Barbara C. Lasater passed away on May 18, 2021. She was born on January 23, 1937, in Independence, Kansas, the only child of Lawrence Gilliland and Grace (Wells) Gilliland. After her father’s early passing, her mother married Merle Wilson. Barbara grew up on her parents’ farm near Independence and was active in 4-H and band and orchestra in school. She graduated from Independence High School near the top of her class and went on to attend Independence Community Junior College (ICC) and Kansas State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in home economics. While at KSU, she met Jack Lasater and the two were married in 1959. The young couple made their home in Denver, Colorado, where Barbara taught junior high home economics for several years. When she and Jack returned to Independence to raise their family, Barbara continued her love for education by teaching at Independence Head Start, managing the Independence Child Care Association, and finishing her career teaching at New Beginnings in Neodesha. She loved horses and was an active member of the Independence Trail Riders, the Southeast Kansas Mounted Posse drill team, and the Independence Bar W Saddle Club. Barbara had a life-long love of learning which she most recently expressed by volunteering at the Independence Museum in the genealogy center. She was also a fifty-year member of Eve Chapter #18, Order of the Eastern Star. Barbara spent many hours with her family riding horses, participating in 4-H activities, attending sports and musical performances, and cheering on her beloved Kansas State Wildcats.
Barbara was preceded in death by her father (Lawrence), her mother (Grace), her dad (Merle), and her husband (Jack).
She is survived by children Mark (Jennifer) Lasater and Sheri (John) Garris, both of Independence; five grandchildren: Sarah Lasater, Jake Garris, and Rich Garris of Independence, Cindy Garris of Manhattan, KS, and Kate Garris of Wichita and two great-grandchildren. A celebration of Barbara’s life will be held Saturday, May 29, at the Independence Masonic Lodge at 2000 W. Laurel from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
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