Barbara Iwen age 88, of Merrill, passed away Wednesday, March 1, 2023 at Pine Crest Nursing Home. She was born on January 31, 1935 in Merrill, daughter of the late Leo and Lillian (Boettcher) Leistikow. Barbara graduated from Merrill High School in 1953. She worked at Weber Tackle in Stevens Point, Merrill Manufacturing, Weinbrenner Shoe Company, Lincoln County Bank, and finished out her career at M&I Citizens American Bank. After retiring she worked part time at Dave’s County Market. Barbara enjoyed being raised on a farm with all of the animals, having many pets throughout her life. She also enjoyed traveling with her neighbor, family, and friends. In addition she had a love for gardening, tending to her many flower beds, along with mowing the lawn on her John Deere for hours on end. She loved when people would visit so she could show off her yard or show guests her decorations she would put up for every holiday. You could hear the polka music coming from the local radio station playing both inside or outside the house. Most importantly she especially loved taking care of her two granddaughters and always making sure to have a birthday party, home cooked meal, and cake made from scratch for them each year. She loved to share her knowledge of baking cookies with her granddaughters and practiced her homemade recipes to feed many hungry mouths. Everyone could agree she was a social butterfly and spent her days sharing stories with everyone that passed through her life. In her pastime, Barb enjoyed looking through scrapbooks of old photos for hours, sharing what her life was like, as well as completing puzzles with good company. She welcomed everyone, stranger or friend, with a friendly conversation and lots of memories from the past. She was never alone because she loved animals and always had a pet (or four) in her house. Her most recent pet was her beloved dog “Saber” known to others as Sable. Even when her mind was confused, she never forgot her most special friend.
Barbara is survived by her son Douglas (Pam) Iwen of Merrill, two granddaughters Bailey Iwen and Emerson Iwen both of Merrill, one sister Fern (Reinhard) Langhoff of Merrill, along with nieces and nephews, step-children and step-grandchildren. Barbara married Donald Iwen on July 22, 1972 in Merrill. He preceded her in death on October 22, 2014. In addition, Barbara was preceded in death by her parents Leo and Lillian Leistikow, along with a stepson Donald Iwen II.
The Iwen family would like to thank all of our friends, family, and neighbors for the care and time dedicated to loving and socializing with Barb. The Iwen family is also thankful for the staff in the Special Care unit of Pine Crest Nursing Home. A Celebration of Life gathering will be held this summer with details to come. Mid Wisconsin Cremation Society is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.MWCS.WS