Barbara Alice Parsons

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

A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated for Barbara on March 3 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Grafton. Visitation was held prior to the Mass and a reception followed at Galiotoís Restaurant in Cedarburg.

The burial took place at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Grafton.

Mueller Funeral Home in Grafton served the family.

Barbara had gone into the hospital unexpectedly on Monday, Feb. 18, 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 to Henry and Alice Arnfield, her two amazing and devoted parents.

Not long after that the family moved to West Bend where Barbara was raised.

After high school, Barbara attended UW-Madison where she graduated in 1951 with a bachelorís degree in sociology.

This 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, Calif. 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 and 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.

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

In 2001, Barbaraís 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, Barbara 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 2007.

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 and daughter Janet of San Diego; grandchildren Kathleen Dart, Margaret and Andrew Sykes; great-granddaughters Rebecka and Elizabeth Dart; cousins Staff and Tom Maurer, Gary May, Carol Pitterle and Betty Scharfenberger; and many dear friends in Wisconsin, California and across the country.

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

Online condolences can be sent to the family at