Barbara Jane Nielsen

Monday, January 16, 2023

Barbara Jane Nielsen, 97, of Plainfield, Illinois, died Monday, Jan. 9, 2023, at Hillside Rebab and Care Center in Yorkville, Illinois.

Barbara was born July 22, 1925, in Luton, the daughter of Walton and Hallie (Montange) Sargisson. She was raised on a farm and graduated from Luton High School where she excelled both academically and in girls’ basketball. She continued her education at Morningside College in Sioux City.

Upon acquiring her teaching credentials in 1945, she took a position teaching second grade in Manilla. She then moved to Harlan to teach, where she met fellow teacher, Orval Nielsen.

On July 3, 1948, Barbara and Orval were united in marriage at Grace Methodist Church in Sioux City. The couple moved to Osage in 1948 where they started their family. In 1952, the family relocated to Le Mars, where Barbara lovingly raised her three children.

In 1965, Barbara took a part-time position at Hotopp Jewelers in Le Mars. She was an avid bridge player and taught bridge classes at Le Mars night school. She also worked at Krigsten’s Gift and Furniture in Sioux City, where she consulted in interior design. She was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Le Mars and led the Altar Guild and taught Sunday School and catechism.

Barbara became a grandmother in 1981; the time spent with her grandchildren was full of adventure and beauty.

For those who knew her, Barbara was almost larger-than-life. She insisted she live in a purple house with purple walls and purple floors. To say she was a collector of fine treasures is an understatement: her domestic surroundings were exquisite. In retirement, Barbara found great joy designing for private clients and could be found sewing drapes or preparing holiday décor into the wee hours of the morning. She required little sleep, always juggling creative projects, reading novels, or playing cards.

Barbara is survived by two sons, Steven Sarg (Phyllis) of Ripon, Wisconsin and Terry George of Hinckley, Illinois; a daughter, Devin Ann of Earlville, Illinois; grandchildren, Kelly Ann (Eli), Robert Stephen (Amy), Jessica Jane (Remy), Breezy Marie (Julie), Theodore Orval, and Daniel Thomas (Theresa); a sister, Julianne Jorstad of Ames; a brother, Payne Sargisson (Rita) of Salix; several nieces and nephews; and great-grandchildren: Madison, Daniel Jr., Christopher, Dominic, Landon, Emily, Ashlyn, Kayla, Caiden, Isabella, Cassidy, Bodie, and Jack.

She is preceded in death by her parents, parents-in-law, and husband, Orval; brothers-in-law, Paul Nielsen and Roger Jorstad; and a sister-in-law, Heleen Nielsen.

The family would like to thank the caring staff at HarborChase of Plainfield for the exceptional care they provided Barbara over the past two years.

Barbara will be buried later alongside Orval at West Fork Township Cemetery in Climbing Hill.