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Barb Wall 11/08/2021

Barb Wall 11/08/2021

Barb Wall (Barbara Leigh Campbell Wall) passed away in her own home on Monday, November 8, 2021.  A well-known, beloved educator and piano teacher, she spread the gift of music wherever she went. Walking on the Kinni pathway, at coffee with friends, on oversea travels or adventures with her daughters, Barb never missed a beat.

Born in Greenville County, South Carolina on June 29, 1937, Barb was the only daughter in a family with four brothers.  She graduated high school in 1955.  She earned degrees from Lees McRae College – Class of 1959 (Banner Elk, NC); Berea College – Class of 1962 (Berea, KY); and a masters from Scarritt College – Class of 1963 (Nashville, TN).

She brought her Southern charisma to Wisconsin via an invitation from the United Methodist Church and also taught music in the Roberts school district before getting married and starting a family. As Christian Education Director at the church, she also led countless colorful and lively performances of Bible stories with the Children’s Choir.

She directed countless choral concerts, Children’s Choir and all-grade school concerts at the local public schools for decades.  She was the first music teacher at Rocky Branch Elementary School – a post she held until she retired in 2003.  Barb was a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music with MTNA and taught private piano lessons well into her eighties, inspired by her childhood piano teacher, Mrs. Clara Heath.  Barb was a proud member of the St. Croix Valley Piano Teacher’s Association, earning the 400-point Teacher Award of Excellence and 2019 Member of the Year.

Barb was an incredible word smith and could slay any crossword puzzle in the daily newspaper. An avid reader, she was in multiple book groups and kept the library staff busy with her weekly list of requests. She had many a whirl wind adventures that took her from missions in Mexico, to the beach of Southern France to riding Segways in Philadelphia. More recently you could find her making an annual trek to North Carolina to spend Thanksgiving with her daughters.

Barb loved to laugh and her spirit was effervescent.  She led a life modeled after Christ investing in and loving people.   She was a beloved mother, friend, teacher, mentor, honorary grandma, pen pal and woman of faith.  Her love of life and feisty determination will be fiercely missed.

Barb was preceded in death by: her parents, Clinton and Falbia Campbell; brothers Clifton Joe Campbell, Charles William (Billy) Campbell and Jack Leroy (Jackie) Campbell; former in-laws, Raymond and Marguerite Wall, and her long-time companion Ray Anderson.

Barb is survived by her two daughters, Janet Wall and JoEllen Wall; former husband, Richard Wall; brother Jerry Campbell; sister-in-laws, Jeanne (Wall) Lee, Marilyn Wall, Barbara (Sizemore) Campbell, Elaine Campbell; many nieces and nephews; and generations of people filled with music in their hearts.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association at

A memorial service was held on Saturday, November 13, 2021 at 12:00 noon at Spirit of Grace Church (127 S 2nd Street) in River Falls.  Face masks were required. The service was livestreamed. Visitation was also on Saturday from 10:00-12:00 noon at the church.  Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services.


  • The Richardson Family Posted November 10, 2021 7:02 pm

    We are so grateful to have known Barb, a dear dear friend. Keeping Janet and JoEllen and family in our thoughts and prayers. Sending hugs and love,
    The Richardson Family.

  • Marquita Erickson Posted November 10, 2021 8:12 pm

    Oh how we loved Barb Wall. She was the first person to invite me to the United Methodist Church’s Deborah Circle, a group of inspirational women I will forever be grateful to have known. Barb was a force and support in my children’s and grandchildren’s lives through children’s choir, piano lessons and their daily lives. Our condolences to Janet and Joellen and all their family. Peace be with you!

  • Pam Friede Posted November 11, 2021 6:07 am

    Barb was like a mother to me. She was there for me during times of great joy, as well times of darkness. I loved her and will miss her spunk, book recommendations, and assertive manner. Peace and love to you Janet and JoEllen. She was so proud of you two! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • Aleisha Colbeth Posted November 11, 2021 7:38 am

    miss you

  • Rese Rochelle Posted November 11, 2021 11:02 am

    I know Ms. Barb mostly thru her daughters, JoEllen &Janet.  Their love, kindness, humor, compassion, talent & incomparable hospitality was fashioned at their beloved mom’s heart, hands, arms & feet. Ms. Barb was the perfect mixture of elegance & peekaboo mischievousness.  She was
    twinkle-in-her-eyes-tender-good-loving fun, fabulous & faaannncy. (like we adoringly tease in the South) You automatically felt better when she walked into a room.  There was a “holy humility” about Ms. Barb, from her presence to her reserve.  Her lovely face, sweet smile, brilliant, grey hair & clear, kind eyes were endearing. She loved others well, w/words & unmistakable action. She leaves us daughters, who in turn love others well.  In 2 scriptures about grey hair, the words “splendor, crown, glory & righteous,” are used. That’s Ms. Barb. 

  • Crowe Family Posted November 11, 2021 11:15 am

    This quote sums up what Ms.Barb & by extension, her daughter’s mean to our family. She was dearly loved & will be sorely missed…her huge heart & warm hugs, her gift of hospitality and much MORE!

    “There is something so holy and healing about eating together. The very act of sitting down around food means that everything, and everyone, has to stop and be present. It creates a safe space for huge amounts of laughter and storytelling; it compels us to truly look into the faces of others. Sharing a table with someone has the capacity to heal wounds, broaden our understanding, reclaim old friendships, destroy tension, offer civility and creates new friendships.”
    – Mike Roeder

    Well done Ms. Barb…WELL DONE!:) It was a pleasure to share a table & break bread with you sweet friend!

  • Nancy Jane Burman Posted November 11, 2021 11:35 am

    Barb’s spunk & wisdom will be missed in the St. Croix Valley Music Teacher group. She was a faithful & active member. Our condolences to her daughters & extended family.

