Obituary for Barbara Anderson
Barbara Ellen Anderson (nee Swanson) joined the heavenly host of angels, praising her Savior on April 12, 2017. A devoted Christian, Barbara knew she was safe in Jesus’ loving arms her entire life. She passed away peacefully in hospice care at Linden Grove Nursing Home in New Berlin, Wisconsin at the age of 81, with her daughter by her side.
Barbara was born March 31, 1936 to Harold Axel and Emma Louise (nee Bahr) Swanson in Waukesha, Wisconsin. She was a life-long member at Mount Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church in Waukesha, where her parents were charter members. She was the first student to attend grades 1–8 at Mount Calvary Evangelical Lutheran School. Barbara graduated from Waukesha High School in 1954 and began working at F.W. Woolworth Co. in downtown Waukesha as a “school girl clerk”, as she would say. She worked there for 15 years, advancing to Floor Supervisor, where she managed several departments and employees. In 1968, Barbara was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), which forced her to find a less physically demanding career. Barbara graduated from the Ward Clerk program at Waukesha County Technical Institute in 1971. She was hired at Hartford Hospital, but was unable to begin the job, as her RA had worsened.
Though she was physically disabled, Barbara volunteered much of her time. She enjoyed sewing blue jean purses for Easter Seals, she was a reading assistant and served on the Ladies’ Guild at Mount Calvary, and volunteered at The Virginia Health and Rehab Center.
Barbara was a most devoted daughter, taking care of her own mother in the last years of her mother’s life. Barbara was also a caring mother and grandmother. Her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren were her life’s pride and joy. Together, they enjoyed family vacations to Door County, among other places, where she looked forward to getting a fish boil and dipping her toes in Lake Michigan. Barbara had a sharp wit and did not let her RA get in the way of having fun. In her free time, she cheered on the Milwaukee Brewers, sewed clothes and costumes for her grandchildren, and watched cardinals at her bird feeder. She also enjoyed spending time chatting and playing games with her family over coffee. Barbara will truly be missed by all who knew her.
The family would like to thank the dozens of medical providers who helped Barbara over her lifetime, especially in the last few months of her life, including Dr. Lawrence Ryan, Dr. Thomas Palmer, and Dr. Robert Schellinger, and the loving staff at Oak Hill Terrace and Linden Grove Mukwonago and New Berlin.
Barbara is lovingly survived by her daughter, Gayle and her husband Mark Blado of Waukesha; grandson, Christopher Blado, Seattle, Washington; granddaughter, Kayla Blado, Washington, D.C.; sister Joyce (Wolferd) Teuteberg and brother, Neil (Janice) Swanson, Sr. all of Waukesha; sister-in-law, Dolores Swanson of Pewaukee and many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, granddaughters, Bethany Anne and April; brother Harold Swanson, Jr., and sister Gloria (James) Follett.
The visitation for Barbara will be held on Tuesday, April 18th from 9:30 to 11:15 a.m. at Mount Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1941 Madison St., Waukesha. The funeral service will immediately follow at 11:30 a.m. The Rev. Robert Frick will be officiating. Burial will immediately follow at Prairie Home Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to the church are appreciated.