Barbara Joyce Williams
On January 1, 2021 Barbara Joyce Williams passed away surrounded by her loving daughters after a courageous battle with and many complications from lung cancer.
She was born January 29, 1940 to Emily (Wilson) and Lucius Ellsworth in Elkhorn, WI. Barb was a beloved daughter, mother, wife, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, friend and co-worker. She graduated from Elkhorn High School in 1957. She was an incredibly gifted vocalist. She sang in many school competitions, winning most and later was a frequent soloist in the churches with which she was affiliated. She was also an accomplished equestrian, again competing and winning with her horse “Lady”.
She became a mother in September of 1959 with the birth of her daughter, Donna, followed by Penny in 1961 and Paula in 1966. Her daughters were her pride and joy and the main focus of her life. She worked various jobs and often more than one at a time to best support her family.
Life for Barb became more joy filled when one evening at a dance, she met and danced with the man of her dreams, who later became the Dad of her daughters’ dreams. She married DeWayne (Wink) Williams on September 3, 1977. They danced, laughed and loved their way through the years until he passed May 9, 1995.
Barb took great pride in her long career at Gundersen Lutheran in Behavioral Health. She was meticulous in everything she did and that quality served her and all with whom she worked very well until her retirement.
Her meticulous and prideful nature did not stop at her work. Everything she did was done to perfection and accomplished under the highest of standards, from caring for her mom in the last years of her life to tending to her home, yard and flower gardens.
Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were responsible for the twinkle in her eyes and many a smile on her face.
Her sharp wit, keen sense of humor, and most memorable laugh will live on through all of us blessed to be her family.
Barbara is survived by her daughters, Donna (Robert) Niedfeldt of West Salem, Penny Jones Krogh of Black River Falls, and Paula (Harry) Nathanson of Arlington Heights, IL. Grandchildren, Jen (Bryan) Hole, Sarah (Larry) Jackson, Jessica Jerman, Samuel and Ila Nathanson and bonus granddaughter, Elizabeth Niedfeldt. She has six great grandchildren and another great grandson on the way.
Barb is also survived by her stepchildren; Richard Williams and Jean Haakenson, step-grandchildren; Michelle Russell, Travis, Craig and Christopher Williams, Maria DeWitt, Jessica Janzen and Ryan Bjerkos as well as 17 step-great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren.
She is further survived by her siblings; Betty (David) Hedgecock, Robert (Patricia) Ellsworth and Linda (Dale) Dieckbernd and many nieces and nephews.
Barbara was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Wink, her parents, Lucius Ellsworth and Emily Ellsworth Bell and sister-in-law, Laurie Ellsworth.
The family would like to express their sincere gratitude for the compassionate care and attention Mom received from Lisa Gundersen, PA, Dr. David Marinier, Dr. Collin Driscoll and the entire staff in Gundersen Health System’s Cancer Center. A special thank you for the care delivered by Dr. Mary Morris, Palliative Care and for the remarkable care provided at home by Gundersen’s Hospice department.
Due to COVID, private services will be held at The Gathering Place in Onalaska, WI. All invited to attend must wear a mask and observe social distancing guidelines.
In lieu of flowers please direct memorials to Gundersen Medical Foundation, designated to cancer research.