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Barbara J. Schmelzer

Barbara Jean (Pennings) Schmelzer joined her Lord and Savior on Friday, December 14, 2012, at the age of 74. She was born in Bay Settlement to John and Esther Pennings, one of seven children. On August 2, 1958, she married George David Schmelzer in Dyckesville, WI. For over 45 years, the couple made their home in Sturgeon Bay.

Barb graduated from Luxemburg High School and later attended UW-Green Bay for a short period of time. Barb was active in Corpus Christi Parish, an active volunteer in the St. Ann’s Society for many years, and the Door County Homemakers of which she was proud to also have been state president. Barb worked at the Dorchester Nursing Center from 1972 - 1985 as activity director and was past-president of the Wisconsin Representatives of Activity Professionals. After leaving the Dorchester, she co-owned the Country Cottage gift shop, and then co-owned Whispering Heights CBRF for seven years. She later marketed her own therapeutic puzzles under the name of Granny’s Challenge.

Barb was an active member of the Salona Women’s Club, the A-Door-Able Red Hatters, and enjoyed playing cards with her friends and grandchildren. She enjoyed reading the Bible and spending weekends at the family cottage. Barb was a beautiful painter, and loved the Christmas season having painted countless Santas for her children.

She is survived by her husband of 54 years, George Schmelzer and seven children, Jean (Chuck) Marsh, Dave (Tammy), Del (Lisa), Joan (Mitch) Groessl, Julie, Buck (Vicki), and Dean (Trina), and a niece and nephew who lived with Barb and George, Lisa and Eric. In addition, she will be missed by 25 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by siblings, Larry (Arlene) Pennings and Dick (Elaine) Pennings, sisters-in-law, Yvonne and Bev Pennings and brothers-in-law, Ted Sterletske and Cal Abts. In addition, she is survived by other in-laws, Pat LeBotte, Paul Schmelzer, Richard Schmelzer, Robert (Gloria) Schmelzer, Mike (Bonnie) Schmelzer, and Mary (Frank) Roznik, many nieces, nephews and Godchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents and siblings, Jack, Tom, Mary and Joyce; mother and father-in-law, Del and Thelma Schmelzer; brother-in-law Gene LeBotte and foster brother, Johnny Huven.

A mass of Christian burial will be held on Monday, December 17, 2012 at Corpus Christi Church at 11:00 a.m. Entombment will be in St. Joseph Cemetery Mausoleum. A celebration of Barb’s life will follow mausoleum services in the social hall at Corpus Christi. Friends may call at the Forbes Funeral Home on Sunday from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. and then after 10:00 a.m. Monday at the church until time of services. A prayer service will be conducted at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home. On-line condolences may be offered at

Barb’s love of life, loving spirit and commitment to her family is a testament to God’s role in her life. She will be missed.


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