Cover photo for Barbara Louise Paetznick's Obituary
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1935 Barbara L. Paetznick 2022

Barbara Louise Paetznick

June 4, 1935 — December 27, 2022



Barbara Louise Paetznick, age 87, of Northfield, MN, formerly Willmar, MN, passed away peacefully Tuesday morning, December 27 at Reflections Care Suites in Northfield, under the care of St. Croix Hospice, Mankato, and Reflections nurses, following a sudden, and unexpected hematoma.


A Celebration of Life Service will be held Saturday, February 25, at 2 pm at First Covenant Church in Willmar with visitation one hour prior to the service.  Interment will be at West Norway Lake Lutheran Cemetery in Sunburg.  In lieu of flowers, memorials to honor Barb's life can be made to St. Croix Hospice, Mankato.  Arrangements are entrusted to the Peterson Brothers Funeral Home. 


Barb was born June 4, 1935, on the family farm in rural Sunburg, MN, the daughter of Raymond and Ruth (Flolo) Leaf.  Barb loved growing up on the farm and shared many stories of the adventures she had with her brothers, Charles, and Roland.  Barb attended country school and later graduated from Brooten High School in 1953. She went on to attend St. Cloud Teacher’s College where she earned her teaching degree in 1956.


On December 27, 1957, Barb married her college sweetheart and soulmate, Noel Paetznick.  They were married at West Norway Lake Lutheran Church in Sunburg, on a beautiful snowy evening.  Days after their wedding, Noel returned to Fort Knox, KY to continue his service in the US Army.  Barb remained in Paynesville, MN until June to honor her teaching contract before joining Noel.


Barb continued her teaching career until they started their family in Lynd, MN, in 1959.  Their union blessed them with three children, Mark, Mary Jo and Karin.  She thoroughly enjoyed her role as mother, wife, and homemaker.  She was a beautiful example of motherhood, a devoted wife and created a home where love abounded.  As the children got older and were in school, Barb returned to work.  She took on various roles but her most enjoyable were working in the library at Jefferson Elementary School and the Willmar Junior High School.


Barb had a strong, deep faith.  She loved her Lord and Savior with all her heart, soul, and mind.  She spoke fondly of her Lutheran upbringing.  She was baptized and confirmed at the West Norway Lake Lutheran Church in Sunburg. She was an active member of First Covenant Church where they attended since 1964, when they moved to Willmar.


Barb was a woman of many talents. She had a knack for decorating, the gift of hospitality and she would entertain frequently.  She was a wonderful cook.  Her rice pudding was a favorite at family gatherings. She was an avid gardener; she loved flowers and plants and had quite the green thumb.  She passed that love of flowers, plants and gardening on to the next generations.   She also enjoyed sewing, knitting, and was fascinated by the night sky and enjoyed learning all she could.  She was an outdoor enthusiast in all seasons and spending time with her family was extremely important to her.  She loved babies and would always be willing to come help when the grandchildren were born.  She was a blessing to all!


After Noel’s passing on December 26, 2021, Barb remained in their home in Willmar.  In October 2022, she decided to move to Northfield. While living in Northfield, she was active and able to spend time with her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.  She was overjoyed to meet her newest great grandsons, twins Owen and William Miller. She enjoyed exploring Northfield and experiencing the beautiful fall colors on drives through the countryside.  Even though Barb’s family brought her immense joy, she still had a huge hole in her heart left by Noel’s absence that could not be filled.  When her health took a sudden and unexpected turn December 19, we knew she would soon be reunited with her soulmate and see her Jesus face to face.  We genuinely believe she died of a broken heart. It was just 1 year and 1 day after Noel’s passing that they were reunited on their 65th Wedding Anniversary.


Barb will be remembered for her kind, caring and gentle spirit, patience, servant heart, selflessness, humility, loyalty, and strength. Her love for all things Scandinavian, especially coffee time.  Fika. A Swedish term for coffee break. A time to relax, slow down, spend time together and enjoy a cup of coffee with a little something sweet to go with it. She loved her coffee and had quite the sweet tooth.    She touched so many lives, more than she ever knew.  We are all truly blessed to have had her in our lives and will miss her dearly.


Barbara is survived by her three children:  Mark (Jo) Paetznick of Bloomington, MN; Mary Jo (Larry) Eckblad of Mason City, IA; and Karin (Russ) Rein of Dundas, MN; seven grandchildren, Andrea (Adam) Miller, Aaron (Courtney) Paetznick, Britta Eckblad, Ayanna Eckblad, Mikael (Joy) Rein, Erik Rein, and Kjirstin (Nick) Escalante and seven great grandchildren, soon to be 8:  Henry Miller, twins Owen and William Miller, twins Liv and Malin Rein, Elin Rein, Bodin Escalante and baby Escalante due in June.  She is also survived by her brother, Roland Leaf of Willmar, MN, sister-in-law Nancy Leaf of Golden Valley, MN, and sister-in-law Kay Paetznick of Apple Valley, MN along with many other relatives and friends.


Barbara was preceded in death by her beloved husband Noel, her parents, brother Charles, brother-in-law Daniel Paetznick and sister-in-law Margaret Leaf.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Louise Paetznick, please visit our flower store.
Barbara Paetznick Folder.pdf

Service Schedule

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Saturday, February 25, 2023

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, February 25, 2023

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