Tributes to Barb Schroeder
I met Barb in 1970 or so when she was the secretary in an alternative school by SFMC. My sister Pam was attending this school and I used to go over and visit her there. Barb always made me feel welcome and she was a great inspiration to Pam. Barb got Pam interested in learning how to play the guitar and encouraged her in her studies and in other aspects of life. Over the past 40 plus years when Pam and or I would see Barb it was like it was just yesterday. To say that Barb had a heart as big as the outdoors is not a lie. she loved life, all in it and always had a listening ear and open heart and mind. Barb please give my sister Pam and hug and kiss for me and one day I will be there with you both - let the party begin.
Diane Harding Brown
Friend of the Family
Barb, I am most grateful for the deep friendship you had with our "sister" Deb-what great memories you two had, I am so lucky to of joined in on a few of those! What I loved most about knowing Barb was how she had a jingle for any occasion, be it a toast, a prayer or just a darn good comment! Even her vm was a hoot to listen to! She automatically lit up the room the minute she walked through the door, you knew the party started once Barb got there! Usually dressed in animal prints, hot pink or flashy red-QVC definately had a great customer in Barb! Barb, you will be missed so much but what a gift of love, joy and laughter you gave us all! Rest in Peace my friend.
Friend of the Family
Barb and I were high school classmates. She was definately the class clown. She was really funny and she made me laugh so hard in study hall that the teacher had me sit out in the hallway.
Friend of the Family
As Bill Reese said recently, “Viterbo was Barb's family and she so appreciated the many friends she had made and students she had helped for many years.” Reading Bill’s words reminds me that while Barb lived alone, she really did have a great big family in the La Crosse area and at Viterbo. I am echoing many of the thoughts mentioned in several other tributes when I say that she was a warm and positive presence in the ARC. She was the first person most people saw when entering the ARC, and there couldn’t have been a better ambassador to greet folks. Barb had a wonderful sense of humor and was almost always a pleasure to be around. I have many memories of Barb which I will never forget. Since I travel near Barb’s home often, I will continually to be reminded of her bright, cheerful, living presence. You may be gone, Barb, but you are not forgotten. Rest in peace.
It's not easy for some students to go to the Learning Center and ask for help. But when students walked through the open doors of the Center, they were greeted with a warm smile and a "welcoming" voice, which helped ease some of that anxiety and resistance. Barb had that gift, to touch people, make a connection with them, and help them feel at home. For many students, this was the beginning of a lasting relationship with someone who cared, not only about their academic success, but their personal journeys. Barb was that surrogate mother who would always be there. During the summer, when only Barb and I would be working, students would drop in at the Center. I'd ask them if they wanted to see me, but many would say "no, just came to say hi to Barb." On the Wednesday before Barb died, my wife, Joan, and I visited Barb. She had her make-up on, nails done in red, and that warm smile. She talked about her trips and other memories. The last thing she said to us was, "don't let this be your last visit!" I guess that, more than a next visit with us, God needed a receptionist to welcome new arrivals to His Center.
It was a pleasure to have known Barb. I don't think I will ever forget her great sense of humor and love of life. She touched so many lives and made coming to the Learning Center an experience where you knew you were always welcome. Heaven will never be the same.
Julie Ceason '01
Former Student, Friend of the Family
Barb was such special woman. She was part of the Women's Bible Study at Viterbo and she had wonderful insights into the Word that helped the rest of us go deeper. She wasn't afraid to ask the tough questions. And she brought humor to every study. I loved her sense of humor and ability to make us all laugh. She was unique in the best sense of the word. I have missed her and will miss her. She was God's blessing to us all.
We went on the Viterbo sponsored New York trips together. I remember it was very early in the morning and we were singing "New York" themed songs on the plane. The other passengers may have not enjoyed our early morning seranade, but any time you spent time with Barb was a fun experience. I will truly miss her.
Kristen Malgren '01
Barb was such a nice person. I loved Viterbo and she was one of the reasons why I loved it. We need more people in the world like Barb! May you rest in peace. Heaven gained an awesome person! God bless!
