Barbara Bot

Barbara Bot

Barbara A. Bot, age 95, formerly of Luverne, Minnesota, died peacefully on Monday, January 16, 2023, surrounded by family at the Good Samaritan Society – Luther Manor in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Memorial service will be Monday, January 30, at 2:00 p.m., with visitation beginning at 12:00 Noon, at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Luverne. Burial will follow at St. Catherine Cemetery in Luverne. Arrangements are under the care of Hartquist Funeral Home in Luverne. To sign an online registry, please visit

Barbara Adelaide Bot was born on January 20, 1927, to Luther and Venie (Orhans) Breen in Aberdeen, South Dakota. The family moved to Scotland, SD, where Barbara grew up with her two sisters and three brothers. Barbara and her twin sisters performed for many special events in the community; singing, tap dancing and playing the piano. In high school, she worked at her father’s drug store. In 1944, Barbara was Homecoming Queen at Scotland High School. While performing at the annual Pharmacy Banquet at SDSU, Barbara met the handsome Pharmacy Club president, Al Bot, who had recently returned from service in WWII. After a brief courtship, Al moved to Coronado, California, and Barbara stayed in South Dakota to teach school. She later completed her studies at the University of South Dakota, earning a degree in social work. In the early 1950s after graduation, Barbara served in the USO at an Air Force base in Japan. Her time in Japan made a lifelong impression on Barbara. She spoke fondly of the Japanese people, writing in a letter home that “it is hard to believe that we were at war with these people just a short time ago.” During the Korean War, Barbara worked as a triage nurse in Japan helping transfer wounded soldiers arriving from Korea to hospitals. When Barbara completed her service in Japan, she resumed her courtship with Al Bot back in the States. They were united in Holy Matrimony on Coronado Island in 1952. Daughters Kris Anne and Robin were born in Coronado. In 1955, the young family relocated to Luverne, MN, where Al and Barbara owned and operated Bot Drugstore for many years. Jono, Connie and Jennifer added to their growing family. Al and Barbara loved Luverne and lived there happily for over 60 years.

Barbara was an active volunteer; supporting church, schools, and numerous community activities. She served as a Girl Scout leader, Episcopal church organist, and founding member of PEO Chapter DI. She was PEO President and later honored as a 60-year member. In 1965, Barbara organized a community-wide fundraising program in Luverne that helped numerous local organizations. Barbara and other community leaders founded the Rock County Red Arrow, a fundraising organization that supported various local non-profits and continues today under the LACF Community Grant Fund. Later in life, Barbara worked for the Minnesota court system as a Guardian Ad Litem representing children. She was involved in many community projects whenever help was needed. She loved playing the piano, singing, reading, volunteering, traveling, camping, hiking, cooking for friends and family, helping others in need and, most of all, spending time with her family.

Barbara moved to Luther Manor in Sioux Falls in 2018. She passed away peacefully with family beside her on Monday, January 16, just four days before her 96th Birthday. She was much loved by her care team. Upon hearing of Barbara’s passing, one staff member said, “We all need a dose of Barbara Bot!”

Barbara is lovingly remembered by her daughters, Kris Anne and (Robert) Christenson of Sioux Falls; Robin and (John) Fritsch of Sioux Falls; Connie and (Rodney) England of Edina, MN; and Jennifer and (Kerry) Middleton of Edina, MN; daughter-in-law, Susan Bot of Sioux Falls; 13 grandchildren -- Jono, Kaitlin and Marie Claire Christenson; Andrew, Rachel, Joanna, Veronica and Luke Fritsch, Kelli Spader; Patrick and Philip England; and Jack and Andrea Middleton; ten great grandchildren, Olympia Fritsch; Everett, Jack and Tommy Schultz; Josie and Jhaimann Huntington; Briggs and Nash Spader; Elizabeth and Joseph England; sister Joan Serr of Chillicothe, MO; and many nieces and nephews. Barbara was preceded in death by her loving husband Al Bot; son, Jono Bot; grandsons Brooks Christenson and Thomas England and granddaughter Elizabeth Fritsch; three brothers, David, Philip and Vance Breen; sister Joy Breen MacFadden. Blessed and eternal be her memory.

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