Barbara Lee Essig, 90 of Elkhorn, WI, died Saturday, May 2, 2020 at Ridgestone Gardens in Elkhorn, WI. She was born September 15, 1929 in Elgin, IL, the daughter to the late Leo and Elsie (Spiegler) Leitner. She graduated from Elgin High School in 1947, third in a class of 400, went on to attend Carleton College (Northfield, MN) graduated Cum Laude from Beloit College (Beloit, WI) in 1951. She was a member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority. She graduated from Moser Business School (Chicago, IL) also in 1951. She belonged to American Association of University Women. She worked as a secretary at Shakeproof Division of Illinois Tool Works (Elgin, IL) and as an office worker at the United Fund (Park Ridge, IL). Before becoming a full time mother, she was a Brownie, Girl Scout and a Mariner Girl Scout during her school days.
She was a member of Bethel United Methodist Church (Elkhorn, WI) served over 30 year s on the administrative council, was financial secretary, and sang in the church choir. Barbara was a member and treasurer of United Methodist Women (20 years). She was an active in church work all her life. Barbara sang in school and church choirs and chorales for over 60 years. She attended Geneva Lakes Christian Women’s Club, was a volunteer for meals on wheels for 12 years, Elkhorn food pantry (12 years) and Lakeland Health Care Center. She was a Green Bay Packer fan. Barbara had a very active life, enjoyed the social atmosphere of eating out especially at Vasili’s Corner Cafe (Elkhorn), and belonged to several breakfast and birthday clubs, many lunch groups and an evening dinner group. She enjoyed doing jigsaw puzzles and crossword puzzles. Barbara smiled a lot, had a positive attitude and liked to help others. She liked to tell jokes, had a good sense of humor and enjoyed being with people, a real people person. At age 82, Barbara published a book, “The G.O. Book – Grandma’s Observations”, about her life experiences including lots of common sense. She led a healthy life, having been in a weekly exercise class over 23 years.
Barbara is survived by her two sons, Charles “Chip” (Mary Beth) Essig of Carol Stream, IL and Thomas Manley of Woodstock, IL, one brother, Richard Leitner of Rice Lake, WI, three grandchildren; Kurtis (Bre) Lawrence of Oakland, AK, Jessica (Kris) Piccolo of Highwood, IL, and Kelly Essig of Carol Stream, IL, nine great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren, one niece, Janet Krahenbuhl, many friends and neighbors. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Charles “Chuck” in 1980, her daughter, Patricia Lawrence, two sister-in-laws and a niece.
To honor her wishes, there will be no formal funeral services, following cremation, there will be a private family graveside service at Acacia Park Cemetery in Chicago, IL. Memorial may be made in Barbara’s name to Bethel United Methodist Church, W5110 Cty Rd A Elkhorn, WI 53121, or a charity of your choice. Online guest book at www.haaselockwoodfhs.com. Haase-Lockwood & Associates Funeral Homes and Crematory completed arrangements for Essig Family.
A special thank you to Barbara’s family, friends and to the members and friends of Bethel United Methodist Church, all who helped her so much during her very difficult circumstances.
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Bethel United Methodist Church
W5110 Cty Rd A, Elkhorn WI 53121