Katie G '08
At a time like this, I am reminded that hospitality is more than a quaint slogan that appears on campus banners. It resides in the hearts and minds of many of our students and Viterbo employees—lived out in our everyday lives as witnessed by others. The abundance of testimonials that appear on this page are certainly reminders that many of us were witnesses to Barb and her many acts of kindness done with style, flair and pizzazz that was her trademark. Barb Schroeder was a "queen" of hospitality, possessing many of the very traits that makes us proud to call ourselves members of the Viterbo community. Rest in Peace Barb. Your life on earth was short, but not so the memories you have left behind.
I was enrolled in the Bachelors of Social Work Program at Viterbo from 2005-2008. As an adult student who had never been to college I spent a lot of time in the Academic Resource Center, and Barb was a lifesaver to me. Always ready to help with a smile and a joke. She was wonderful and made my college experience a real joy. Rest in Peace sweet Barb.
Judy Krause '08
I worked as a work study student in the Learning Center for two years and tutored for three years and saw Barb often. We would talk and laugh about everything, and no matter what she could make me smile. She provided comfort as I dealt with the unexpected passing of my grandfather. I cannot forget the day Barb shared her talent of flinging rubber bands at people, especially Father Tom. After seeing an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives that featured Frank's Diner in Kenosha, my hometown, Barb bugged me about trying their famous Garbage Plate until I finally did. Barb made Viterbo a very special place touching the hearts of everyone she interacted with, including mine. Miss ya Honey!!
Emily V. Montemurro '11
May your heart be warm and happy With the lilt of Irish laughter Every day in every way And forever and ever after. To a person that seemed to live this every day - how wonderful to have so many people love and appreciate you - we will miss you Barb - Rest in peace!
Barb: Filled with Joy. Bold. Kind. A Jokester. Compassionate. Life long learner. Outrageous. Giving and Caring. Unique. Servant Leader. World Traveler. Generous. I was fortunate to know Barb the past 15 years at Viterbo, and I was "uplifted" in her presence. Always. She cared deeply about students and the Viterbo community. Thank You for YOU, Barb. Pax et Bonum, Lesley
MRC 3rd floor will never be the same! We had some fun times up here with Barb in residence at the ARC! I decided I would share one such story, so that others could get a laugh, as this was so much a part of who Barb was, making others laugh. We often laughed about this story, as much as the day it happened. A few years ago, I noticed a very large cockroach zipping quite quickly down the hall. I ran after it and stomped on it, just as Barb came out of the ARC. She immediately came up with this idea of taking the roach and using it to play a prank on Wayne Wojciechowski, then Assistant Academic VP. Barb was going to make a "fake" form and leave it on Wayne's desk, that there was an issue with "Joe Roach" that needed immediate attention. Before the joke could be implemented however, we needed to collect the roach I had stomped on. Barb took a paper-clip and was going to prick the roach so she could pick it up and pin it to the form. However, as she pricked the roach it started to wiggle, because was still alive! You've never seen someone move so quick! Barb yelled and jumped, YAH! It even scared me and I jumped back, haha! So after a very hefty laugh, "Joe Roach" was sent to Wayne's office to await his return, and subsequent laugh from the completed joke. So here's a snap, clap, and a laugh to you Barbie Girl, for all those great years of absolute hilarity… that we all need to have in our lives.
From her 19 years as a receptionist at La Crosse's Professional Arts Building and the 15 years at Viterbo, and a lifetime of friendship, let me say briefly that when Barb's mother was ill with cancer, Barb was her loving nurse night and day. . . After Mrs. Schroeder died, Sister Celestine Cepress FSPA dec and I and Barb remembered how Edith Schroeder, dec., Celestine, dec., and we two would make it possible to go to Schmitty's for Corned Beef and Cabbage (or Irish Stew) for St. Patrick's Day. Erin Go Bragh!!
I can just imagine how much more lively heaven must be with Barb there, once again united with her Murphy Center 3rd floor buddies, Tom and Earl. The laughter will go on forever!
