MIDDLETON—Barbara Haddon Johnsen, passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, at the Attic Angel Community in Middleton, following a long illness. She was born on April 17, 1926, to James and Carrie Haddon in Madison. Barbara’s faith was the foundation of her life. It was always present in her relationships and her service to others.
After graduating from Madison East High School in 1944, she attended nursing school at Swedish Hospital School of Nursing, in Minneapolis. She graduated in 1948. She completed her studies in nurse anesthesiology at the University of Minnesota. She married Gordon Johnsen on July 7, 1951.
She worked as a nurse and a nurse anesthetist in Madison, Milwaukee, Chippewa Falls, Minneapolis and Des Moines Iowa. When her son Paul was born in 1958, she became a stay-at-home mom. In 1971 she returned to work at CUNA as an Occupational Nurse. She retired in 1990. She continued to work part-time at Lands’ End for several years.
She supported her kids’ school activities and was active in the PTA and Girl Scouts. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church choir and its Monday Morning Craft Group. She served on the board of the American Red Cross for several years. For the last 20 years, she has been a member of Asbury United Methodist Church.
Barbara was a creative woman. She was an excellent seamstress who excelled in tailoring. She made suits, coats, shirts and dresses for her family. She was well known for a red plaid jacket she made her husband for holiday parties. Barbara was also an artistic cake decorator. Her doll dress cakes and flower hat cakes were her trademarks. After she retired, she became a prolific quilter. Many of Barbara’s quilts will be displayed at her memorial service.
She and Gordon enjoyed traveling and were able to make many trips to destinations throughout Europe and around the U.S., including Hawaii and Alaska. The final trip they made together was on the maiden voyage of the Queen Mary II, in 2008 from New York, around South America to Los Angeles.
Barbara is survived by her children, Carrie Rough of Clermont, Fla., Paul (Sarah) of Ft. Atkinson, Vicki Ralph of Denver, Colo., and Peter (Kathy) of Madison; five grandchildren, Ben Johnsen (Megan), Ted Johnsen, Kirsten Ralph, Spencer Ralph and Grant Johnsen; two great-grandchildren, Harper and Charlotte Johnsen; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Barbara was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Gordon Johnsen; her parents; her brother, Doug Haddon; and her sister, Janet Hoffmann.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Asbury United Methodist Church, Agrace Hospice, or the Gordon N. Johnsen Memorial Fellowship Fund at the University of Wisconsin, UW Foundation, U.S. Bank Lockbox 78807, Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807.
A celebration of life will be held at ASBURY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, 6101 University Ave., Madison, on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, at 11 a.m. A luncheon and time for visiting and fellowship will follow the service.
A separate celebration service for Attic Angel residents will be held at the ATTIC ANGEL COMMUNITY on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, at 2 p.m.