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Barbara Aldrich (Smith) Besadny, age 90, died on December 26, 2022, in Madison, WI, with family by her side. Barbara was born on June 17, 1932, in Fond du Lac, WI to Laverne and Florence Smith. She was the eldest of three children who grew up first in Fond du Lac and later in Delavan, WI. Barbara graduated valedictorian of Delavan High School. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she met her husband of 47 years, C.D. “Buzz” Besadny. Barbara was a proud and active member of the Alpha Phi sorority while at the University.
Buzz and Barbara were married on August 16, 1952, in Delavan, WI. They made their home in Madison, WI building their house in the Hill Farms neighborhood where they raised four children and lived most of their lives. When asked what she did during her life, Barbara would proudly respond “I was a mother”. She also worked as a part-time bookkeeper for several non-profit organizations, was an active and devoted member of Covenant Presbyterian Church, delivered Mobile Meals, and volunteered as a math tutor in the Madison Public Schools. Barbara enjoyed cooking and baking for her family, friends, and neighbors, playing Bridge and Scrabble in clubs and in tournaments, golfing and bowling in leagues, and her travels to Israel, Kenya, Belize, Costa Rica, England, and parts of Europe.
Barbara is survived by her three loving daughters: Barbara Roeber (Larry Black), Sarah Besadny (Jim Meiers), and Jean (Andy) Garcia; daughter-in-law, Janet Besadny; four grandchildren: Ben (Britt) Garcia, Justin (Julie) Garcia, Ryan (Jennifer) Besadny, and Caitlin (Josh) Carton; five great-grandchildren; brother-in-law, Sam Brown; two nieces, two nephews, and their families.
Barbara was preceded in death by her husband, Buzz; son, Bruce; granddaughter, Andrea Garcia; son-in-law, Gregory Roeber; sister, Mimi Brown; and brother, Joel Smith.
A visitation for Barbara will be held on Friday, January 6, at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison, from 11-11:30 am. A celebration of Barbara’s life will be at 11:30 am.
In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Barbara’s life may be made to The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin ( www.wisconservation.org ) designating the endowed fund “The Besadny Grants” or make a donation to Second Harvest Food Bank of Southern Wisconsin ( www.secondharvestmadison.org/donate ).
The family extends a very special thank you to Barbara’s dear friends Mary, Kelly, and Marla. Your loving visits meant the world to her. Thank you also to the caregivers at St. Mary’s Care Center where Barbara resided for the final years of her life.
“Your love shines on in our lives forever, Mom.”
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road Madison