1992 - Barbara Bancroft Klemme

Barbara Bancroft Klemme
Barbara Bancroft Klemme

Barbara Bancroft Klemme – 1947: Entrepreneurial small business owner, active in civic and corporate programs.


By The Pioneer Press, September 25, 2006

Barbara Bancroft Klemme distinguished alumna of Stillwater High School died September 22, 2006 at home in Stillwater, Minnesota. Born December 12, 1929, she was the last surviving child of George and Estelle Bronson Bancroft, pioneer lumber families.

She grew up happily in Stillwater, was valedictorian of the class of 1947 and an excellent figure skater. She attended Radcliffe College (Harvard) in Cambridge, Massachusetts and then returned to Minnesota to marry Robert A. Uppgren in 1949 where she completed her baccalaureate degree in English and Philosophy, Phi Beta Kappa, at the University of Minnesota in 1950.

She and her husband had four children, and as a graduate student majoring in English, her intention was to teach when they were in college. Mr. Uppgren was tragically killed in a helicopter crash in 1967. Continuing her education at the University of London as well as Minnesota, she took a part-time position in the College of Liberal Arts, where she was the director of pre-medical advising, director of the Martin Luther King Program, and directed a program to increase the number of persons of color in all medical programs.

She married psychiatrist Herbert L. Klemme in 1974, and participated in his national practice with corporate executives. In recognition of her work in developing education programs, she was awarded a fellowship in Managing Educational Change as part of the National Defense Education Act. The fellowship year led her to consult with colleagues and universities, state agencies and non-profit boards. She served as a trustee of Macalester College, Metropolitan Medical Center (later merged into Allina), Shattuck-St. Mary's School, Northwestern Bank of Stillwater (Wells-Fargo) and Seabury-Western Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. Later she was elected to the Board for Theological Education of the Episcopal Church where she chaired the Committee on the Future, and directed research that led to the publication of "The Care of Learning". She also served on the Board for the Center for Sexuality and Religion, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Other significant consultantcies included Clare Housing, Hope House, and the Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus. Her son Rob preceded her in death in 2000, and his passing became the impetus of her recent efforts to honor his love of the St. Croix River and the community by remaining active with many local non-profit agencies.

She is survived by her companion Norman V. Steere; sons David Uppgren of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and John (Melissa) Uppgren of Stillwater, Minnesota; daughter Mary Uppgren (David Drysdale) of Marine-on-St. Croix, Minnesota; grandsons John Ahlborg, Turner William and George Bancroft Uppgren, and Heath Bancroft Valentine. Equally loved by her Klemme family, Karl, Paul (Betty), Marilyn Klemme Nichols of Austin, Texas; and Martha Klemme Spencer (Leroy); and grandsons Jeremy and Timothy Spencer, and Paul D. Klemme, all of Topeka, Kansas; granddaughter Rosemary Dougherty of East Hanover, New Jersey.