BEST!
Barbara loved her Catholic faith and was very involved in her church. Over the years, she was president of the Women’s Club, Newcomers Director and served on several committees to help support St. John Baptiste de Lasalle. Her contributions and love for her parish were endless.
Throughout her professional life, she held many different positions at various schools in Wilkes County and was an educator and mentor to many children.
Barbara was a dedicated wife, mother and grandmother. She loved life to the fullest and made even the smallest of moments special. She lived every day for her family, always wanting to make their day as bright and colorful as the Rainbow and making sure her grandchildren knew she “Loved them to the moon and back.” Her spirit was contagious and her smile was brighter than the sun.
She was a “second mom” to many and her love of people and deep devotion to her faith made her the amazing woman that she was.
Knowing that she is now with the Angels in heaven, the stars will surely twinkle brighter each night.
Barbara was an inspiration to all. We will cherish every loving memory forever. We love you.
She was preceded in death by her parents; and two brothers, Robert Dale and Donald Joseph Murray.
She is survived by her husband, Ernest Eller of Wilkesboro; her four children, Ernest Eller II and wife, Stephanie, Holly Eller James and husband, David, Michael Eller and wife, Allison, and Nicholas Eller and wife, Katie, all of Mooresville; her nine grandchildren, Kyrsten Eller, 20, Duncan Eller III, 17, Catherine Ann James, 6, Mary Elizabeth James, 2, William David James, 4 months, Landon Eller, 6, Emily Eller, 3, Caroline Eller, 7, and Charlotte Eller, 5, all of Mooresville; her brother, David (Kathleen) Murray of Mount Prospect, Ill.; and sisters-in-law, Beth Ann Murray of Roswell, Ga., and Marilyn Murray of Lansing, Kas.
Flowers will be accepted. Online condolences may be made at www.reinssturdivant.com.