Barbara “Bobbie” Teresa Walkowiak, 92, formerly of Spalding, NE passed away Monday, October 19, 2015 at Good Samaritan Society-Wolf Memorial in Albion, Nebraska, after several years of failing health.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, October 23, 2015 at St. Michael’s Church in Spalding, NE, with Rev. Antony Thekkekara officiating. Interment will follow in the parish cemetery. Visitation will be 5:00-7:00 p.m. Thursday at the church with a 7:00 p.m. wake service. Dolce-Scheef Mortuary of Spalding is in charge of arrangements.
Memorials are suggested to Spalding Veterans Memorial Wall or St. Joseph’s Indian School, P.O. Box 300, Chamberlain, SD 57325. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.levanderfuneralhome.com
Barbara was born on August 6, 1923, to Joseph and Barbara (Gerhard) Kaiser. She attended District 19 School near the family farm in Wheeler County. After the only son of Barbara’s uncle and aunt Tony and Jean Gerhard was drafted into military service, Barbara lived in San Diego and was a companion to her aunt. She graduated from San Diego High School and then entered the Navy. Barbara was sent for training at Hunter’s College in the Bronx in New York, and then was stationed at Camp Elliott on Terminal Island in California. She earned the Good Conduct Medal, Victory Medal, and a Campaign Medal. After being honorably discharged in March of 1946, she returned home to Spalding.
On June 21, 1947, Barbara was united in marriage to Joseph C. “Bud” Walkowiak at St. Michael’s Church in Spalding. They lived on a farm south of Spalding before moving to Spalding to the home they would occupy the rest of their married life. Joseph endured lifelong pain and physical challenges due to his war injuries, and Barbara was a constant source of support, encouragement and assistance to him. Barbara enjoyed working at the public library in Spalding for many years. She also enjoyed her vegetable and flower gardens, and she was generous in sharing her homemade jelly and legendary canned pickles. Barbara’s children have many happy memories of the beautiful birthday cakes she created for them, as well as the elegant prom dresses she spent many hours sewing for her daughters. Barbara was an excellent cook and a talented seamstress, and she enjoyed crafts, trying new recipes, being outdoors, reading, and time spent in the company of her family and friends. For many years, Barbara sold wedding invitations and stationery, decorated wedding cakes, assisted new brides in planning their weddings, and decorated for receptions.
She was a lifelong member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Spalding and had a special devotion to our Blessed Mother and the rosary.
Barbara is preceded in death by her beloved husband; her parents; a sister, Dorothy Kaiser; and a brother, Edward Kaiser.
Barbara is survived by her sons, Joe and Jim of Spalding; her daughters, Pat (Tom) Hall of Janesville, Wisconsin; Lindy Walkowiak of Newark, Delaware; Cindy (Craig) Madsen of Omaha; Diane Walkowiak (Bill Wehrbein) of Lincoln; Mary Lynn (James) Dake of Andover, Kansas; seven grandchildren and nine great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews and extended family.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the former staff of Friendship Villa and the staff of Wolf Memorial, as well as Dr. Mazour, for the years of care and comfort they provided to Barbara. Barbara was a devoted wife and mother, a loving grandmother, and a loyal friend. We shall miss her no nonsense advice, her artistic creativity and energy, her endless curiosity and always, her unconditional love.