Barbara Jean “B. J.” Greeley, 51, of Hendricks, MN, passed away Sunday, March 1, 2020, at Hendricks Community Hospital in Hendricks, MN. Her funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, March 13, 2020, at Redfield United Methodist Church in Redfield, SD. Reverend Marty Toepke-Floyd will officiate. Visitation will be one hour before the service, starting at 9:30 a.m., at the church. A time for lunch and fellowship will follow after the service at the church.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Hyke Funeral Home, Redfield, SD. (www.hykefuneralhome.com)
Barbara was born on October 6, 1968, in Sisseton, SD, to Ramona Greeley and Henry LaCroix. She was adopted three weeks later by Rev. Orland and Lyla Sloat and named Mary Ellen. Her adopted family included two brothers, Philip and Dayton, and a sister, Rachel. She celebrated her first Christmas in the United Methodist parsonage in Selby, SD, by contracting chicken pox.
Mary Ellen started school at Beresford, SD, and continued her education at Highmore, Hamlin, and White River before returning to Hamlin High School where she graduated in 1988. Mary Ellen never liked her name, so when she turned 18, she had her adoptive file opened. She learned that her birth name was Barbara Jean Greeley and had her name legally changed.
Following her graduation, she became a Certified Nursing Assistant and began working the night shift at the Lake Norden Nursing Home. She bought a home in Hayti, SD. Deanna Ruesink was a co-worker and good friend during this time. In 2007 B. J. transferred to the nursing home in Hendricks, MN, where she worked until her death. She made Hendricks her home.
B. J. was a very compassionate caregiver and a hard worker. She was always willing to work extra shifts when asked. Her dedication was recognized by the Nursing Home when she was named Employee of the Month in November 2019. On July 19, 2018, just before midnight, lightning struck the Hendricks Nursing Home, starting a fire. As smoke began to fill the halls, B. J., together with two other staff worked quickly to evacuate all the residents. She suffered some smoke inhalation but all the residents escaped harm. She was later recognized by the city of Hendricks for her heroic action with a special “Kudos” award!
B. J. loved dogs, especially her dachshunds! She was a huge Green Bay Packers fan. She enjoyed camping and family. Even though she never had any children, she loved and nurtured lots of other people’s kids.
B. J. reconnected with her biological family in the Sisseton area and enrolled as a member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton-Oyate in 2014. The Greeley Family held a reunion the summer of 2018 and she met her sister, Annette. They immediately recognized that they were soulmates. B. J. and Annette traveled together and made plans to share a home. B. J. was diagnosed with ovarian cancer just one month before her death. Annette was with B. J. constantly caring for her during this time.
Grateful for having shared her life are her mother, Lyla Siebrecht of Redfield, SD, brothers Philip (Kelly) Sloat of Franklin, NE, Dayton (Michelle) Griffin-Sloat of Fontana, CA, Dwayne LaCroix, Sisseton, SD, Cameron Greeley of Tea, SD, and Jordan LaCroix, Sisseton, SD; sisters Annette Stillson of Hendricks, MN, Deana Owen, Rosetta Greeley and Lindsay LaCroix all of Sisseton, SD; cousins Bonnie Seely and Bernita Peterson of Rapid City, SD and Crystal Renville of Sisseton, SD; many nieces and nephews including Loren Greeley, Jr.; her good friends Deanna and Dean Ruesink of Clear Lake, SD, and co-workers and close friends, Brenda Bauman and Danielle Streich; her furry family, Oscar and Otis; and many other aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
B. J. was preceded in death by her biological parents, Ramona Greeley and Henry LaCroix; sister, Rachel Parker; brother, Wayne Stillson; father, Orland Sloat; and her step-father, Harlan Siebrecht.
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