Barbara, a long-term resident of Santa Cruz, fell asleep peacefully at home and awakened with Jesus. She was born to Rev. Edward and Natalie Rudnick in Fresno, CA. Barbara loved everyone - God, her family, and her many friends at Messiah Lutheran Church and everywhere she went. She always had a smile, and it came from the heart.Cowell Redwoods Park and the UCSC Arboretum were among her favorite local places, and she adored interesting and unusual trees and flowers. Travel to Europe, Canada and elsewhere stimulated her curious nature. Books became important as she aged, and the Bookmobile brought the world to her at Dominican Oaks.Barbara is survived by her children Jennifer Gieseler (Bob Davis), Stephanie Gieseler (Bruce Wileman), Timothy Gieseler (Debra Wollesen), and Mindy Cavanah (Jim Cavanah). She adored her six grandchildren: Eric Heffelfinger, Dana Wileman, Wil Gieseler, Andrew Cavanah, Avery Cavanah, Cassidy Cavanah, and her four great-grandchildren: Quinn and Ellis Heffelfinger and Theodore and Gabriel Destagnol. She is also survived by her brother Rev. Milton Rudnick (Carlene Rudnick), and a roster of nieces and nephews, beloved in-laws, old and young friends, who brought great joy throughout her life. She was predeceased by her husband Wilfred Gieseler, and 8 siblings. Loved ones will miss her kindness, humor and generous spirit.A memorial service will be held at 11 A.M. on October 15 at Messiah Lutheran Church (801 High St, Santa Cruz) followed by a Celebration of Life.
Donations to Messiah Lutheran Church “in memory of Barbara Gieseler” will be used to support the church and special causes she cared about so deeply.