Barb had a way of making everyone smile and laugh. The first time I met her (while she was interviewing for her position) she pulled a kazoo out of her purse when the director asked how she handled stress. At her first Viterbo picnic she came to as a newly hired assistant she pulled out that kazoo and started playing Pomp and Circumstance as we walked down a big driveway to join the other staff. At one gathering she was introducing herself as Barb Medland. And she would tap dance on the plastic behind her desk on request.
Oh Barb "may the force be with you". This along with the "live and prosper" hand sign was our usual way of greeting each other. I don't remember how it started probably as part of talk of our love for Star Wars and Star Trek series. I loved her flare for costumes and clothing which brought out the naughty twinkle in her eyes. Such a fun and caring person. What I loved most about her tho was her wonderful laugh. I am glad I saw you for awhile when you were sick however the picture on these tributes will be how I shall remember you. Peace, my friend.
Joan Keller Maresh
My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Barb! I remember Barb just like it was yesterday. She was one of those persons who helped me make a decision about changing my major and following my passion for people. The Learning Center will not be the same without her. She will truly be missed.
Thelma Rolle '02
Wow! Barb was such a wonderful woman. It breaks my heart to know that she is no longer with Viterbo. I knew as I walked into the learning center and was able to talk with Barb my day would always be brightened. She had such a positive impact on my years at Viterbo. Viterbo could not have asked for a more hardworking, dedicated, amazingly supportive person on the team. She will be greatly missed by many! Simply irreplaceable!
Barb was so special because of her love of life and of people. She always made everyone feel good just by being in her presence. I admire how she lived life to the full till the very end. And at "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," I couldn't help but think of all the times I saw Barb at Viterbo performances. She would have absolutely loved the "Drood" play. I am very happy we had a final phone visit on Feb. 15. May she rest in peace now.
Mary Ann Gschwind '65
Barb's work as the ambassador for the ARC was legendary among our students. Her zest for life, hats, costumes, candy, and laughter were the perfect ingredients for her position. It was hard for a student to be too overly anxious about a test or getting help when Barb was there to greet them. As a colleague, she was great fun and always a joy to talk to. She will truly be missed.
Thank you, Barb, for being so kind and welcoming to my kids when they visited campus when they were very young. They always got such a kick out of you.
Anita Wood and kids
The thing I'll remember most about Barb is her spirit. She was fun, spunky, upbeat, caring, and always smiling. Every single memory of her that I have includes a laugh, and I feel blessed to have met and worked with her in the ARC. She lived her life to the fullest right up until the end- a true inspiration.
Dani (Ashman) Matthies
I will always remember coming into to the Learning Center and seeing her big smile asking me how she could be of assistance. She was the face of the Learning Center for me over the years I have been here and I could count on her for some direction. She made my stay here at Viterbo brighter.
I always enjoyed helping Barb with her furnace or air conditioning questions with her house. I would stop over after work and check things out for her, and point her in the right way. I know that she appreciated it, because she trusted me to give her a honest fix or answer. She was always so upbeat and had a great personality. She was a great addition to the Viterbo and Lacrosse community! And will be sadly missed, by all that got to know her.
Of all the wonderful people I have met at Viterbo, Barb was one of the most amazing ones. I didn't go to the Learning Center much for tutoring. I just went there to say hi to Barb and chat with her for a while. I would even go out of my way to do that and seeing Barb always made my day as I always left the Learning Center feeling like I could do anything I wanted to do. It was just Barb's way of making me feel better about anything. I'd like to think I made her day too because she always seemed so excited to see me and I'm sure there are many more people that she made feel the same way. I knew Barb would always take a minute to listen to me and give me advice on anything I talked to her about. Hearing about her passing makes me very sad as she was a great friend to me but I also smile as I think of all the great memories and the smile she always had when I would visit her. The world and the Viterbo community has lost someone truly amazing and caring but instead of being sad I will take her passing as a motivation to follow my dreams even more than before because I believe that is exactly what she would want me to do! Goodbye, Barb! Thank you for everything and you will never be forgotten!
