Barbara Palmberg

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Barbara was born in Kingsford, MI in 1932 to Karl Melker and Ruth (Nelson) Axelson. From an early age she was encouraged to pursue her gifts of music and at the age of 13, became the organist at the Iron Mountain Covenant Church, Iron Mountain, MI.
Barbara entered North Park University in Chicago as the first of her Swedish immigrant family to attend college. She traveled with the North Park Choir as soprano soloist and completed a triple major of voice, organ and piano.
Following graduation, she enrolled in seminary classes at North Park and in 1953 she accepted a position as Parish Worker at Hilmar Covenant Church in Hilmar, CA.
In October of 1954 Barbara married her college sweetheart Maurice Palmberg in the Iron Mountain Covenant Church and moved to the Palmberg family hometown of Aurora. Their family grew with son Kurt in 1956 and daughter Karen in 1957.
Barbara and Maurey entered into the family business Palmberg Auto Supply where she maintained the business records and taught 40 piano and organ lessons a week. Barbara’s instruction produced a college professor of music and director of choral activities, several piano teachers, and church musicians all who attributed their love for music and service to her training. Barbara played the organ, directed the choir and taught Sunday School classes at the Aurora Covenant Church, and served the Covenant Midwest Conference in various positions. Barbara directed Community Choir Concerts in Aurora, was a favored organist in the community for weddings and funerals and enjoyed traveling around the Midwest with the Liberty Bells Women’s Chorus.
In 1974, Barbara and Maurey moved their family to Turlock, CA where they bought MidValley Auto and Truck Parts and later opened Palmberg Auto Supply in Hilmar. Barbara kept the family business offices running while serving as Dr. Everett Johnson’s medical practice receptionist where she was truly appreciated.
Barbara was thrilled to return to her beloved Hilmar Covenant Church teaching Sunday School and directing the choir as she had 20 years earlier. Later, she and Maurey moved their membership to the Turlock Covenant Church where Barbara served with Dr. Wayne Kidwell in music ministry by directing the chancel choir. In 1995, after Kurt and Karole helped plant Cornerstone Covenant Church, Barbara and Maurey moved their membership once again to be able to support and encourage their family as they worshipped together.
In 1996, Barbara and Maurey moved to Covenant Village of Turlock where they made so many wonderful friends over the 20 plus years they lived there. Once again, she was involved in teaching Bible studies and played the piano faithfully for chapel every Sunday until her health failed.
Barbara was a marvelous hostess, wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She adored her family and shared a deep and mutual love with them. Barbara faithfully served her Savior, Jesus Christ and passed her heritage of faith to each following generation.
Those who remain to carry on this heritage of faith are her children Kurt J. Palmberg (Karole), daughter Karen Palmberg; grandchildren, Britta Mitchell (Stuart), Jon-Erik Palmberg (Theresa), Kristofer Palmberg (Clara); great-grandchildren, Kaatje Mitchell, Kassidy Palmberg, Kaleb Palmberg and Ian Palmberg; brother-in-law, Rev. Bud Palmberg (Donna), sister-in-law Doris Schultz (Glen), sister-in-law Mary Palmberg, nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends. She was predeceased by her loving husband Maurey, parents Melker and Ruth Axelson, brother David Axelson, beloved in-laws Ed and Esther Palmberg and brother-in-law Bob Palmberg.
Peace be to Barbara’s memory.
A memorial service for Barbara will be on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 2 p.m. in Berg Hall at Covenant Village of Turlock, 2125 N. Olive Ave, Turlock, CA.
Memorial contributions may be made to North Park Seminary. Please direct your contributions to the Rev. C. Oscar Palmberg Scholarship Fund in memory of Barbara Palmberg. Gifts by mail can be sent to North Park University, Office of Development, 3225 West Foster Avenue, Box 6, Chicago, IL 60625-4895 or online at Please note “Tribute information” with your online gift.
Or: You may send memorial gifts to the Benevolent Fund for Covenant Village of Turlock. c/o Covenant Village Benevolent Fund, 2125 N. Olive Ave. Turlock, CA 95382.


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