Barbara J. Roberts

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Barbara J. Roberts

Barbara J. Roberts never thought she would be in a position to make a planned gift. Therefore, she is thrilled to be able to do something special through a bequest to the University of Utah.

Born in Burley, Idaho, Barbara learned the value of hard work early in life when she started picking potatoes at the age of 10. Other jobs followed: a midnight shift peeling potatoes at Simplot Potato Processing in Heyburn, working at Sib's Pharmacy in Burley, and cleaning student dorms at Idaho State University (ISU). At the age of 31, Barbara started working her way through ISU where she received a bachelor's degree in elementary education with an emphasis in biology. She later received a master of teaching science degree in biology.

For nearly 20 years, Barbara worked as the laboratory material supervisor in the Department of Biological Sciences at ISU. While there, she met Bill Millner, a retired United States Air Force lieutenant colonel and a professor in the College of Business. They married in 1989 and retired to Tucson, Arizona. In 2003 they moved to Salt Lake City where Barbara still lives. Bill passed away in 2011.

Barbara has always been very active in community, political, and professional organizations. After the move to Salt Lake, she noticed the community was geared toward younger families—and she missed the hustle and bustle of retirement in Tucson. The Osher Institute helped fill that void.

Barbara says, "I'm not one that just sits around. I'm always looking for something to keep me active. It's great to have Osher here." She has taken two classes in art history from a favorite instructor and local artist Bill Laursen. Barbara also attends the Osher annual preview, which provides an overview of upcoming classes for the year.

"Not all Osher programs across the country are alike," she says. "What we have at the University of Utah is unique. They cater to what people want and need here." She thinks it is wonderful that someone like Bernard Osher supports enrichment activities for older people through Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes and has added her own support through a planned gift.

Barbara's other passions include the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and KUED-TV. When it came time to make her will, Barbara knew the U was a good fit for her wishes. She chose to give to the areas from which she has had the most benefit and hopes her support will extend that benefit to others.

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