Barbara passed away at 10:29 AM June 17, 2018. She gave great joy to her family and friends and wanted to share her last word to us directly: Barbara Mader wishes to thank her parents, Amel and Catherine Bannach, for their gift of life to her and her sisters Judy, Andrea (deceased), and Peggy. We four sisters loved exploring the woods and fields surrounding our farm home at the end of Deer Road east of Custer WI. Our home was filled with music and books and our dogs, cats, and horses were a source of companionship and delight even as we helped harvest hay, potatoes, beans, and cucumbers.
I graduated from UW-Stevens Point in 1960 and taught second grade in Appleton Public Schools until marriage to Mark Mader in 1964 at St. Mary’s in Custer. In 1965 we moved to Plymouth WI where I taught two more years before our children Eric and Heidi were born. Later I taught in my parish school, St. John the Baptist for 24 years.
I retired in 2002 and we moved to Koonz Lake in Gresham WI where we built our dream home. I substitute taught in area schools until 2007 when I began teaching Speech, Language, and Gifted and Talented at the Menominee Tribal School in Neopit. In 2016, at age 77, a diagnosis of fallopian tube cancer put an end to my teaching career.
I have always been very interested in environmental causes. In Plymouth I served on the Plymouth Park Board and spearheaded the effort to build an all-season building on Roosevelt Nutt Park Hill. I built a nature trail and led hikes and nature studies there as well as starting a butterfly garden at St. John’ s School. At Menominee Tribal school I developed Martha’s Garden, making it a native wildflower garden that the students could maintain and study. I also belonged to Shawano Pathways and Wolf River Wild Ones.
I am survived by my husband Mark, son Eric (Barbara) Mader, daughter Heidi (David) Bedwell, grandsons Ashton and Emmett Bedwell, grand-daughters Elle and Abby Mader, sisters Judy (David) Peplinski, Peggy (Michael) Elliott, brother-in-law Will Spears and by treasured cousins, nieces and nephews. I was preceded in death by my parents, grandson Mercer Bedwell, and sister Andrea Spears.
I loved to read, go to plays, teach, ski, bike, hike, canoe, garden, listen to music, play games and entertain at Two Penny Lodge, the lake house, but most of all I loved my family and friends whom I so greatly treasured.
A special thank you to the staff at St. Mary’s hospital and Unity Hospice for their care and compassion as our family battled cancer.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, June 29, 2018 at St. Francis Solanus Catholic Church, 724 Mader St, Gresham WI. A welcome and visitation will be held at 10:30 AM at the church and a mass will be celebrated at 12:00 with a reception celebration of life to follow.
In lieu of flowers please consider donating to one of the following organizations:
Wild Ones: Wolf River Chapter-Establishing a Native Plant Memorial Garden in Barbara’s name https://www.wildones.org/join-the-movement/support-us/memorials/
Shawano Pathways-Bike the Barn Quilts http://www.shawanopathways.org/home/legacy-gifts/
Gresham Scholarship Fund– Checks can be made out and mailed to: Gresham Scholarship Fund P.O. Box 102 Gresham WI 54128
Cancer Research– Feel free to select an organization of your choice engaged in cancer research. A cure is out there.