Dennis Benthin '12
Every school day during my 4 years at Viterbo, I used to stop by the learning Center and say Hi to Barb, we talked about her trip to Croatia and the taste of "rakija" with a nice Mediterranean salad. She always had a smile on and loved when I called her Rock Star, because she really was a Rock Star... I will miss you Barb... R.I.P.
Bojan Dzikov '10
Barb was special to me. She always greeted me with a smile when I went into the arc to take my tests. Even with a terminal disease she was always the sweetest, and made my gloomy days into sunshine. My thoughts and prayers are with her family. She will be missed greatly.
I will never forget Barb. She was definitely an amazing lady. Kind of crazy at times but thats the part of her that will never let me forget her. She had such an open mind and heart to everyone. She would have done absolutely anything for me. She could turn my darkest days around with just a smile and a hello (but I never got away with just a hello cause with her I could talk about anything!) She will truly be missed.
Barb just lit up the ARC(and LRC)! Her smile, her happy greetings, her sometimes crazy outfits all made the Academic Resource Center such a welcoming, comfortable place. She enjoyed helping and interacting with everyone who came through the door. Serving the President's Christmas Dinner for the students with her was always so much fun. I am privileged to have known and worked with Barb.
Barb always made me laugh. I was a tutor for nursing. She always called me Jenny (it's really jenna). She was always so happy to see me and had the biggest smile. I never had the heart to correct her. She told everyone else it was Jenny. So all my tutees would call me Jenny and it just escalated from there. I was born a Jenna and graduated college as a Jenny. What a wonderful woman. She was dedicated to each and every student. She knew everyone.
Barb always brought a ray of sunshine to everyone who had the honor of knowing her. I enjoyed her view of life. She was the epitome of the Franciscan spirit. RIP my dear friend.
Barb always had a smile on her face. She was one of the first people I ever met on the Viterbo campus. If you ever needed a laugh or someone to talk to she was it. What a great person Barb was. She always loved what she did and she loved everyone. I know Barb is in a much better place now. Pain free and able to live in Peace. I always use to say "BARB! How are ya?" Barb would replay "Just fine honey, but let me tell ya, Keep that smile of yours, its one of a kind." God Bless ya Barb. Love ya and Miss you!
George A Patterson
Current Student, Colleague
Earth has lost a Soul but we are not sad, rather we rejoice because Heaven has gained an Angel. She was very passionate when it came to her job and she will always be remembered for that and many more. Rest In Peace.
Nathalia Acolatse '11
I didn't know Barb well as she has been sick since I started. However, I have heard that her Halloween costumes are quite legendary. As a fellow Halloween enthusiast, I enjoyed seeing her dressed up as 1/2 of the Sony & Cher duo this last year. I know that she will be dearly missed. Rest in Peace Barb.
Barb had a wonderful way of bringing joy into our lives. She had a great sense of humor, a quick wit, and awesome "outfits" for holidays and other days. She mustered up enough strength in her recovery from cancer to make a pilgrimage to Italy to the land of Saints Francis and Clare. She wowed the other pilgrims with her determination, questions and insights. She was truly a servant leader in the ways she welcomed all at the ARC and kept everyone "in line" there. Barb, May you be flashing some awesome red angel wings and keeping God laughing with the gift of you. Thanks for sharing yourself with us. We shall miss you!
Sr. Jean Moore
I loved walking into the learning center knowing that Barb would be sitting at the desk to greet me. She was so bubbly and fun to talk with. She loved to joke around and have a good laugh. What a wonderful blessing she was to the students at Viterbo. She will be remembered as a thoughtful, fun and caring person!
Katie Klokkenga Snyder '04
I have known Barb since 1965, we here high school classmates. Of the 400+ graduates from Central High School in 1968 she was voted the 'class clown'...and for very good reason! It was a joy to know her over these years. We shared many fun times. Of all the jokes, pranks and fun times I'm not sure which is my favorite memory. What I can say is I firmly believe the world is a less joyful place since Barb is no longer with us. "There are stars whose radiance is visible on earth though they have long been extinct. There are people whose brilliance continues to light the world even though they are no longer among the living. These lights are particularly bright when the night is dark. They light the way for humankind." Hannah Senesh Rest in peace, dear friend. May you be rewarded for the joy you brought to this world!
