Cover photo for Barbara J. Estabrook's Obituary
Barbara J. Estabrook Profile Photo
1940 Barb 2024

Barbara J. Estabrook

November 19, 1940 — March 2, 2024

Appleton

Barbara Jean Estabrook, age 83, was born November 19, 1940, in Ironwood, MI to Thomas and Ann (DePretto) Smolich. She grew up in Mercer, WI with her little sister Judi by her side. She attended St. Ambrose High School in Ironwood and graduated in 1958. Soon after school, she married and began a family. In 1975, Barb began a successful real estate career in Northern Wisconsin.

She was involved with her children as a Cub Scout and Bluebird leader. She was passionate about cooking and baking, and inspired working in the kitchen to her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She was affectionately called “Barb” by her grandchildren. Upon the arrival of her great grandchildren, she became known as “Barb the Great.” Barb’s competitive spirit drove her to become successful on so many fronts. Her can-do attitude was an inspiration to all who knew her.

Barb was active and always on the move-a “fireball” who forged her own way in life. She regularly attended all the important events of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was an avid outdoorswoman who enjoyed hunting, fishing, cross country skiing, walking, and berry picking. Upon retiring from her real estate career at the age of 59, she made a dream a reality by engaging in Mixed Martial Arts. By her late 70’s she achieved five black belts, four of which were in Mixed Martial Arts and one in Taekwondo.

Barb was a gifted baker and cook, having won many awards throughout her life. Her creativity in the kitchen took her all over the nation, earning over $100,000 in winnings, the majority of which she donated. She was known as “The Cookie Lady” to many organizations in the area. Most of her family members have wonderful memories of attending cooking and baking contests with her. She was a three-time contestant in the Million Dollar Pillsbury Bake-Off. She was also a finalist on the Food Network show, “The Ultimate Recipe Showdown”.

One of Barb’s favorite contest locations was Branson, MO, and she enjoyed all the entertainment offered. She loved to show her fashion sense and was known to shop til she dropped. She loved family gatherings at Brewers games, coordinating the family tailgate when the Brewers took on the Cubs! Barb cherished her time spent with her sister and brother-in-law; there wasn’t much they didn’t do together.

Faith was paramount to Barb. She was especially fond of prayers by St. Padre Pio and recited many of them daily. As a servant leader, she sewed school uniforms for children in Haiti and volunteered countless hours at St. Paul Elder Services. 

Barb is survived by her children: Richard Ellis and Renee (John) Dalton; grandchildren: Tanya (Brandon) Goerg, Dr. Jacob Ellis, Alyssa Ellis, Kristina Dalton, and Conner Dalton. In addition, she is survived by her great grandchildren: Cole and Clayton; sister Judi (Doug) Maki; nephew and niece: Brian (Diane) Maki, Dr. Pauline Maki; as well as her great nephew and great nieces: Sam, Ahdria, Caroline, and AnaSophia; daughter-in-law Kela Ellis, and many other family members and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents and granddaughter Ashley Ellis.

A funeral liturgy will be held at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 500 W Marquette Street, Appleton on Friday March 15, 2024. Friends and family may gather at the church from 9:00 am until mass begins at 11:30 am. Barb will be placed at St. Joseph Cemetery in Appleton. For those who cannot attend in person, mass will be live streamed and may be accessed on the Wichmann’s website.

A special note of gratitude to Barb’s good friend Sister Delores, and staff at St. Paul Elder Service, for BOTH their friendship and wonderful care.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Pius X Catholic Church, St. Paul Eldercare in Kaukauna, and to the EWTN Global Catholic Television Network in memory of Barbara.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, March 15, 2024

9:00 - 11:30 am (Central time)

St. Pius X Catholic Church

500 W Marquette St, Appleton, WI 54911

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Mass

Friday, March 15, 2024

11:30am - 12:30 pm (Central time)

St. Pius X Catholic Church

500 W Marquette St, Appleton, WI 54911

Livestream

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