Barbara Bellinger Elerath Walker 1929 - 2023

 Barbara Bellinger Elerath Walker, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and sister, passed away February 12, 2023, surrounded by her children. Barbara was sweet, kind, selfless and humble, loved by all who came across her path. She worked hard and loved her family with all her heart, her greatest desire being to help her children be the best they could be.

Barbara, born in McMinnville, Oregon, moved to West Union as a baby, where her father owned and operated a gas station and store. Barbara had many fond memories of early life in West Union, where she attended a one-room schoolhouse through third grade and became an older sister of two younger siblings. During this time, Barbara developed a lifelong habit which brought her many pleasurable moments: an avid reader, she read voluminously on many topics of interest, whether it be fiction or nonfiction.

In 1937, the Bellingers moved to McMinnville, where she graduated from McMinnville High School and lived with her parents until she married Douglas Elerath in 1948. In the post-war years, Barbara and Doug started what became a large family with five children. Barbara was a homemaker who loved cooking and caring for her family with infinite love, patience and devotion, while meeting every challenge with quiet determination, strong faith and stoicism. For many years, Barbara and Doug were busy with family activities such as frequent potlucks and picnics with relatives and friends, trips to the beach, boating and waterskiing over several years, and playing cards frequently with friends. Barbara was a lifelong Christian who attended the First Baptist Church and Methodist Church for many years in McMinnville. Barbara and Doug were married for 41 years, at which time he passed away.

Several years later, Barbara married Charles Walker, with whom she enjoyed many travel adventures abroad. Barbara and Charles moved to Florence, Oregon, where they resided until 2019, when they moved back to McMinnville, where he passed in 2021. While in Florence, Barbara volunteered for the local food pantry for ten years.

Barbara is survived by her daughter, Susan (Phil); sons, Mike (Andrea), Mitch (Melody), David (Sheila), Dan (Jenette), and Robb Walker (Lynn); grandchildren, Amity Gottschalk, Nick Knable (who preceded her in death), Michael T. Elerath, Ryan Knable, Cassandra Walker (Nathan), Prescott Elerath, Shawna Covert (Dave), Kasia Elerath, Dan, Nathan, and Douglas Elerath; 10 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Bev Casey (Fred), and Nancy Munro; and many nieces and nephews to whom she was much beloved.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, February 20, 2023, at First Baptist Church of McMinnville. To leave online condolences, visit

Praises to a wonderful lady who exemplified a life well-lived, a true unsung hero.


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