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1951 Michele 2024

Michele (Berggren) Barton

July 31, 1951 — February 11, 2024

Michele Anne (Berggren) Barton (“Shelley”, “BunnBunn”, “Aunty Bunn”) age 72 of Saint Paul died surrounded by her family on Sunday, February 11, 2024. Michele was preceded in death by her brother Bill Berggren and her parents Merle and Helen.  She is survived by her husband Bill, daughter Anna (Brett), God-daughters Nellie (Ricky) Fox and Kaitlin (Casey) Smith, sister Kristen (Terrance) Smith, many nieces, nephews, family and beloved friends.

Michele was born in Rush City, MN and grew up in Forest Lake, MN. Michele was a member of Forest Lake’s Faith Lutheran Church where she was baptized, confirmed, and married William Barton in 1978.  She inherited her independence, a love of reading and learning from both her Mother Helen and Grandmother Ann.  The oldest of three children, Michele had a penchant for organization and leadership that would serve her well throughout life, particularly in her healthcare career.

Michele attended college and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN) at Saint Scholastica in Duluth.  She worked in intensive care at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth where she started dating her husband, Bill after meeting him at Grandma’s Restaurant in her bib overalls.

After moving to the Grand Forks, ND area with Bill, Michele taught clinical nursing at the University of North Dakota.  During summers Michele also worked for migrant health around East Grand Forks, MN.  While in the Grand Forks area Michele and Bill rented a farmstead surrounded by potato fields near Oslo, Minnesota. One time a blizzard snowed them in for three days.

When Bill went to graduate school in Golden, Colorado at the Colorado School of Mines, Michele worked at hospitals in Denver.  When they moved to Minneapolis-Saint Paul area Michele managed various clinics including urgent care centers for Park Nicollet and Allina Health.  Michele was a 40-year member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Saint Paul where her daughter Anna was baptized and confirmed.  Michele served in the Sunday School, Church Council and committees.

Outside of her work and church, Michele enjoyed organizing and cooking for family holiday gatherings and parties, reading, gardening, picnics, hiking, boating, traveling, and spending time with her family and many friends.  She had a special affinity for trips to the San Francisco area, the first trip she took with husband Bill to enjoy scenery, cable cars, opera, restaurants and winery tours.  (Their honeymoon was up to Grand Rapids and the Gunflint Trail.) Michele traveled to the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Hungary, England, France, Denmark, Czech Republic, Sweden, and Norway with Bill and Anna.  She enjoyed spending time at the family’s Ten Mile Lake Cabin in the last couple of years.

Michele always loved music and had a beautiful voice. She sang in her high school choir and recently was a member of MacPhail’s Giving Voice chorus, created to empower people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia through choral singing.

Michele fondly recalled having the neighborhood kids over to watch “The Wizard of Oz” because they had the first color TV in their Forest Lake neighborhood.  In the “The Wizard of Oz” Aunty Em counsels Dorothy to “Find yourself a place where you won’t get into any trouble.”  Dorothy conjures up a place far, far away behind the moon and beyond the rain – “Over the Rainbow.” We are sure Michele is with God there now, at peace with clouds far behind her.

A funeral service honoring her life will be held at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 South Snelling Avenue, Saint Paul, MN at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, February 27, 2024. A gathering will be held at 10 a.m. until the time of the service. Lunch will be served following the service.

Flowers may be sent to Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in advance of the service and memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, http://act.alz.org/goto/Barton .

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Michele (Berggren) Barton, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Celebration of Life

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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