Barbara Jean Kaainoa ( Nee Prutz) passed away peacefully, surrounded by close family, at The Kathy Hospice in West Bend, WI on Friday, September 9th. at the age of 81 years. After four years of bravely fighting cancer, her pain and discomfort has been lifted.
Barbara was the beloved wife of Stephen. Loving mother of Mary Lynne (Jim) Marcsisak. David (Christa) Kaainoa and Van (Ann) Vo. Proud grandma of Nicole and Stephen Marcsisak, Kaeli, Amare and Bodhi Kaainoa and Tony, Jessica, Michelle and Vivian Vo. Dear sister of Kathryne Glodowski. Bernard "Benny" (Maria) Prutz, Tom Prutz, Linda Prutz, the late David and the late Jim Prutz. Further survived by nieces, nephews other relative and friends.
Barbara, the oldest of seven children, was born on June 13th, 1941 in Stevens Point Wi. She was part of the last 8th grade graduating class of a one room schoolhouse, Major Whiteside, in the Town of Grant, Portage County, WI. After graduating from PJ Jacobs High School in Stevens Point, WI, she moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and never returned to her rural roots.
After moving to Milwaukee, Barbara lived on the east side, near the corner of Oakland and Locust, and attended Patricia Stevens Secretarial and modeling school, subsequently getting hired at Allis Chalmers, where she would meet her lifetime partner in service, love, church, tennis and family, Steve Kaainoa. Throughout the years, Barbara and Steve would cultivate a large social network of loving friends in Wauwatosa and Menomonee Falls, where Barbara’s selflessness and service volunteering would become legendary. Barbara lived to help others and to put others before herself.
Barbara loved tennis and won a state women’s doubles title in her age bracket. She had a very active, athletic lifestyle until aged joints and bones starting to limit her activity.
Barbara was a committed Catholic and Christian, but that didn’t stop her from having a mischievous side. A priest at St. Pius X in Wauwatosa nicknamed her volunteer group “Satan’s Den”, because they would not adhere strictly to the parish rules for volunteer groups. After moving to Menomonee Falls, Barb and Steve would become lifelong parishioners of St. Mary’s Mother of God Parish
In Wauwatosa and Menomonee Falls, Barbara created a wonderful home atmosphere for family, friends and visitors. Legendary sheepshead parties, family reunions and holidays were hosted by “Barb” and Steve. Pool parties in Menomonee Falls were a summer staple for many, and no one went hungry.
Barbara and Steve maintained a beautiful home, garden and landscaped yard in Menomonee Falls. Bird feeders were always stationed outside the kitchen window so that Barbara, Steve or visitors could become mesmerized watching the different varieties of Wisconsin wildlife (not always birds) come to feed.
Barbara had two children of her own, but her grandchildren were treated no differently. She was all-in on shuttling grandkids wherever they needed to go, sponsoring their extracurricular activities, or just providing a second home, although with more fun and more treats. When out of town grandkids would visit, it was the highlight of their year. Barbara loved and was loved, immensely. She will be dearly missed by the hundreds of lives she has touched.
Barbara’s family would like to extend their wholehearted gratitude to the Horizon Hospice organization and the Staff at Kathy Hospice. They provided Barbara and her family a very gentle, caring and loving experience during the most difficult time of their lives.
Funeral Service will be Saturday September 17 at 2pm AT THE FUNERAL HOME. Visitation Saturday 11am until time of the Service. Private burial Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
In lieu of sending flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to one of the organizations below:
Kathy Hospice (via Horizon Hospice). Click on “Donate Now” https://www.horizonhomecareandhospice.org/hospice-care/hospice-inpatient/index/kathy_hospice/
St. Mary’s Mother of God Parish – Menomonee Falls: https://www.wesharegiving.org/app/giving/WeShare-2612?tab=home