Luikens, Barbara Ann, age 68, of Long Lake. Passed away on Monday, December 2, 2019. Barb was born on July 1, 1951 to Elvin and Ardath (Meland) Luikens. She grew up in Chokio, MN on a working farm. After beating cancer as a teenager, Barb went to Macalester College on a full scholarship and graduated in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. After working several jobs in the medical field and a brief but memorable time as a naturalist at the Minnesota Zoo, she returned to Macalester to complete premed requirements, and in 1984 she graduated from University of Minnesota Medical School with an M.D. She went on to further training as a radiologist, becoming a leading clinician in diagnostic radiology for breast cancer. Barb spent a 24-year long career at Park Nicollet and the Jane Brattain Breast Center prior to her retirement in 2014. Barb married Rick Benson at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, MN in 1984. They raised their three children on the lake in Long Lake, MN, where Barb loved to look out over the water, tend their acres of gardens, and watch birds at the feeders. In addition to her career as a physician, Barb was a proud and loving mother and grandmother, who wanted the world for her children and was never happier than when watching her kids graduate from college or her grandchildren play on their visits to Minnesota. In addition to her love for her family, Barb was a passionate believer in education, a lifelong political activist, and an advocate for the natural world. Barb was an active member of the community, most notably serving for 9 years on the Board of Directors of the Freshwater Society until 2012, when she was made an Emeritus Director. She is survived by her husband Rick. Her sisters, Arlys Redden and Nancy Joanis. Her three children, Alex (Alena) Benson, Nick Benson and Katie (Tommy) McCauley. Her two grandchildren, Hendrik Benson and Eliza McCauley. Barb was preceded in death by her mother, Ardath Luikens, father, Elvin Luikens and brother-in-law Bill Joanis. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7th, at 2 p.m. at Rettinger Funeral Home in Long Lake, MN. Visitation one hour prior to the service. Interment will be at Fort Snelling National Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Association for Woman in Radiology.
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