Monday, April 22, 2024

Barbara (Barb) Lynn Jungst

| March 15, 2024 7:00 AM

Barbara (Barb) Lynn Jungst, 72, of Libby, Montana lost her valiant battle with cancer on Feb. 17, 2024, surrounded by loved ones at her daughter’s home.

Barb was born in Brooklyn, New York on Aug. 10, 1951, to Arthur and Madeline Ramos. Her teenage summers were spent living and working on Fire Island, New York where she dreamt of living in the mountains.

She graduated from Christ The King High School in Queens, New York in June 1969. Educated, emboldened, and with a strong sense of adventure, she moved west to the mountains of Northern California where she met her first husband, Stan Merritt.

Barb and Stan made their way to Yaak, Montana via the community of friends they made while living and working in Tahoe, California. In Montana, Stan worked as a logger and Barb supported the crews by cooking and tending the camp. It was there in February of 1975 that Barb gave birth to her first child, Jeremiah.

Tragically, the forces of nature left the young mother a widow in January of 1978.

In time, Barb fell in love with and married Mark Jungst, a Libby, Montana local. Together they welcomed two more children: Laura in September 1982 and Kile in February 1985. Barb and Mark became a formidable team: they designed and built their home in a beautiful homestead east of the Kootenai River where they raised their three children off-grid. She had a love for life, music, dancing, and sharing in celebration with friends and family.

Inclement weather was a consistent roadblock to life in Northwest Montana and the dynamic duo were known to trek the 1.5-mile-long driveway on cross country skis with babies in backpacks. Barb braved the elements to transport her children to school and herself to work as a beloved teacher’s aide at Libby Public Schools. She was an active community member known for her mischievous grin. 

As a Girl Scout leader, she took scouts on countless adventures including hiking, swimming and learning about survival and nature. Barb was passionate about sharing her love of the outdoors and bootstrapped the Kootenai Outdoor Adventure Program. 

Today, the program continues to empower children and teach them to embrace their sense of adventure by exploring nature’s wonders.

Barb loved an adventure and was always ready to explore! She was an avid trip planner and was highly regarded as the catalyst to spark adventures with family and friends. From hopping on buses with locals during solo trips to a foreign countries, to loading up her kids and nephew into a Subaru at 4 o'clock in the afternoon for a weekend backpacking trip, to playing “Trattoria E.N.A.” with her grandkids, Barb's zest for life was infectious and her legacy will continue to live through all who knew and loved her.

Barb is preceded in death by her father and mother Arthur (Madeline) Ramos, father-in-law and mother-in-law Walter (Lois) Jungst, sister-in-law JoAnn Jungst, husband Mark, husband Stan Merritt. She is survived by her children Jeremiah (Amber) Merritt, granddaughter Emerson and grandson Avery of Folsom, California; Laura (Zachary Alkire) Jungst of Libby and Kile (Jessica Moffatt) Jungst of Eugene, Oregon; sister Carol Ramos; brother Robert Ramos; brothers-in-law Phillip, and Matt Jungst; nephew Jesse Jungst of Libby; and nephew Jesse (Taylor) Ramos, great-nephew Stockton of Missoula.

A gathering to honor Barb will be held at the Fred Brown Pavilion in Libby, Montana from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday April 6, 2024. 

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