Barbara I. Sorensen

Barbara I. Sorensen

Barbara I. Sorensen, 82, formerly of Bruce, Wis., died Tuesday, July 20, 2021, at Meadowbrook of Chetek, Wis., under the care of Lakeview Medical Center Hospice. Her daughter was by her side.

Barb was born in Milwaukee, Wis., and worked in the Milwaukee area where she met and married (former husband) Arlen Sorensen.

They moved to a small dairy farm on Hutchinson Road in Bruce. They later moved to a large farm on Hwy. 40 north of Bruce. Barb also attended Mt. Scenario College where she was just a few credits shy of earning a teaching degree. Farm life interfered in completing her education. When the first four sons were old enough to move off the farm and be on their own, Barb and Arlen sold the farm and moved back to Hutchinson Road. Barb began working at the Weyerhaeuser School cafeteria and later worked in the administrator’s office. She was “mom” to many at the school, particularly with Dawn and Bryan’s classmates. Barb ran the ticket booth for many of the sporting events held at the school. Barb worked at the school for over 25 years, retiring when Weyerhaeuser and Chetek schools consolidated. She loved her time at the school and loved her coworkers. Barb was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease shortly before retiring and enjoyed a few years before Parkinson’s disease took much of her freedom and independence.

Barb enjoyed dancing, country music, baking, watching the Hallmark Channel and being with her family. She was the most happy when all of her children and grandchildren were with her. Barb was a kind and generous person and always wanted to know more about others than talk about herself. Barb loved shrimp, butter pecan ice cream, root beer floats, cinnamon gum and 5th Avenue Candy Bars. Barb loved hummingbirds and lilacs. She had so many hummingbirds coming to her feeders that it was sometimes unsafe to sit near them. She did not deserve all the health issues she suffered through in the last few years, but she managed to still keep her smile.

Barb became a resident and quickly part of the family at Knapp Haven Nursing Home, now Meadowbrook Chetek, in December 2015. The staff welcomed her and surrounded her with love, care and support. She gained many new friends with the other residents and was particularly close to Norma Niceswanger (RIP), Dorothy Larson and Ray Selkow (RIP), her bingo table companions. Barb never missed an activity; the entire activity department made sure of that. Barb and her family were so lucky to have such a great place for her to call home. When it became too difficult for Barb to travel, Meadowbrook welcomed our large and somewhat rowdy family to gather at Meadowbrook to celebrate her birthdays and holidays. Meadowbrook is where Barb met Pastor Ralph Marquardt who presided over her burial service.

Barb entered care under Lakeview Medical Center Hospice at the end of March. Her Meadowbrook family and hospice gave her a very blessed and peaceful last few months.

She is survived by her six children, Allen and Stefanie Sorensen, of Bruce, Mike and Barbara Sorensen, of Exeland, Wis., Lance Sorensen, Kevin and Shelly Sorensen, of Ladysmith, Wis., Dawn and Tom Kowalski, of Chetek, and Bryan and Jesi Sorensen, of Valles Mines, Mo.; 11 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren; also nieces, nephews and cousins. Barb is further survived by her Meadowbrook family whom she adored and was lovingly cared for by.

Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, Lester and Evelyne (Rossman) Ensenbach; sister, Evie Collins; brother, Lester (Sonny) Ensenbach; former husband Arlen; daughter-in-law, Laurie Sorensen; brother-in-law, Derald Sorensen, and sisters-in-law, Rose Sorensen and Nancy Ensenbach. She was further preceded by favorite aunt, Ann, and uncle, Steve Rossman.

Barb’s family would like to thank LMC Hospice, particularly a very special hospice nurse as well as Dr. Bekkum, Angela St. Onge, NP, Dr. Smith, Dr. Bixler and Dr. Mink for all the care and guidance through her many health struggles.

Thank you to Murphy McGinnis at Nash-Jackan Funeral Homes for helping give our beautiful Mom a perfect send-off.

Most of all, we would like to thank our extended family at Meadowbrook of Chetek. You treated her like your own. You treated her like a princess. You made her laugh, eased her pain, entertained her and didn’t miss a thing that would have caused her discomfort. You all are a blessing to our community, and we are forever grateful. We know you are all grieving her loss with us.

Private family services were held on Friday, July 23, 2021, with Pastor Ralph Marquardt officiating.

Nash-Jackan Funeral Homes assisted the family with arrangements.

Details of a future public celebration of Barb will be updated in the future on the Nash-Jackan website. Check the website for details.

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