Barbara Ann LeMay, 64, Town of Lafayette, passed away on Friday, December 30th, 2022, at Mayo Hospital Eau Claire, following a diagnosis of lung cancer dating back to 2009.
Barb was born April 19, 1958, in Chippewa Falls, WI to Jack and Yordis (Dahl) LeMay. She was the willful, red-headed middle child whose spunk and wit colored every encounter. She grew up a tom boy spending time in her grandparents’ dairy barn, playing in the haymow and exploring the woods and gravel pit. She was particularly close to her sister, Liz, during these years, always together and being mistaken for twins as they were just one year apart. She spent her childhood years riding horses with her Aunt Toots, sisters, and cousins MaryLynn, Sherry and Nanette. She found great pleasure in the simple things of life and basked in the responsibilities that came with home ownership, taking great pride in her flowers, lawn and garden. Her birdfeeders were always full and plentiful corn was spread on the ground for the large flock of turkeys. Long before it was popular with girls, Barb’s attire of choice always included a baseball cap and her sunglasses. In fact, it is hard to find a picture of her without these accessories. She enjoyed the occasional trip to the casino with her sisters and cooking up her favorite dishes. She loved being needed and was stellar at helping her family with anything (she was our rock) but was fondest of projects that quickly came under her direction even when it started out as yours. Her nieces grew up seeing her do most anything a man could.
Barb was happiest when she was spending time with Scott. Whether she was helping him in the shop or tending to his house and plants, she loved being with him. He was a godsend to her, always willing to put his talents to work fixing her car, golfcart, lawnmowers, laying new flooring in her house or a new roof on her shed. They enjoyed travelling together to Lake Powell for boating and camping, a trip to Maine to pick up an ice boat, a flight to Mackinac Island. A trip with Rick & Rose to Deadwood in the Mooney is a fond memory with their two pilots. The last two summers, Barb & Scott enjoyed spending time at his boat in Washburn where they learned how to dock and handle a large boat on Lake Superior. They happily introduced the family to life on a boat touring the Apostle Islands and camping on Cat Island.
She had several jobs (Toy’s Auto Salvage, Fox Trailer Sales, and Nelson Sports Center) before heading to Coloma, WI to train as an operating engineer. She was a member of Local 139 traveling throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin working on highway and bridge projects. She especially enjoyed working for Lunda Construction. She started as an oiler on a crane and moved on to become a crane operator. Her last jobsite, before taking early retirement, was the addition of the cancer center at Mayo in Eau Claire, where she received her last chemo treatment on December 12, 2022.
Barb had a great love for animals and lucky were those who found her and their forever home, for she spared no expense taking care of their every need and showering them with love. But everyone who knew Barb, knew her real passion was cats and the seven she leaves behind.
She is survived by her partner, Scott Jaenecke; sisters, Rose (Rick) Frederick and Liz LeMay; brothers, Jeff LeMay (Lynn Anderson), and Dan (Deb) LeMay; nephews, Jack LeMay (DesiRae Berger), Austin LeMay and Travis (Kinley) Sorenson; nieces, Chrystal LeMay (Jeremy Franko) and Coral Mercier; great-nephews, Silas Franko, Wyatt Berger and Ivan Sorenson; great-nieces, Alexa and Laney Mercier and Victoria Berger; uncles, Cal and Doug Dahl; many cousins, other relatives and a host of special friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; grandparents, Minerva Henneman and Morris & Mary LeMay; and special aunts, Frances “Toots” Larson and Helen Misfeldt.
A Celebration of Life will be held this summer on “Barbie’s Land” adjoining her home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to the family are preferred.