Friend of the family
Phil: I remember Barb from our St. Francis days as a faithful fan at the St. Francis Blues softball games and, more recently, as an avid fisherwoman who needed my help cleaning her fish. Nancy: Barb was a faith-filled and fun friend and colleague -- always ready with a pick-me-up pun, joke, or song. We will miss her and remember her always.
Nancy and Phil Steinhoff
Barb was one of the first people to volunteer at Viterbo's Alumni Children's Christmas party shortly after I came on board at Viterbo. I quickly realized what a kind soul and warm spirited person we had in our midst. Her contagious laugh and infectious smile lit up the Fine Arts Center lobby as she expertly painted faces of the young and young at heart. She said the Children's Christmas party was one of her favorites events! We will truly miss you and your Franciscan spirit of hospitality and service. Rest in peace Barb.
Kathy Duerwachter '10
I met Barb when I was a freshmen and signed up for tutoring but I didn't really get to know her until I worked in the ARC as a work study student for three years. Barb always had a smile on her face and such a positive attitude. She made every student feel welcome and important. I still can't believe she is gone. She will be greatly missed by many.
Amanda Melinski '12
When I think of Barb, I think of the smiles, and the laughter and the crazy personality. I always aspire to be as happy, crazy and helpful as she was. She was always there for you, no matter the day or time. When I think of Viterbo, she was always one of the people I thought of. She will be missed.
Emily Olson '02
It saddens my heart to hear of Barbs passing. She was a great human being and will be sorely missed. I tutored several classes over many years as a student at Viterbo and Barb and I quickly became friends. Barb and I would joke and laugh and more often than not I would spend more time with my friend Barb then I did working with students. Words cannot adequately describe how wonderful Barb was as a person. Truly one of my favorite people in the world is gone and the world is a little darker/colder without her.
Barb was an amazing women! From her smile that could brighten anyone's day to her down right kindness, Barb was such a sweetheart. I will never forget wailing into the ARC for tutoring and Barb always saying hi to me and asking how my day was going. She was one of the nicest people I have ever met and the ARC will never be the same without her. I am so blessed that I was able to share the time I did with Barb. The kindness and her happiness always made my day better, even on the worst days. She would go out of her of way to help you, NO MATTER WHAT! Barb, you will be greatly missed. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Viterbo University is a much better place because of you!
I really enjoyed having Barb at our table at the President's Community dinner last August. Her sense of humor was contagious and she kept us laughing. As usual her warmth and Franciscan hospitality were evident, as they were in her everyday service at Viterbo. She truly lived the part of the Prayer of St. Francis that says: "It is in giving that we receive."
Funny, Funny and more funny lady. She could dish it out and take it too! After her mother gave me the keys to Barb's new car... I ballooned her car, put old shoes and cans underneath and wrote "Just Married" ? on the back.
Friend of the family
Though I needed a lot of help, Barb was always there with a hug, a smile, a laugh, and encouragement. Her presence will be greatly missed.
Barb was an excellent advocate for learning. Her positive attitude, eagerness to help students succeed, and caring spirit are just a few things that I most remember about Barb. Heaven certainly gained another Angel. God Bless you Barb! My thoughts and prayers are extended to her family, as well as the Viterbo family.
Mike Schleicher '07
The nicest lady ever to work at Viterbo. Always had a smile on and willing to help anyone no matter what. Will be missed. RIP Barb thank you for everything throughout the years.
Barb has always had enthusiasm for life and the students of Viterbo. She truly was a caring individual. When I was a student I always stopped by to say hello to here, even during times when I was not utilizing the Learning Center. As an Alumni, I always made an attempt to say hello to her when I came back to visit. Every time I say her, she was always happy to see me and how my life was going after graduating. She did this to all students that ever stopped by her desk. She will certainly be missed in the Viterbo Community.
