Anita Selma Nora (Natzke) Barlau
Anita Selma Nora (Natzke) Barlau greeted her Savior on October 20, 2023, under the loving watch of her family. She was 84 years old. Anita was born on April 22, 1939, to Elmer and Leona (Prast) Natzke in Merrill, WI, and grew up on their family farm.
She graduated from Merrill High School in 1957 and went on to Concordia Teacher’s College at River Forest, IL, graduating in 1961. She then taught second and third grades at Redeemer Lutheran School in Warrington Florida and was an organist for the Pensacola Naval Air Station church services.
It was at the church organ at Redeemer, practicing for a service, that she met Steve Barlau, her husband of 58 years. The couple married on July 31, 1965, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Merrill, WI.
Anita maintained a lifelong love of music, education, children and family. She gave selflessly, and never stopped working while providing continuous love and support. She furthered her own education, taking librarianship classes when she could during her time in Florida and Minnesota, while her husband worked towards successful completion of his PhD in German Linguistics. She played organ and piano throughout her life in many churches, playing for weekly services as well as funerals, weddings, and other special services. She worked tirelessly to help provide for her family and to help on her family farm. She was a devoted mother who worked to provide a life of stability, comfort and love for her son Noel. She also adored, and was in return adored by, her granddaughter Astrid.
Anita is survived by her husband, Steve Barlau, her son Noel Barlau, daughter-in-law Jennifer Stewart, and her beloved granddaughter Astrid Barlau of Fayetteville GA, her sister Doris Natzke of Merrill WI, her brother John and sister-in-law Madelyn Natzke of Merrill WI, and her brothers-in-law Martin Barlau, Norman Glock, Kay McCalla and Jesse Barlau and her sisters-in-law Jeanne Marie Barlau, Beata Raedeke, Agatha Baden, Elvira McCalla, Ethel Wolff, Trudy Barlau and Deborah Hammond.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Elmer and Leona (Prast) Natzke, her husband’s parents Werner and Margaret (Jeske) Barlau, by brothers-in-law Norman Raedeke, Donald Baden, and James Hammond, and sisters-in-law Judith (Koenn) Barlau and Judith (Barlau) Glock.
A memorial service for Anita is being held on November 18, at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Merrill. Pastor Joel Danner will officiate. Visitation will be at Immanuel from 9am-11am, and the service will begin at 11am. A luncheon will follow the service in the church basement. Committal at Memorial Park in Merrill will take place after the luncheon.
In lieu of flowers, the family request that a memorial donation be considered to Immanuel Lutheran Church of Merrill, Trinity Lutheran School of Merrill, Pommerscher Verein Central Wisconsin Endowment Fund, or Unity Hospice in DePere, WI.
The family would like to extend special thanks to Pastor Danner during this difficult time. He went well above the call of pastoral duty in providing spiritual care to Anita and her family, and it is most appreciated.