  • Maggie Hough Munroe Posted November 11, 2021 11:55 am

    I first met Barb when I was in college at UW-RF and attending the River Fall’s United Methodist Church. We served on church committees and often found ourselves walking to church together for meetings. The last time that I remember talking with Barb was when our dear friend, Dick Truitt went to our Lord. Janet and Joelle, your mom was such an incredible person and friend. Celebrate her life.

  • Melody Campbell Posted November 11, 2021 1:58 pm

    Aunt Barbara was such a special person, a delight to the soul, an encouragement to the heart, and oh so much fun! There was “never a dull moment” with her around or very few quiet ones , for that matter, and always laughter. Seldom do persons reach their full potentials or use their talents as completely as did my dear aunt. For all the times Janet and JoEllen had with their mother, I know they will find deep comfort in the memories of those moments that elicited such passion, debates, laughter and even tears. Not only do you girls, my precious cousins, feel great loss but so do extended family members, friends, students, colleagues, church family members, and the comunity. To you, Aunt Barbara, I say,

    “Blessings on a life well-lived and an enduring legacy!!”
    With love, prayers, and gratitude always!

  • Sheila Behrendt Posted November 11, 2021 2:40 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about Barb’s passing. She was such a wonderful person. I had the opportunity to work with her at Rocky Branch Elementary. I loved her spirit. She was a fun person to work with, always full of energy. After her retirement I enjoyed running into her and hearing about all her adventures. I will miss her and will never forget her. My sympathies to her family.

  • Brenda Gaulke and family Posted November 11, 2021 8:03 pm

    Knowing Barb all of my life has been a privilege and joy! Music was her love and I know that she is singing and directing all in heaven. Janet and Joellen you are certainly in our thoughts and prayers… hugs to both of you🎹❤️

  • Ann (Erickson) Kaestner Posted November 12, 2021 7:12 am

    I will forever be grateful to Barb for instilling in me a love for and appreciation of music. She was my piano teacher for 10+ years – and I have fond memories of afternoons at the Wall home, not just sitting at that grand piano with Barb, but also hanging out in the kitchen with the girls who gave me my first exposure to grits. Recitals were always awesome! Prepping for WMTA was often challenging (especially the theory!), but she always got me through. As an organist, she was a joy to listen to on Sundays and I was so honored to play with her from time to time. I will also forever cherish her playing at my wedding! After college I moved to NC, but getting to see Barb and catch up was always a treat when I was home. To echo others sentiments, she was incredibly vibrant, full of passion, and a fabulous teacher and mentor. Janet and JoEllen, my heart goes out to you both!

  • Rosanne Power Posted November 12, 2021 10:50 am

    Barb taught all three of our children piano lessons. Her recitals were done so well and we still have piano books with her comments and stickers. She worked tirelessly in our church on the children’s programs. Barb handed down clothes her daughters wore for our girls. Barb’s favorite story she loved to tell in front of us was when our entire family and a couple neighbor girls left church and were headed home just past Barb’s house when we realized we didn’t have our precious 2 year old son. We raced back to church and there he was with Barb. I can just see the twinkle in her eye. Our family is saddened to hear of her death and send our condolences to Janet and JoEllen.

  • Richard Timmerman Posted November 12, 2021 4:06 pm

    Barb came to our River Falls community in the mid-1960s when she accepted a position as Director of Christian Education at the River Falls United Methodist Church. She was a true God-send to all, including the Methodist Youth Fellowship. AND she stayed for her lifetime. She once told me that she wasn’t sure what heaven would be like, but that she was certain that it would be even better than life on earth. She deserves it.

  • Carole Mottaz Posted November 12, 2021 10:09 pm

    I have lovely memories of Barb when she made sure she won the church auction for my English high tea. She would bring three of her friends “dressed to the nines” in stiletto heels and wonderful hats. She was a delight. 💕

  • Jackie Fries Posted November 13, 2021 9:59 am

    Good -bye to a dear dear friend!!!! When Janet called me this morning, it was hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that you had gone to be with Jesus.

    So many things could be said about our friendship. The thing that I remember most is our Saturday evenings at Scarritt College, when just you and I would get together at a piano and sing old hymns.

    I loved to hear you play the piano. I could sit for hours and be blessed by the talent that God gave you. Looking forward to doing that again when I see you in Heaven.

  • Patti (Gray) Kamrath Posted November 13, 2021 10:54 am

    Sorry to hear about the loss of your mom, Janet & JoEllen. Barb was a true gift to the community with her musical talents & sparkling personality. She really was one-of-a-kind!

  • Rev.. Jenny Arneson Posted November 13, 2021 1:46 pm

    It was a joy and a blessing to serve in ministry with Barb during my time at the River Falls United Methodist Church. She will be remembered in the same way she lived life; with a deep love of God, courage, strength, determination and a style that crossed the ages! On the Day of Pentecost I always remember Barb in her red dress and red hat with a red feather for added style!

  • Austin & Brittany Mahanke Posted November 15, 2021 10:49 am

    Barb was a close friend to my wife and I when we first moved to River Falls. We didn’t know many people and moved from a small community. She was so welcoming, loving and always had advice when we needed it. Our hearts sank when we found out of her passing. We will greatly miss her! Our prayers go to her family in this difficult time.

  • Mary & Jim Scheide Family Posted November 15, 2021 3:47 pm

    We remember Barb fondly as our daughters’ piano teacher. I was always astonished that she could teacher at school all day and still have the energy to immediately go home and teach lessons for several more hours. Beyond giving our daughters lifelong love of the keyboard, she also taught them discipline and determination. She made a positive difference in the lives of so many students!

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