Scott Hendricks '01, '05
Joy and laughter, love and light filled the spaces wherever Barb walked. She opened her heart and became a friend to all whom she met. She taught me the meaning of Franciscan hospitality and joy by how she lived each day to the very end. Now she has brought this great spirit to heaven and the angels are singing with her!
I remember the first time I talked to Barb when signing up for tutoring. I was a scared freshman and didn't know what to do, but Barb was so friendly and immediately started talking to me and asking me about my major and classes. She also made me laugh as we both discussed the outrageous prices we paid for the small tattoos we have. Barb, you will be greatly missed. Rest in peace.
Barb was one of the first people I met on campus and she was so amazingly sweet to me! I visited her as much as possible and said hi whenever I was close to the ARC. She brightened up my day every time I stopped by. I will miss seeing the excitement on her face when I stopped by. I will truly miss her around campus! She made Viterbo a much better place! Her family is in my prayers! God has another angel by His side!
She always was very pleasant and funny working the desk at the Learning Center. she was a lot of fun to tees and always called you hunny!!! She will be greatly missed....
Barb was always such a joy to talk to. Every day when I came in to tutor in the ARC, she was always there with a smile and a hello! Viterbo Univeristy will greatly miss her!
Barb was always full of energy. The photo looks exactly the way I remember her: a welcoming smile and cool earrings!
I was frequently in the center, and Barb always had a smile for me. She encouraged me, and always saw the positive in any situation. She made my experience at Viterbo even more enjoyable. Classmates and I would always just stop and talk with her, and eat candy from her desk. She was a special lady, and I will never forget her kindness towards me.
Nicole Keuper '07
I remember her smile every time I went the Academic resource center for my appointment. Barbara was a lovely lady and I will be thankful for all her services to us students. May her soul rest in perfect.
Barb was the happiest most friendly person I have ever met! I especially loved seeing her personality shine through her bold bright attire and fun accessories!! Such an amazing lady! I am blessed to have been able to know her!!
Jill (Palmersheim) Maas '11
A typical Barb greeting any time of the day included a finger snap, a shoulder shake, and a song! She brought so much joy into the lives of so many in such simple ways. You are already missed so profoundly.
Emily Dykman '98
Former Student, Colleague
I was a tutor at the Learning Center for 3 years and worked with Barb a great deal. She was always so bright and cheery. She always had something nice to say and was willing to help you in any way. One of my favorite memories of Barb was on St. Patrick's day. She was dressed up so fun with a shamrock headband. Barb was offering free face painting at her desk. She convinced me that I needed a hand painted shamrock on my cheek and she did a wonderful job painting it on my face. I wore it all day to spread the St. Patrick's day cheer!
Briana Darcy '11
Barb was such a wonderful lady and a good example of how we should all treat one another with kindness and respect each and every day. Every time I would come down to the Academic Resource Center, even if I did not have tutoring, I would stop and chat with Barb about good things that have been happening in my life and she always had a smile on her face to greet me with. I feel terrible that I did not get the opportunity to share my engagement announcement with her. I know that she would be happy for me. Thank you for teaching me how to treat others with kindness and bringing a smile to my face every day I saw you. Rest in peace, Barb.
Katelyn Kraimer '15
I met Barb as a work study student my first year at Viterbo. I worked side by side with her for a year and learned so much about life from this amazing woman. After my first year finished, I continued tutoring in the learning center for the last three years of my education. Barb and I became fast friends and continued that friendship off-campus. Barb and I spent summers biking around La Crosse, sitting in her backyard talking traveling, about men and the trouble they sometimes cause, and life in general. I visited with Barb here and there over the years and when she was diagnosed with cancer, I couldn't believe it. As an oncology nurse, I have learned only the best people in this world get cancer, and Barb is the kind of person that continued proving that was true. I was in her hospital room the day she found out her cancer had spread and in true Barb fashion, she took a moment to be sad, then greeted this new challenge with that sly smile and upbeat attitude. I was so lucky to have known this woman. The world is a much more dull place now that she is gone, but heaven is all the more exciting. I can see her now, with her red hair and bright red cowboy boots, having the best time. I will try not to shed any tears now that she is gone because I can hear Barb say with a big grin on her face, "Oh honey, don't cry!" Barb, you will be greatly missed. You touched my life in ways I can't even begin to describe.
