Barbara Martin joined her beloved husband, Paul A. Martin, on Saturday, March 26, 2011, in the morning. She passed quietly at Sunrise Cove, Cedar Lake Communities in West Bend, of complications from Alzheimer's. As she wished, her life’s journey came to a close in the West Bend community she so dearly loved for more than 50 years.
Barb was born in Watertown, Mass., the daughter of Clarence Augustus and Doris Jennie Tibbetts. During her formative years, the family lived in Lewiston, Maine, just a short block from Bates College. Barb and her brother Clarence Jr. spent many hours playing on the campus grounds.
She attended Massachusetts Memorial Hospital Nursing School in Boston and graduated as a registered nurse in September 1952. Upon graduation, Barb was employed by Massachusetts Memorial Hospital in Boston. She met the love of her life while in Boston and married Paul in April of 1953. They moved to Quincy, Mass., settled in, and continued their careers until Barb gave birth to her three children, Jeff, Diane and Dave.
She and Paul relocated to West Bend in 1960, with The West Bend Aluminum Co. Both were active volunteers in the community, involved with Fifth Avenue Methodist Church activities. Together, they were supporters of the AFS student exchange program, the American Red Cross and the West Bend Museum. During the long Wisconsin winters, Barb would gently glide the back nine on her cross-country skies or downhill with the family at Fox Hill before popcorn and the Packers games – she loved the Packers.
Barb’s world revolved around the lives of her three children. She carefully guided them in school, staying active in all their extracurricular activities, attended hundreds of sporting events, and shuffled each between piano lessons, the church, their first jobs and throughout college years, weddings and grandchildren. She loved spending summer and Christmas vacations with her four grandsons in Wisconsin.
She enjoyed tending her vegetable garden, toting arm fulls of tomatoes to neighbors and to her St. Joe’s "family." On summer evenings, you’d often find her playing badminton with the family, creating beautiful works of art in stained glass or with the daily crossword puzzle in hand, next to her four-legged furry friends.
When her children were well into their school years, Barb returned to her nursing career working at St. Joseph’s Community Hospital as an orthopedic surgical nurse and emergency room RN. During her tenure with the hospital, she served on a number of boards and committees. When she retired from active duty nursing, she continued to support hospital committees until the new facility was built.
Not one to sit quietly in her retirement, Barb became more involved with hospice and spent hundreds of hours attending to hospice families who were supporting their loved ones. She also became active in the WB Optimist Club and volunteered at the museum.
Her bridge games became more frequent, but her true passion was always golf. Rain or shine, she’d walk the West Bend Country Club course. While she never shot a game par, she succeeded in planting a hole in one. Barb relished playing the course and the long time friendships with golf buddies. She golfed until the fall of 2010.
Quick with a smile, first to volunteer, always ready for a game of golf or bridge, Barb lived her life to the fullest each and every day. Never bored, never without purpose, she loved to be on the go, always trying to make a positive impact on someone’s life.
Surviving family include: her son, Jeff Martin and grandsons, Brock and Sam, of Grapevine, Texas; son, Dave Martin (Carolyn), and grandsons, Daniel and James, all of Manitowoc; daughter, Diane Martin Bruce (Charlie) of Raleigh, N.C.
Barb is predeceased by her parents, Clarence and Doris Tibbetts; her brother, Clarence Tibbetts Jr.; her husband of 45 years, Paul; and her devoted animal companions Duke, Coco, Sheba, Mac and Jesse.
As Barb wished, there will be a private family remembrance at Washington County Memorial Park and internment with her husband.
Donations can be made to Cedar Lake Communities c/o Friendship House or to Decorah Animal Hospital-West Bend.
The Schmidt Funeral Home of West Bend is serving the family. Online guestbook and condolences are available at www.schmidtfuneralhome.com
Special thank you to Dr. Bob Gibson, Dr. Larry Sullivan, Mrs. Judy Phillips and Mrs. Cheryl Shavlik of Gericare, the staff at Friendship House and Sunrise Cove, Mrs. Rachel Haggerty and the Hospice staff who provided very special care to Barb during the past four years.