Barbara “Barb” Stephens, 74, died at the Sheridan Memorial Nursing Home in Plentywood on Nov. 27, 2023.
Barbara Jean Benner Stephens, the second of four children of Elaine Jensen and Harold Benner, was born in Havre on March 24, 1949. Her grandparents, Bettie and Palmer Jensen of Medicine Lake were early pioneers.
She grew up in Cavalier and Fargo, N.D. She graduated from Fargo High School in 1967. After high school, she worked at the 1st National Bank in Fargo.
She and Robert Ekerberg were married in Fargo, N.D., and two sons, Robert and Randall Ekerberg, joined their family. While her family was growing, she worked at Hombacher’s Grocery in Fargo.
She moved to Wolf Point, where she married James “Nim” Stephens Nov. 21, 1987. She worked for a time at the Tastee Freeze and later worked as a special ed aide for Northside School in Wolf Point.
She and Nim retired to the Medicine Lake area in 1999. She spent many hours of her day with her craft projects and began selling her crafts at many of the local craft fairs. She was well known for her “scrubbies” and she sold them throughout Montana. She was known to many as the “Scrubbie Lady.” She worked in Medicine Lake Schools as an aide and substitute teacher for several years.
She was always good for a song, a joke, a giggle and a dance. She was a cancer survivor. Her active life was cut short by a head injury in an accident which later resulted in a battle with Alzheimer’s.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jim “Nim” Stephens; and son, Robert Ekerberg.
She is survived by her son, Randall Ekerberg; siblings, Nancy Wey; Bonnie Heslin and Todd Benner; stepson, James Stephens; three grandchildren; a step-granddaughter; and a great-granddaughter.
Graveside committal services will be conducted at the Medicine Lake Cemetery in the summer of 2024.