Chelsea Immel '09
Barb was such an upbeat lady, and always had a way to make a bad day so much better! Even her outfits showed how much she loved what she did and went along with her personality perfectly. She would help in any way and make each person that walked into the Learning Center feel special! She will be missed by many but certainly left a piece of her with all who had the opportunity to know her!
Alexandra (Krosnicki) Jaros
Gone too soon!! I can't imagine the resource center without Barb. Barb was such a kind person. She paid attention even to my boring stories. Even in days that felt impossible, stopping by the resource center and talking to her made a world of difference. Can't forget the basket of candy she always put out. Barb you'll be greatly missed. Rip.
Roger Mbah '11
Barb was the 2nd friend I made when I moved to La Crosse in 1971, a very shy and timid person. We had a common friend (Pauline, my 1st La Crosse friend and classmate at WTC)-- both went to Central, both were outgoing and with a great sense of humor--and they helped me find my 'outgoing spirit' as well. When Pauline moved to Milwaukee, Bark and I remained very close friends for over 20 years --- not sure of the why's of the friendship 'drifting away'...but it happened. We shared so many good times and road trips and relished in one-upping each other when it came to monumental birthday celebrations. One year, she and my sister conspired to have me 'arrested' at work and taken to Nob Hill to 'identify' the person making charges...uh-huh...that had questions written all over it...when I walked in, there were friends and co-workers yelling 'surprise'. On Barb's 39th birthday, I hired about 3-4 of the Marching Chiefs brass section to play on her front yard in a morning salute!! Another time, with the help of my brother who had left over decorations from his New Year's Eve party, we got one of the attendants to open her small office in the Professional Arts Building and filled it to the brim with balloons and streamers and a big chocolate cake in the form of a, well, a pile of 'doo-doo'! Of course, one always had to be on guard for retaliation, like being blindfolded and taken to Fort McCoy with a note pinned to me that said I was on a hunting trip, so to speak for Mr. Right....that ended up with a ride in a tank over the backfields of Fort McCoy, thanks to a connection my sister had. One year, when my daughter was a baby, we took tap dancing lessons...we were the only adults with the kids...great fun (?) when it came to recital time!! Tubing down the Apple River with a couple of Barb's friends,one being Sr. Bernine, was quite an adventure...one we would not soon forget. She was there for my daughter's 1st birthday party at the New Villa and when I graduated from Viterbo as a non-trad student. Upon my return from doing my internship in Ireland, she gave me, as an early Christmas gift, a membership to the Shamrock Club with her joining as well. I've been a member ever since, having found kindred spirits for my love of the Irish and Irish culture. I was hoping to see her one more time, talk one more time....but it was not to be. Slan go foil, Barb!
Linda Pfaff '92
Friend of the Family
As an Alumnus, I met Barb in the Learning Center where I went to see a writing staff to critique my papers. Barb helped showed me how to make an appointment with one of the writing staff. Coming to the Learning Center was routine for me and this is how I got to know Barb on a regular basis. As an Adult learner, Barb and I had a lot in common that we shared amongst us. But there’s one thing that I will never forget, is when Barb told me that I make her day when I come to the center. She would say, “There’s my sunshine” referring to me. Barb was like a mother away from home who cares about all her kids (students) as if they were her own. I was touched when I heard that Barb went home without her saying good-bye. Barb, your memories will last forever.
Bernard Black '10
Barb was unquestionably one of the sweetest, most genuine, and delightful people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. She had a contagious smile and happiness about her that I couldn't get enough of. I will forever cherish the many drop-in conversations I had with Barb throughout my time at Viterbo. It did not matter how late I was running for class, or where I was heading to, I always made sure to stop in and see Barb in the Learning Center to brighten up my day. She just made people feel a sort of "good" inside them that is hard to explain. The Viterbo Community has truly lost one the all-stars of its team. I will surely miss Barb and her daily example of how to enjoy and make the most of the relationships you develop each day. My prayers go out to her entire family.
