Madison, WI - Barbara (Barb) Ann Weaver (Flood), age 91, passed away peacefully at Oakwood University Woods on Monday Oct. 1st, 2018. Barb was born on Nov. 28th, 1926 in Racine Wisconsin, the only daughter of Ingeborg Hazel Luella Flood (Bath) of Columbus, WI and George Flood, an Irishman from Chicago, IL. She married Robert "Bob" Riley Weaver from Stockton, CA, on Feb. 10th, 1951 at the US Naval Air Station in Oakland, CA. Together they had three children: Mary Ellen (Jeff); Michael Ray (Teresa) and Thomas Andrew (Rachel); seven grandchildren: Evan (Brittany), Lucas, Amy, Sara (Jonathan), Ruby, Matilda and Abigail; and one great-grandson Remington. She was preceded in death by her mother Hazel in 1994 and Bob in 2013.
Barb, known as "Babe" by both her mother and her loving husband, was a beautiful, intelligent, accomplished and caring individual. She was raised during the depression in a rural farming community typical of Wisconsin, and although Barb grew up in challenging times she was fiercely proud of her Norwegian heritage and the part her extended family (Underdahl, VosBurgh) played in opening up the Wisconsin frontier following their immigration, first settling in Dane and then Columbia Counties in 1847. She was raised an evangelical Lutheran and her Christianity played a major part in her life. She participated in many Church activities with her mother and husband through the communities at Bonnet Prairie Church in Rio (Services, Lutefisk and Lefse suppers), Bethel Lutheran Church in Madison (Services, Parish Shop, XYZ, Visitations), and later at Oakwood with her and Bob's many friends.
Ever since she was five years old Barb knew she wanted to be a nurse, declaring her decision loudly while playing in a sandbox on the farm, yelling to her mother who was busy feeding the chickens. So, when Barb graduated from Columbus High School in 1945, she attended Milwaukee Hospital School of Nursing. Following her graduation in 1948 Barb spent over 40 years at the forefront of General Medicine, Oncology, Surgery, and Orthopaedics - where her "Five West" stories at the old UW Hospital on University Ave were infamous at the Weaver household supper table. Barb always considered herself lucky to serve people during their illness, having touched so many lives while, for example, treating polio patients before a vaccine was discovered (also contracting it herself), and participating in many "firsts" in the state. She would proudly recollect new treatments such as penicillin replacing the old Sulfa drugs, and 5-FU chemotherapy - she deeply respected Charlie Heidelberger at UW's McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research for his discovery that transformed cancer care. She looked after the first patients in the state receiving an artificial heart valve, and later joint replacements, and towards the end of her career when those dreaded computers came on the floor she had to learn to type, though never as well as Bob!
As well as a love for new treatments, Barb had a caring and "you can do it" attitude towards her patients. She often told her family "I couldn't see myself doing anything else but nursing", that says it all.
Barb retired in 1991 and enjoyed many happy years with Bob at the family home on Madison's Lake Mendota (Livingston St) and then, from 2006, Oakwood retirement community on Madison's west side. Grandma and Grandpa continued their involvement in church, helped with the grandchildren and also enjoyed going to many basketball and soccer games, as well as dance and music concerts. They also took up traveling outside of Wisconsin, including cruises to Hawaii, trips to Norway and several visits to England (Cambridge, London, Oxford) where they enjoyed spending time with their English grandchildren and new relations in Cumbria and Yorkshire.
During her last years Barb's time at Oakwood were extremely happy and busy and she often commented on how her and Bob's moving there was the best decision they could have made for their retirement. She loved her many friends and staff at Oakwood, particularly on the third floor of Heritage Oaks. She also was active in the Oakwood Nurses group and enjoyed learning about US and European history while attending lectures given by retired professors living at Oakwood.
With all of these pursuits, experiences and relationships, Barb truly had a wonderful and blessed life. Her family misses her greatly and will keep her in their hearts and thoughts forever.
A memorial service will be held at Oakwood University Woods, 6205 Mineral Point Road on the 28th of November at 11:00 AM in the Resurrection Chapel. A visitation will be held before the memorial from 10:00 am until the time of service and a lunch reception will then be held directly after the memorial in the Nakoma and Westmorland rooms. Interment of cremains will be at the Bonnet Prairie Cemetery in a private service at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Oakwood Foundation, Bethel Foundation or Bonnet Prairie Church.
A special thank you to the entire staff at the Hebron Oaks Nursing Home and Critical Care Centre.
A Nurse's Prayer "She Was There"
by Duane Jaeger, RN, MSN (2004)
When a calming, quiet presence was all that was needed, She was there.
In the excitement and miracle of birth or in the mystery and loss of life, She was there.
When a silent glance could uplift a patient, family member of friend, She was there.
At those times when the unexplainable needed to be explained, She was there.
When the situation demanded a swift foot and sharp mind, She was there.
When a gentle touch, a firm push, or an encouraging word was needed, She was there.
In choosing the best one from a family's "Thank You" box of chocolates, She was there.
To witness humanity,--its beauty, in good times and bad, without judgment, She was there.
To embrace the woes of the world, willingly, and offer hope, She was there.
Even though I didn't know you kids, I knew your mom from Oakwood. And also from Bethel before that. She was a wonderful lady who did amazing work for those who needed help. Your dad died just before mine and then your mom helped my mom through some difficult times a few years later. After my mom was gone I used to call your mom every so often to see how she was doing and I knew about the last surgery but thought she could pull through that too. But not to be. I know how difficult a time this is......I have been there. I miss your mom probably as much as you do.
Ginny (Schreier) Mathies
To Mary, Mike, and Tom,
Your mom was really a great lady that I have known for 50 years. She will surely
be missed and our deepest sympathy to all of you. Your former babysitter,
Tom and the whole Weaver family,
We are so sorry to hear of the loss of your mom. She raised a great family and always made Tom's friends feel welcome.
You have the Vanden Brooks' deepest sympathies.
A blessing that our family were able to visit Ma in August as we could all spent time together and share some final happy moments. Sadder than anything that she is gone, but now she can rest easy and not be alone since I am sure dad is right there at her side watching the birds while she reminisces. Paired forever. Love, Tom
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