Barbara "Barb" Jean (Behm) Kissinger

October 15, 1936 ~ April 17, 2020 (age 83)


Barbara (Barb) Jean Kissinger, born in October of 1936, went to her heavenly home on April 17, 2020. Barbara was born in Waupaca, Wisconsin and graduated from Waupaca High School in 1955.


Barbara was born to the late Arthur and Rose (Lawrence) Behm and was the beloved wife of Orland Leonard Kissinger for 58 years. Barbara and Orland had a unique love story. After only three dates, Orland left for a four-year deployment in the Air Force, but they stayed in touch through letters and fell in love while he was stationed in Iceland. Orland proposed marriage in a letter and Barbara accepted, and in 1954, they married, while Barbara was 18 years old and Orland was 20. Barbara and Orland had a wonderful life together, enjoying their many trips out west, country western music, going to the casino, making greeting cards, playing Yahtzee, and being in each other’s company.


In 1958, Barbara and Orland welcomed their first child, Cathie Marie, followed by Joseph William in 1961 and Deanna Dawn in 1964.


Barbara was a stay-at-home mom for many years, until she obtained her dream job, working at Theda Clark Hospital in the Central Supply area. She was truly thrilled to be a part of the hospital staff, since she had always been fascinated by the medical world. She continued in this position until her retirement. She also enjoyed many hobbies throughout the years, including crocheting, canning food, painting clothing and dishtowels for gifts, collecting cat figurines, collecting dolls, and card making. Barbara was an animal lover and she enjoyed caring for her beloved cats, Molly and Buddee, and later, Kahn and Jane, and visits from her “grand-dog,” Precious.


Barbara was a member of Pathways Church in Appleton, WI, and her faith in God sustained her throughout the final years (and days) of her life. Through the church, she joined a Life Group, which she enjoyed immensely, studying the Bible and making many dear friends.


Her loving husband and soulmate, Orland, grandson Casey Kissinger, niece Kay Blum and brother-in-law, Milton Mehlberg, preceded Barbara in death. She will forever be remembered for her kindness, gentleness, generosity and laughter, by her children Cathie Kissinger, Joe (Christina) Kissinger, Deanna Schabel, her brother Gordon (Eileen) Behm,  sister-in-law Ramona Mehlberg, her grandchildren Angela Ducommun, Anthony (Melissa) Kissinger, Julia (Christopher) Spade, Ashley Schabel, Samuel Schabel, Jacob (Krista) Schabel and Sarah Schabel, and nieces and nephews, Robin (Barb) Mehlberg, Lori (David) Egdorf, Theresa (Jonathon) Johnson and Timothy Behm, many great-grandchildren, great nieces and nephews, and her dear friend, Debbie Kuse.


The family wishes to thank the doctors, nurses, and other staff at Ascension St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton, WI, for their care, compassion and kindness to Barbara while she was there. They made her time there as pleasant and comfortable as possible, and she could not say enough about how wonderfully she was cared for and treated during her stay.


A memorial for Barbara will be held at a later date, when all can attend and celebrate her life together.


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