Landscapes 11


Barbara Ann Gatto

December 3, 1933 ~ July 1, 2018 (age 84)

Barbara Engle Gatto was called home on Sunday, July 1, 2018.  She was surrounded by her family as well as the prayers and thoughts of extended family and many friends.


Barbara was born in Mishawaka to Lawrence W. Engle and Ethel Mae Starr.  She was married to Joseph Gatto with whom she had 3 children Joseph (Tracy) Gatto, Suzanne (Emil Toth) Gibbons and Mary (Bob) Gatto, all of whom survive.  She is also survived by 8 grandchildren Jessica and Lindsay Dieter, Brian and Kayla Gibbons, Bennett, Emily, and Jay Gatto and Maggie Cashen, 6 great-grandchildren Wyatt Summers, Doug, Greg, Colyn, Caleb and Kylie Cashen.  She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers William (Ruth) Engle and Thomas (Fran) Engle and son-in-law John Stephenson.


Barbara was often described as a trailblazer, a deep thinker, a woman before her time.  She was a great debater and conversationalist.  She spent her life learning, exploring and growing.


Barbara was the first female Mayor at Coldwater High School in 1950.  She grew up on a farm and was very active in 4-H and always appreciated her upbringing.  She took to heart the 4-H Motto - Make the best better and the 4-H Pledge – I pledge my head to clear thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to greater service and my health to better living.


Barbara was a Girl Scout Leader (1966-1973) Troop #98.  Adult advisor to Sing out South Bend (1968-1973).  She was a member and student of Concept Therapy.  She also was past district rep of the Near Northwest Neighborhood, and so much more.  Throughout her life, she was a mentor and friend to hundreds of children, teens, and adults.  Her goal was always to help them become the best versions of themselves as a productive, independent member of their community.  Her memory and legacy will live on in her children who feel blessed to call her mom and in all whose lives she touched.  Rest in Peace Mama – you did good.


A special thank you to her family at Caring Junction who took such good care of her the last 6 weeks of her life.  Kim, Samantha, Carle, Cierra and Risa, as well as Center for Hospice Care, Karen Maes, Tina and Cristy.


Private family services will be held at Potato Creek State Park per Barbara’s wishes.  Zahoran Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.  Memorial contributions may be made to Center for Hospice Care, 501 Comfort Place, Mishawaka, IN 46545 or Friends of Potato Creek State Park, 25601 State Road 4, North Liberty, IN 46554.  To leave an online condolence visit our website


© 2019 Zahoran Funeral Home, Inc.. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS