Barbara Tagami

May 10, 2023

A Celebration of Life will be held for Barbara Tagami at the Maser Monarch Lodge, in Spirit Lake, Iowa, on Saturday, May 13, 2023 at 2 pm.
Barbara left her earthly body on November 1, 2022, surrounded by family after a 1.5 year journey with pancreatic cancer.
She was born December 1, 1947 to Kenneth and Kazuko Tagami in Salinas, CA and grew up in Mankato, MN and Ames, IA. In 1959 the family moved to San Diego, CA. She graduated from Clairemont High School in 1965, graduating from San Diego State University, majoring in Biology, with an emphasis in Botany, and minoring in Art.
After graduation, she became the Science, Art, and Music teacher at Mission Bay Montessori, in San Diego. Several years later, she moved to the Midwest, first to Springfield, MO and then north to Jackson, MN, where she took up chick sexing.
Eventually, she planted roots in Spirit Lake, IA, and returned to her passion, becoming the Dickinson County Naturalist. She created and led thousands of programs for students and the community. The culmination of her career was establishing the Dickinson County Nature Center.
She is preceded in death by her parents, brother, Ken Jr., aunts Chiye Ikeda and Aiko Kimura.
She was survived by her children, Makoto and Mija Valdez; aunts, Simona Ikeda and Florence Ogata; Cousins, Lenn Kimura, Mitch Ikeda, Gib Ogata, Marty Ogata, Brett Ogata, Jackie Croft, Jill Ogata, Cheryl Coburn, Candace Truvato, Kellie Vogt, Paulynn Cartwright, Gail Pierce, Sharon and Bruce West, and all of the kids she “adopted” along the way.
She opted for human composting, which was a perfect reflection of her beliefs and values as a naturalist. Her Laying-in Ceremony took place on November 18, 2022, at Recompose, in Seattle.