School 18

Barbara Jean Baard

1952 ~ 2020 (age 68)


VERONA - Barbara Jean Baard, age 68, died on Saturday, August 1, 2020 at her home at Badger Prairie Health Care Center in Verona, WI. Barb was born on July 11, 1952 in Centuria, WI to Robert and Fern (Hammerstorm) Baard.

Barb grew up in Madison with her older sister Becky and two younger brothers Paul and Ron. Barb had many happy childhood memories of times she and her siblings spent with her aunt, uncle and her five cousins.

Barb graduated from East High School in 1970 and studied French and music at UW Madison. She loved music and played both piano and violin. Barb was an avid writer of poetry and letters. She loved to draw, color, paint, crochet, and bead, creating gifts for all those in her life. Barb shared her poetry, letters, clothes, furniture, beaded necklaces, drawings and stories, and anything else she owned.

When Barb was 17, she developed schizophrenia and later schizoaffective disorder. These conditions added many stumbling blocks and difficulties to Barb‘s life, but she took on every obstacle and enjoyed life to its fullest, bringing much laughter and joy to family and friends along the way. During her 20s, Barb was learning to live with her illness and there were many changes in her life. Barb lived at Badger Prairie Health Care Center during her 30s and in 1992 Barb moved into her own apartment in Fitchburg where she lived for 16 years. In 2009, Barb moved to Women in Transition (WIT) group home where she lived for two years with her sister Becky. In 2011, Barb again made Badger Prairie Health Care Center her home, where she lived and laughed for the next 9 years.

Barbara is survived by her mother; siblings, Paul (Sandee Schuster) Baard, Becky Martel, Ron (Mary) Baard; cousins, Sarah, Rachel, Carl, Jeanne, Daniel; nieces, Lauren, Karin; other family and many friends. She was preceded in death by her father, aunt Jane Berg-Gjonnes and grandfather Boo (Carl Hammerstrom).

Barb‘s mother Fern provided her with much love and support during her entire life. Barb‘s brother Paul and sister-in-law Sandee played a special role in Barb‘s life as her guardians and advocates.

Barb’s big personality, warm smile, unique sense of humor, intelligence and resourcefulness will be greatly missed by her family, caregivers and friends.

Barb’s family is very grateful to the staff and volunteers at Badger Prairie Health Care Center for all the love and care they gave Barb throughout the years.

Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, a Celebration of Life will be held on a later date.

To view and sign this guestbook, please visit:

Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services

5701 Odana Road


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