Barb O'Connell

Barbara L. O’Connell, 54, of Frederika, died unexpectedly on Sunday, October 2, 2016, at Community Memorial Hospital in Sumner.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, October 8, 2016, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Fredericksburg with Rev. Ronnie Koch officiating. Interment will follow at Rose Hill Cemetery in Fredericksburg. Visitation will be from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Friday, October 7th   at Rettig Funeral Home in Tripoli and for one hour preceding services at the church on Saturday. 

Barbara Lynn, daughter of Elmer and Karen (Kelleher) O’Connell, Jr. was born November 23, 1961 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in New Hampton, Iowa. She was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in New Hampton. Barb graduated from Fredericksburg High School in 1980 and went on to receive her degree in Culinary Arts from Kirkwood College in Cedar Rapids. Throughout her working career, she worked for Sara Lee in New Hampton, waitressing at local restaurants in Chickasaw County, and worked in the bakery at Hy-Vee in Charles City. It was within the last few years that Barb was able to mix her passion with her working career, as she has been self-employed with her craft business.  She was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Fredericksburg. Barb was very artistic, enjoyed painting, sculpting, but most especially enjoyed time with her nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews.

Barb is survived by her mother, Karen O’Connell of Fredericksburg; four sisters, Pam (Ron) Schutte of Fredericksburg, Chris (Steve) Crowe of Georgetown, Texas, Carol Pett of Waverly, and Elaine (Dan) Milewsky of Watertown, Wisconsin; nine nieces and nephews; and four great-nieces and nephews; and special friend, Bill O’Connell of Frederika.

She was preceded in death by her father, Elmer O’Connell, Jr. and her grandparents.


Brenda Schnoebelen on October 7, 2016 at 3:04 PM said:

Beautiful. Warm. Artistic.
Your smile will not be forgotten.
Jen Hauser on October 6, 2016 at 10:38 AM said:

Barb was such a fun, spirited, awesome lady. I have been buying her barb wire pieces for years, and recently had a couple of gifts made by her. We were blessed to have her as a vendor at the store, I enjoyed her conversation when she came in to drop things off and chat. So happy I was able to see her on Saturday and visit. You will be greatly missed Barb.
Sheryl on October 6, 2016 at 6:50 AM said:

I was at the craft show in Nashua that Saturday and brought some of her painted gourds. I paid her and she said to go ahead and pick up one more to go with the others, and so she picked one out for me it was so neat! I have always believed in angels amongst us here on earth and she was one of them for sure !
Karla (Bartels) Perkins on October 5, 2016 at 8:24 PM said:

One of the best friends ever. Our parents were friends so we spent time together a lot while growing up. What a light Barb was. ALWAYS upbeat despite the curves life threw at her. One of the very best friends and people ever. We were laughing about the nicknames we shared with Carol (Freck, Speck, & Spot) last Thursday at my father's viewing and I was blessed with several pieces of her art. Our last words to each other were "I love you". Barb, I love you. Thank you for loving me. Karla
Ken & Jeanine Douglas on October 5, 2016 at 12:42 PM said:

We knew Barb from Sara Lee and she was the most fun ,I just purchased her craft work last fall and love it!!! She will be missed!
Melody Kingsbury on October 5, 2016 at 12:06 PM said:

Barb wad such a nice person. She will be missed. Prayers for the family.
Margo Pleggenkuhle on October 5, 2016 at 9:50 AM said:

What a happy and fun gal And a beautiful artist. Now she has her wings. Fly high beautiful angel.
Susan McFarland Macken on October 5, 2016 at 9:41 AM said:

I can not believe that Barb will not be around to plan the next class reunion. Actually, probably already had it planned! She loved to get people together, share stories, and laugh. I walk by her Barb-Wire pieces that decorate the side of our garage every day. What a treasure to have had Barb a part of our lives! Next time we get together, we'll have a chair for you.
Carol Field on October 5, 2016 at 9:05 AM said:

My prayers are with your family...
Sounds like she was a sweet woman with lots of love and smiles to share!
Sharon and Dave Brown on October 5, 2016 at 8:08 AM said:

Barb will truly be missed. We were fortunate enough to be with her on 9-29-16 when she came to my fathers wake. We all went out for pizza and of course Barb had all of us laughing and bringing back great memories.
Christy (Warnke) Diemer on October 5, 2016 at 6:39 AM said:

Barb was truly JOY filled, she always had a big smile. After a conversation with her you always walked away happier! I have many pieces of her "Barb-wire" creations and will always think of her when I pass by them. I will miss seeing her at the local craft fairs. She was a "genuine" person and one of a kind in the very best way! My thoughts and prayers to her family.
Lisa Chapin on October 4, 2016 at 9:59 PM said:

So many wonderful things about Barb, where do you eve start. Her smile and sense of humor was contagious. The many stories, I think the best was the "car wash" story, didn't matter how many times we heard it, it was still as funny as the first time. Barb drew a picture of me when we were seniors, still have that picture. I have many pieces of her "barb"ed wire art work. Until we meet again my friend.
Mike Lines on October 4, 2016 at 8:44 PM said:

What a loss! So glad I got to see her last time I was in Iowa. Got some of her "Barb"ed wire art while I was there, too. Such a talented, beautiful person. She will truly be missed!!
Sharon and Joe Haskovec on October 4, 2016 at 7:17 PM said:

We met Barb at Sara Lee and loved her lively personality and great sense of humor. She made the most creative Halloween costumes and my sons loved her spider one so much that she gave it to them. Since we moved to Phoenix, we would see her at the hotel and catch up. The last couple of years we caught up by phone a couple times a year. We will miss her and will cherish the artwork she gave us when my mother passed away. Another angel on earth got her wings. Rest In Peace! Loved you girl, Sharon and Joe Haskovec
Christie Paulsen on October 4, 2016 at 6:48 PM said:

Barb how you will be missed by so many! I was in such shock as mom and I were just talking to you on Saturday at the Fall Expo in Nashua. You have made so many things for us out of barb wire! We love every single piece! You will truly be missed my friend!
Julie Halvorson on October 4, 2016 at 5:34 PM said:

I'll never forget Barb's awesome sense of humor! She always had us dying of laughter. So full of life. She really did try hard to keep the class of 80 all together. RIP my friend. You will be truly missed :(
Mary Mooberry on October 4, 2016 at 5:33 PM said:

Barb was such a nice lady - always had a smile and time to visit. She will be missed.
Diana ohm on October 4, 2016 at 5:21 PM said:

She was always so happy go lucky. Smiling all the time. H
Portia Stone on October 4, 2016 at 5:10 PM said:

Barb was a funny, quirky sort of person that showed a lot of passion through her barbed wire work
She will truly be missed!
Susan (Harada) Bentley on October 4, 2016 at 5:03 PM said:

A big smile on her face is exactly how I will remember Barb. And, she did a wonderful job of spreading her smile to those around her. My thoughts and prayers to Barb's family.
Carol Armbrecht Luvert on October 4, 2016 at 3:33 PM said:

Barb was a great friend to me ever since kindergarten. I could always count on her to make me laugh, and she was such a good story teller. Those of us who knew her will always remember the "car wash" story and many others that she loved to tell. She was the glue that held our class together and she tried so hard to get us all together for class reunions. She was so talented and blessed in so many ways that even she didn't know. I am going to miss her.

Becker-Milnes Funeral Home

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