Cover photo for Barbara Orfield's Obituary
Barbara Orfield Profile Photo
1961 Barb 2024

Barbara Orfield

September 4, 1961 — March 25, 2024


Barbara Sue Orfield, age 62, of Menasha, passed away in her husband’s arms on March 25, 2024.  Barb was born on September 4, 1961, in Denver, CO, daughter of the late Ralph and Sonja (Nelson) Nickerson.  Shortly after grade school, Barb’s family moved to Casper, WY.  She attended Natrona County High School where she participated in track and field and enjoyed line dancing.  Barb graduated as a Mustang in 1980.  

After traveling the world and experiencing life, Barb returned to Colorado in 1985, to live with her parents.  She reunited with an old friend and neighbor that she had known since she was 6 years old, Bob Orfield.  Bob welcomed her home with open arms.  Barb instantly knew Bob was a safe place to land for herself and her three children.  They made their little family official on June 25, 1988, when Barb and Bob tied the knot.   Barb basically married the boy next door.

Barb and Bob were the yin to each other’s yang, the Penny to their Sheldon, and rockin’ roll to their country.  They cultivated a love that “just worked”.  They didn’t need anyone’s approval or validation to live life genuinely and authentically. Many people enjoyed pieces of Barb’s life, but Bob got to enjoy the entire thing.

Barb was blessed to be a stay-at-home Mom.  In addition to being a cub scout den mother, celebrating every holiday to its fullest and attending all her children’s school events, she also dabbled in day care and real estate. Barb was responsible for creating a convenience type store at the DADC and opening the Celebration Party Store with her daughter. She was intelligent and had a knack for crunching numbers. 

Summer was Barbs favorite season.  She could sit in the sun and enjoy the warmth for hours. Barb enjoyed hunting for one-of-a-kind antiques and even enjoyed yard work.

As time passed, Barb was thrilled to be known as grandma.  Everyone was Barb’s grandchild, regardless of how they joined her family.  She made time to teach them how to bake cookies and make the secret family recipe “Christmas meat bread” and “green chili.”

Barb will be remembered for her kind heart, sharp tongue, and spunky wit. She will never be duplicated and will forever be missed.

Barb is survived by her husband of 36 years: Bob Orfield; children: Ryan Nickerson, Keel & Tiffany Nickerson, and Kimmy & Alex Duenas; and grandchildren: Owen, Troy, Gavin, Adrian, Alayna, and Isabella.  She is further survived by her siblings: David Nickerson, Donald and Bobbie Nickerson, Ralph & Lesa Nickerson, the late Dwayne Nickerson, and Bruce & Roxana Nickerson; brothers-in-law: John & Donna Orfield and Todd & Keri Williamson; and many loving family and cherished friends.  

The celebration of life for BARB will be held at 4:00 pm on Saturday, April 27, 2024, at Wichmann Funeral Home, 537 N. Superior St. Appleton WI.  Visitation will take place from 2:30pm until the time of service.  BARBS services will be livestreamed at on her obituary page.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Orfield, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services


Saturday, April 27, 2024

2:30 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Starts at 4:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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