Barbara Jo Field Ellefson was born in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin on May 9th, 1938 the daughter of William and Bernice Field. As the child of a Game Warden, she learned to hunt and fish at an early age. She loved animals and frequently her father brought home unusual friends like baby raccoons, a bear cub, and a deer. As a teenager she was a member of Job’s Daughters. She loved to sing, play the piano, and be in theater productions. She taught swimming lessons and was a lifeguard.
Barbara enjoyed a life of learning and sharing that knowledge. She graduated from UW Madison and then worked in the world of advertising and later for many years as a realtor in Cedarburg and Beaver Dam. She was a member of the Historical Society, and did educational outreach. She was also a member of the American Association of University Women and raised money for scholarships.
She loved being in the water and taught her children Julianna and John how to swim. She enjoyed tennis, sailing, cross country skiing and above all, sitting in the sun. She encouraged her family and friends to “get up and get outside” and never wasted a beautiful day.
She was always trying to see the good and look to a better future. On one occasion, while at Silver Lake in Wild Rose– beneath a completely cloudy, gray sky, she looked up and said, “Look, there is a little bit of blue! The sky is clearing up!” A dark storm was coming, but to her blue skies were ahead. This is how she lived her life and weathered many hard times.
Barbara loved her family very much. Her son-in-law Alex, daughter-in-law Meg, grandchildren John, Andrew, Elizabeth, Edward and David were so important to her. She was thrilled when John’s wife Nyki gave birth to great-grandchildren Liam and baby Luna. She loved seeing their pictures and shared them with friends.
Barbara loved art, music, fashion and design. Her style was reflected in her colorful outfits and unique jewelry. She promoted artists and the artwork of her partner Jim. She loved to organize tours and events for her dear friends the Gardenistas, and the Pool Babes, who used to perform water ballets.
She was a dear Lady with an open heart who took time to get to know people and their interests. Barbara enjoyed giving little thoughtful gifts or sharing articles from magazines to make people feel special. She sang in the choir and was a long time member of Grace Presbyterian Church.
Her family wishes to sincerely thank the close neighbors and friends that helped her remain in her childhood home when she was unable to do so by herself. Although her body was failing, her spirit was not. She remained funny and intelligent until the end. On Saturday, November 4th, 2023, Barbara passed away in her home, as was her wish.
While we are sad that she has left us, Barbara has been called to Glory and is likely now learning about the history and architecture of the Pearly Gates from St. Peter, himself.
On Thursday, November 30th, there will be a visitation from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Grace Presbyterian Church, 215 Gould St, Beaver Dam, WI 53916. The funeral will begin at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Chris Davis officiating and a luncheon to follow.