Barb Surprenant, 82

Barb Surprenant, born on July 29, 1941, in Currie, Minnesota, was the daughter of Alfred and Viola (Boudreau) Luft.

She initially grew up in a small house connected to Al’s Oasis, now known as Ruppert Oil in Currie. Her childhood memories included playing with her cousin Kay (Boudreau) Ehret and enjoying summers in the icehouse at the gas station. After some time, her family moved to a farm outside of Currie where she grew up with her siblings. Barb attended IHM Catholic School in Currie and graduated in 1959. Following a few years working in Minneapolis, she graduated from St. Mary’s School of Nursing in 1962 as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Barb married James Edward Surprenant on May 25, 1963, at IHM Catholic Church in Currie, and they first settled on a farm south of Tracy before moving to Slayton.

Barb balanced raising their three children while continuing to work full-time at Tracy Municipal Hospital and driving through many Minnesota blizzards before the use of cell phones. After 44 years in nursing, she retired but remained in touch with many of her former patients and nursing colleagues. In retirement, she dedicated time to mowing the lawn, updating the house and acreage, sewing quilts and other crafts, and making sundresses for children’s charities. Barb was devoted to her faith, especially to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Divine Mercy Sunday.

She contributed to decorating St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Slayton and especially enjoyed the Easter and Christmas seasons. She was a member of the Catholic Daughters and spent many years working with her children on their 4-H projects in their younger years. Barb passed away with her family by her side on Friday, March 29th, at Sanford Medical Center in Sioux Falls at the age of 82.

She cherished spending time with Jim, her husband of over 60 years, and they often enjoyed driving around with their classic vehicles together or walking hand in hand around the acreage. They spent a lot of time dancing and were quite the pair to watch on the dance floor back in the day. They also cherished the time they spent traveling the country or visiting their daughters when they lived in Washington, DC. Barb’s family will miss her wit and smile dearly. She was a prankster and there are many a Diet Coke can that had to be shaken of its sediment before she gave it to you.

Survivors include her husband, Jim Surprenant of Slayton, MN, three children, Lucy Ambs of Westminster, MD, Scott and Cynthia Surprenant of Sleepy Eye, MN, and Christy and Mike Riley of Brewster, MN, eight grandchildren, Joseph (Kyra) Ambs, Isaac Ambs, Olivia Ambs, Rob Henjum, Seraphim Surprenant, Paul Surprenant, Regina Surprenant and Christian Surprenant and great-granddaughter Mabel Ambs. She is also survived by three siblings, Linda (Joe) Hodapp of Mankato, MN, Richard (Becky) Luft of Currie, MN, and Sharon (Randy) Bassett of Currie, MN as well as in-laws, Doris Peterson, Ralph Surprenant, Phylis Ahrent, Leo Surprenant, Fr. Paul Surprenant, Bernadette Koester, Joan Surprenant, Mike Surprenant and several nieces and nephews and their families. She was preceded in death by her parents, two infant siblings, and in-laws, Louise (Hugh) Gervais, Ken (Mary Jo) Surprenant, Fr. John Surprenant, Mary (Jim) Steffen, Myrna Surprenant, Steve Koester, Vern Arndt and Floyd Peterson.

Services were April 5, at IHM Catholic Church, Currie, with Fr. Tojy Jose OFM officiating and Fr. Paul Surprenant as concelebrate. The organist was Patty LeClaire. The song leader was Linnea Surprenant with a special music by Sheila Crowley. The pallbearers were her son Scott, grandchildren, Joseph Ambs, Isaac Ambs and Christian Surprenant along with nephews Eric Bassett and Ryan Luft. Interment was at Calvary Cemetery Currie.

The Totzke Funeral Home in Slayton is assisting the family with arrangements. To view online obituary and send condolences visit