On July 2, in Appleton WI, Barbara Ann (Eggert) Dalke, age 84, passed away peacefully after visits with her family, close friend, and pastor at Cherry Meadows Hospice. She had been struggling for the past six months with a series of chronic conditions.
Barb, a lifelong Appleton resident, had the good fortune of being the child of a warm-hearted, spunk-filled mother and thoughtful, teasing father. Her family nurtured Barb’s warmth, ability to laugh even at herself, and caring, resilient spirit. She was curious and outgoing like her father and generous with hugs and a listening ear like her mother. She liked to connect and engage with others, showing genuine interest and concern. And she could be a stereotypical stubborn German who clearly knew the particulars of what she wanted not only for herself but also for others.
After graduating from Appleton High School, she worked at Home Mutual Insurance and Aid Association for Lutherans performing computer punch-card data entry. During this time, being blessed with a good mind, Barb studied accounting for three semesters at UW-Fox Valley Center before a sudden and severe vision impairment derailed her plans. Despite her profound vision loss and recent almost total blindness, she mustered the tenacity to cope and adapt rather than wallow in self-pity.
On May 10, 1958 she married David Dalke at Zion Luther Church. They started a family. They scrimped and saved for their homes–two of which they designed together–where they nurtured lovely gardens. As a family, they enjoyed frequent gatherings with relatives and eventually, at Barb’s insistence, enjoyed camping near beautiful, small Wisconsin lakes.
Barb was a caring mother, who despite her vision impairment found ways to read to her children and bike them to activities, like swimming lessons, literally trusting her children to be her guiding eyes. She was always quite willing to help with their homework and warmly welcomed and took sincere interest in her children’s’ friends.
She was an active member of Our Saviors Lutheran Church, known by some for her scrumptious baking. Despite her lack of vision, she was a skilled and proficient crocheter and knitter of blankets, sweaters, and oodles of caps for newborns. She belonged to a knitting guild, a spinning guild, and a tap-dancing group, the Rhythmettes, where she nurtured her social nature and developed treasured friendships.
Barb is survived by her husband of sixty-three years, David, her sons: Brian (Lorelle) and Todd, her grandchildren: Erin Dalke, Justin (Lyndsay) Dalke, Alex Weyenberg, Megan Weyenberg, her step grandson Justin Weyenberg, and her brothers and sisters-in-laws: Jim and Sharon Eggert and Tom and Laura Eggert.
She was preceded in death by her older sister, Nira Jane, who died prior to Barb’s birth, her father and mother Clarence and Marge Eggert, and sadly her daughter Beth (Dalke) Weyenberg.
Visitation for Barb will be on July 10 from 9 AM to 11 AM at Our Saviors Lutheran Church (Meade Street) in Appleton, followed by her funeral service at 11 AM. Burial service at Highland Memorial park will immediately follow the funeral at 12:30 PM.
Any memorials in honor of Barb may be given to Our Saviors Lutheran Church, 3009 N Meade Street, Appleton, WI 54911