Barbara M. Siefers (1935-2019)

Barbara M. Siefers, 84, of Wilson, passed away May 22, 2019.  Born Feb. 3, 1935 in Dodge City to Eula Edward and Mary (Huberty) Martin who preceded her in death. She married William M. Siefers Sr. Aug. 17, 1957 at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church, Dubuque.
After 58 1/2 years of marriage, Bill died May 21, 2016. An infant grandson, Lyle Ptacek also preceded her in death.
Barbara leaves behind five children:  Rene’ (Stan) Ptacek, Dorrance, Denise (Mike) Slaven, Overland Park, William M. Siefers, Jr., Rosemary Dietz (Leon Huxman), Wilson, and Stephanie (Todd) Brown, Russell; 15 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren: Andy (Jaime) Ptacek, Luke and Anna, Littleton, Colo., Aubrey Ptacek and Ava, Wilson; Kaitlin (Seth) DeWerff, Akron, Colo.; Chelsea (Sebastian) Slaven-Davis, Pan and Orion, Portland, Ore., Dylan Slaven, Overland Park, Annemarie (Peter) Yorck, San Francisco, Calif., James Slaven (Emily Rodriguez), Santa Ana, Calif., Sarah Jo Slaven, Kona, Hawaii, Mary Kate Slaven, Lawrence; Magdalene, Overland Park, PFC Gage Dietz, Fort Wainwright, Fairbanks, Alaska; Riley Dietz, Hays, Alex, Hunter and Ashtyn Brown, Russell.
Visitation is from 3-8 p.m. Wednesday, May 29 at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Wilson Wednesday, May 29 with a Rosary at 7 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 30 at the church followed by burial at Wilson Catholic Cemetery.
Plumer—Overlease Funeral Home, Wilson, is in charge of the arrangements.
Barbara was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and Altar Society, Dorrance, the Dorrance Extension Homemakers Unit and Sorosis Club.
Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Sister-in-Law, Aunt, Friend, RN, homemaker, writer, flower gardener, and crafter, Barbara fulfilled all her roles wonderfully. She was Valedictorian of the first graduating class at St. Mary of the Plains High School, Dodge City.  She earned a RN certificate from St. Joseph’s School of Nursing, Wichita in 1956, and began a 56 year career as a hospital nurse employed at Russell City Hospital, Selfridge Air Force Base, Mt. Clemons, Mich., Clara Barton Hospital, Hoisington, the Wilson Nursing Home, and retiring at the age of 77 after 20 years of service at Ellsworth County Medical Center.  During her retirement she cared for our Dad for three years before his death, sacrificing her own health.
Along with nursing, Barbara enjoyed writing in journals, meticulously noting what everyone in her family did each day from Jan. 1,1975 through May 13, 2019.  She enjoyed submitting articles of local interest to the Russell Daily News and the Wilson World/Ellsworth Reporter since the early 1970s. She hand-wrote Christmas letters and kept Hallmark Cards and the USPS in business, never missing a birthday or holiday greeting for her loved ones.
She enjoyed sewing clothing for herself, her children and grandchildren after participating in 4-H as a teenager. She sewed matching Christmas and Easter  outfits for her children aswell as a Baptismal Gown, First Communion and Confirmation dresses, school clothes and prom dresses. Her generosity at Christmas time was unmatched. Over the years she made and gave away hundreds of jars of jellies, bags of egg noodles, crocheted potholders, ornaments, snack mixes, cookies, baby quilts, pillows and various other foods and crafts. She enjoyed baking and decorating cakes, and assisting Rene’ with her veil and rosary business.
She delighted in rocking her grand babies, and attending her children and grandchildren’s sacraments, school, sport, theater and music events. Her “yaaaaayyyyy!!!!!” could be heard throughout a gym, and her laugh was infectious. Not many knew she watched every Olympic event on TV, kept college basketball tournament and World Series brackets, NFL football, and knew the winners of the Kentucky Derby, Wimbledon and Masters Golf  tournaments.
It would be hard to describe this woman in a few words, but let’s try: holy, humble, faithful and faith-full, generous, compassionate, modest, patient, long-suffering, persevering, frugal and intelligent would lead the list. She sacrificed for us and gave each of us a wonderful life. We felt loved and appreciated.  Whenever we eat a bowl of popcorn we will remember how she lovingly bit off the hull and gave us the soft part as we toddled at her knees. We will recall the money she slipped in our birthday cards—the money she could have used for herself.  When we think of her, we will remember how to live and how to die well — with love and courage.
The first one up in the morning and the last one in bed at night, she kept vigil at the kitchen table praying with well-loved and worn devotional books and fingering the beads of her rosary. We have no doubt she is praying for us now and her“ya aaaayyyyy!!!!!” will greet us one by one as we reach Heaven to join her and Daddy.

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