Kyle Dreger '10
Barb was an amazingly spirited woman. Every day I was in the Learning Center she was there with a smile and a hello. She was incredibly fun and so full of life. She made each and every student's day better with her fantastic attitude. She will be so missed.
Mandy Jo Mlsna '13
Barb was such a lovely woman and was so helpful with all the questions I had. She was also a highlight of my day as I often stole candy from the ARC desk; her humor never failed to make me smile. She will be greatly missed!
Barb's bright hair, smile, and COLORFUL outfits perfectly matched her sparkling personality. She was always LOOKING for opportunities to help others and never hesitated to share a warm smile, joke, story, laugh, candy, or anything to brighten a day. Thank you, Barb, for all of the love you shared. I will never forget my memories of Barb in the Learning Center at Viterbo University.
Elizabeth (Foley) Spangler '12
Coming back to college for the first time as a nontraditional student with children, fulltime work, and a life, trying to add college seemed a bit overwhelming. I knew there were areas I was not strong in academically, particularly mathematics. Barb was able to spot the fear in my eyes the day I walked into the resource center preparing to sign up for tutor for a statistics course. She must've talked to me for a good 25 minutes about how she seen so many people fear college math and come out successfully on the other side. I passed statistics. And through the rest of my time at Vitetbo as a student I would stop by and visit Barb, usually to take candy from her always full candy dish, and just say a quick hello. In 2010, I came back to Viterbo, this time as an adjunct professor. I had my first student need a makeup exam scheduled, and again I walked into to resource center probably looking bewildered... And was met with Barbs candydish, and smile. She walked me through what I needed and then said how wonderful it was to see former students coming back as faculty, and how she was proud of me... I will never forget that. Barb recently touched my life again without even really knowing it when I met a wonderful new friend who happened to be providing hospice care for her! Certainly a woman whose presence on campus will always be missed. Rest well, Barb, and best of luck on your new journey.
Kay Lisick '08
Former Student, Colleague
Barb was always lively and upbeat. Anytime I was around her, my day was uplifted. She is an inspiration for me to maintain such positive energy. Heartfelt blessings to her family.
May your soul rest in Peace in The Lord. I remember your smile and your help during my nursing program at Viterbo and receiving tutoring help. You Will be Missed.
Rev. Philomena Ofori-Nipaah '01
Oh gosh, I worked with Barb in the Learning Center for a summer through work study and would fill in during the school year. I am so glad to have met & worked with her. We shared so many stories and she helped me through some difficult times. I could always stop in the learning center to talk and pick up right where we left off. Some of my favorite memories with her was pranking Father Tom whose office was right across the hall. We shared a lot of laughs and that is what I will remember the most about her. Miss you Barb, but glad you are no longer suffering. xoxo
Abby Brueggen '10
Will never forget the first time I met Barb, she was so friendly and happy. Every time I walked in there I was always welcomed with a warm smile and cheerful hello! She will be greatly missed.
Nicky Lairson '13
Barb was always a cheerful face to the Academic Resource Center. She always wanted to get to know you on a personal level and know that you were helped to the best level possible. She will be a great loss to Viterbo.
Kayle Finn '04
Our world is not a better place with Barb gone....but heaven will be a helluva lot more fun.
I'll never forget the fear that gripped me when I first set foot in the ARC back in 2008. Barb's goodness, helpful nature & easy going spirit brought me peace in helping me understand that it's really OK to seek help with some challenging classes. The next few years I was tutoring others, leaning on Barb's guidance & helping being a good tutor. More importantly is her dedication & her love for the Lord. What joy she must be experiencing as she reaches her new destination. I celebrate her life & pray for those who mourn her passing but celebrate a life that touched so many. Enjoy your heavenly home Barb.....Quack, quack!
Katie Dempsey '12
Barb was always so helpful and such a kind woman. She always appeared happy and would do anything for anyone. She will be greatly missed.