Barbara Alice Parsons

Barbara Alice Parsons, 79, loving wife, beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and special friend to many, passed away Thursday, Feb. 28, 2008.

The funeral Mass was held Monday, March 3, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Grafton and was preceded by a visitation.

A reception followed at Galiotoís Restaurant in Cedaburg.

The burial was at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Grafton.

Barbara had gone into the hospital unexpectedly on Monday, Feb. 19, with what was determined to be a heart attack.

She had single by-pass surgery four days later. It did not prove to be enough though as she died six days later.

During the time spent at Columbia St. Maryís Hospital in Mequon, she was joined by her son, daughter, granddaughters, cousins and many dear friends.

She was conscious, clear and very present much of the time family and friends were near.

So there was quality time, meaningful communication and love shared.

Barbara was born Jan. 7, 1929 in Milwaukee, the only daughter of Henry and Alice Arnfield, her two amazing and devoted parents.

They moved to West Bend not long after that where Barbara was raised.

After high school, she attended the University of Wisconsin- Madison where she graduated in 1951 with a bachelorís degree in sociology.

It was also where she met her future husband Richard Parsons of Racine. They married Dec. 27, 1951 in West Bend.

The first five years of marriage involved a number of moves as Richard was completing his military career and transitioning into the then burgeoning aerospace industry.

Their son, Mark was born in 1952, in Huntsville, Ala., followed by daughter, Janet in 1954 in El Paso, Texas and second daughter, Anne in San Diego in 1959.

Barbara spent from 1959 to 2004 in San Diego where she raised her family, formed numerous deep and lasting friendships and pursued her many interests.

She loved her family and friends. She loved to sew, knit, cook and was very skilled at each.

She hosted a gourmet cooking club at her home on a regular basis.

She also loved to read and travel and took many trips all over the country and the world with family and friends.

Barbara was known and loved for her marvelous sense of humor and ready smile.

In 2001, her husband of nearly 50 years passed away. He had been preceded in death by their youngest daughter, Anne in 1983.

On her own now, a dream to return to Wisconsin began to grow. It came to fruition two and a half years later when in the face of much questioning and contrary advice, she moved back to Grafton, to start anew.

It was a move she never regretted and absolutely loved that she had done.

She developed many new friendships, cultivated old ones and created a wonderful new home and life for herself.

She also paved the way for a family migration of sorts back to "Godís country" as her granddaughter, Kathleen, Kathleenís husband, Chris, and great-granddaughter, Rebecka moved back to Grafton a few blocks away this past September. New great-granddaughter Elizabeth was born in November.

Her other granddaughter, Margaret, is looking to attend graduate school in Wisconsin, and even daughter, Janet is considering a move, too.

Barbara has been an inspiration and guiding light for us all and will be deeply missed.

She is survived by her son, Mark of Los Angeles; daughter, Janet of San Diego; grandchildren, Kathleen Dart and Margaret and Andrew Sykes; great-granddaughters, Rebecka and Elizabeth Dart; cousins, Staff Maurer, Tom Maurer, Gary May, Carol Pitterle and Betty Scharfen-berger, and many dear friends in Wisconsin, California and across the country.

A special thanks to Linda Lemanczyck, her neighbor and dear friend in Grafton.

Mueller Funeral Home of Grafton assisted the family with arrangements.

Online condolences can be sent to the family at www.muellerfuneralhome.com.