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In loving memory of
Barbara Wieczorek
  • June 02, 1936
  • -
  • September 21, 2021

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Barbara June Wieczorek, 85, passed away with family by her side on Tuesday, September 21, 2021, at Advent Health Hospital in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
Barb was born June 2, 1936, in Winona, Minnesota, to Clarence and Leone (Thrune) Gappa. After graduating from Cotter High School, she went on to achieve her dream of becoming a Registered Nurse, attending St. Mary’s Nursing School in Rochester, Minnesota.
While working as an RN, she met medical student and orderly, Robert Mathison. She said his ego needed adjusting and, as his superior, put him on bedpan duty. Despite that dubious beginning, they ended up dating and were married December 28, 1957. Barb mostly worked the overnight shift, helping put Bob through medical school while simultaneously raising a family of six young children. She loved to tell humorous stories of life with them. An often-told story was how her first three kids, all boys, made each other special “drinks” which subsequently required a trip to the hospital for stomach pumping. This type of mischief was so frequent that when her fourth child was finally a girl, she was so relieved she wouldn’t let her out of her sight in the hospital. When she went on to have another daughter and a son, she felt her family was finally complete.
Having six active kids, Barb enjoyed attending every single sporting event, concert, and school function that she could. Her family was her happiness, which only increased with the births of each grandchild and great-grandchild.
Barb was a lot of fun, had a great sense of humor, and the ability to laugh at herself. She famously made-up words if she couldn’t think of the correct one, a classic example was “mouse-cat” which was a substitution for “dog”. While at a restaurant with her family, mom ordered coffee and the waitress asked if she likes cream with her coffee. Her answer, “sometimes”. After a long pause the waitress needed to ask, “is this one of those times?!” She always had the ability to laugh with those around her and at herself each time these stories were told and retold over the years.

When Bob died suddenly in 1987, Barb was devastated. A few years later, Barb attended a high school reunion in 1989 and reconnected with her high school sweetheart, Robert Wieczorek. They rekindled their relationship and were married in June of 1991. They lived in Minnesota and Wisconsin before finally relocating to Florida. They lived happily there together until Bob passed away in October 2018.
Barb worked for many years as a labor and delivery RN, a job she dearly loved. She was also quite a talented artist, working mostly in watercolor. Her children and grandchildren are the lucky recipients of many of her beautiful paintings.
Barb was preceded in death by her parents; her first husband, Dr. Robert Mathison; her second husband, Robert Wieczorek; her brothers, Allen and Glenn Gappa; her sisters, Dianne DeWitz and Marie Feltz; two sons, Dann and Todd Mathison; and granddaughter Ella Grace Hinzmann. She is survived by her children: Mark (Joni) Mathison of Duluth, MN; Caroline Mathison (Tyler, Marisa, and Gabby) of Hermantown, MN; Kerin (Mark) Hinzmann of Maple Valley, WA; Kiersten (Tom) Ellez of Auburn, WA; Arik (Kristle) Mathison of Ballston Spa, NY. Grandchildren: Abigail (Charles) Wright; Brent (Steph) Mathison; Ryne Metzger; Kailea Mattheis; Jack Mathison; Alice and Samuel Hinzmann; Andie and Harrison Ellez; Kelsey Alois, and Oliver, Simen, and Henrik Mathison. Great Grandchildren: Landon Mathison and Emmett and Amelia Wright and Kinley Metzger . Barb loved her family which also included many beloved nieces and nephews.

A Memorial Mass and reception will be held on Monday, October 4, 2021, at 11:00 am at St. Gerard Catholic Church, 3171 S. Ridgewood Avenue, Edgewater, Florida.

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  1. Kelli McElmury says:
    02 Oct 2021
    Dear cousins,
    Praying that you will find comfort in your memories and thoughts of your mom. She was an awesome woman and a wonderful aunt, and I will always remember her laughter, sense of humor, and kindness. Love to you all~

  2. Amy says:
    01 Oct 2021
    You’re all in my thoughts. I know what a difficult time this is. If you need anything let me know. Your mom was a wonderful, funny, warm and kind woman. And the obituary was spot on. I’m gonna miss her stories so.

  3. Debbie Bambenek says:
    30 Sep 2021
    Dearest family. My heart was saddened to learn of one of my most favorite Aunties, passing. She lit the room with her humor and love. I will never forget the find memories I have of this beautiful woman, we have such a great family. I too, was lightened from her obituary. That is her, through and through. May peace follow you all, for always. And find the comfort in all the memories you have created. Comfort comes to me, knowing the whole Gappa clan is in heaven, reunited, forever. Their legacy lives on, through all of us. Many blessings. Love you all.

  4. Shelli Tradup says:
    30 Sep 2021
    Barbara was so much more than an Aunt to me, and I will be forever thankful for her love and taking me in as one of their own. It truly changed my life and who I became as a person and a mother. I will miss your smile and laugh and the way you see the world, and your love of family. Love you Always, Shelli❤

  5. Dian Gappa says:
    30 Sep 2021
    I am sad to know that my sister-in-law, Barbara, has passed away from all of us. I know that she is happy in heaven with all of her family there and will be with her earthly children every day watching over them. We will all smile with the memories we made with Barb over the years. I was very happy to be a part of her life upon marrying her brother, Allen. I pray that God will bless her family with comfort and peace in the days to come. I love you, Barbara...I love your family. Sincerely...Dian Gappa

  6. Marty Gappa says:
    30 Sep 2021
    It was sad hearing of Barbara's passing. However, I do have to say that reading her obituary did make me smile and definitely reminded me of how fun of a person she always was!

    Please know Barbara and all of you have been in my thoughts and prayers and hope our memories of her never fade and may God bless her and all of her family gone before her...

  7. Kathy Mathison Cole says:
    29 Sep 2021
    Rest in Peace aunt Barb. I will never forget how kind you were to me during my troublesome teenage years. You always made me laugh and your laugh is one I will never forget. Prayers are with all of your family who will cherish your memory forever.

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