Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Barbara Kile

July 8, 1951 - October 22, 2021


October 28, 2021

Barbara Kile

Barbara Kile

Barbara entered through heaven's gate on October 22nd after a four-week battle with COVID. She passed away peacefully with her husband and children by her side. Unfortunately, she was unable to be vaccinated due to severe allergies.

Barb was born July 8, 1951, to Bill and Betty Manser in Ontario, Oregon. Barb found her love for flowers in Ontario and began her florist career at the Flower Trunk. On a blind date in a very nice bar (so she claimed), she met the love of her life Jim Kile. At the time Jim was a banker in Nampa, Idaho, but returned home to St. John, Washington, three months prior to their wedding to farm. On November 8, 1975, they were married in Ontario, Oregon. She always told her friends she would never marry a farmer (she thought she was marrying a banker), as she grew up on a row crop farm, but low and behold she ended up marrying a dry land wheat farmer.

In 1977 Jim and Barb welcomed their daughter Kimberly into the world and in 1981 their son Ryan was born. Barb wanted to share her passion for flowers with her community by starting her own floral business at their home in St. John. She never imagined her floral business becoming what it was and then being able to work with her dear friends Debbie and Maryann in creating an annual craft show in her home. She then took her talents to begin her business "Touch of Elegance" where she hosted formal luncheons and teas in her home. She had a love of entertaining and each group that came by car or bus, truly had a memorable experience that only Barb could create. Her signature trademark chocolate lace butterflies and delicately carved butter into a flower are something that she was known for.

In 1998 due to her well known success she was featured on the front page of the Spokesman Review as a cover article detailing her business and passion for entertaining and hosting teas and lunches. Her excessive love of decorating sometimes made the family have to decorate for Christmas at Halloween making us wonder when Christmas would really come or end. Barb ran her Touch of Elegance business for over 20 years, loving each and every moment, as she met some many wonderful and inspiring guests, she created so many life long friendships.

As her grandchildren started entering the world, they quickly became her focus and love. Nothing brought her more joy than seeing the smiles and hearing the giggles of her four granddaughters. As good as she was with floral design and entertaining, she was meant to be a grandma. She has shared with them her love for cooking, flowers and decorating over the years.

She was a woman of grace, love, faith and compassion. Barb is leaving a lasting legacy that anyone who ever met her will never ever forget.

Barb is survived by her husband Jim of 46 years at the family home in St. John; her daughter Kim (spouse Shane Jorgensen) Spokane Valley, Wash., son Ryan (spouse Deanna Kile) Pullman, Wash .; four precious granddaughters, Brooke and Addy Jorgensen, with Nelly and Perry Kile; her mother Betty Manser, Newport, Oregon; siblings Carol Parker, Independence, Ore., Darla (Greg McGary), Portland, Oregon, Rod Manser, Newport, Oregon, and Bill (Connie Manser), Kona, Hawaii. She was preceded in death by her father Bill Manser.

The memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, November 3, 2021, at the St. John United Methodist Church in St. John, Wash. A hosted reception will follow at the St. John Community Center. Barbara will be laid to rest at the St. John Cemetery privately by her family. Masks are strongly encouraged for those in attendance at the memorial service and reception.

Memorials can be made to Shriners Hospital for Children, 911 W. 5th Ave., Spokane, WA 99204; the Providence Health Care Foundation of Eastern Washington, 101 W. 8th Ave., Spokane, WA 99204 or a charity of your choice. Bruning Funeral Home of Colfax, Washington, is caring for the family. On-line guest book is at http://www.bruningfuneralhome.com.


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