Barbara Joy Basteyns was born to be a chemist. She knew it at age 5, and despite being denied every year at Christmastime for a chemistry set because as her parents said “she would blow the house up”, she persevered. After graduating from Green Bay West High School in 1958, she took her WBAY scholarship and headed to St. Norbert College. The Norbertines weren’t any more encouraging of a girl in chemistry than her parents had been, yet in spite of that she became the second woman to graduate with a chemistry degree from St. Norbert College and she was always quick to remind anyone she was the first woman to actually work in the Chemistry field.
Barb went on to work as a chemist in the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene for 34 years. She retired as a lab supervisor in 1997 after a very successful and productive career. Retirement brought her back to Green Bay from Madison to enjoy being close to family and practicing her many hobbies. Her family benefitted from her beautiful needlepoint, knitting and crocheting projects. They now will become even more precious to all of us.
Barb loved birding and the wetlands of the West Bayshore where her parents had a cottage. She also enjoyed Cribbage, Bridge, Mahjong, and boardgames. We cannot forget her love for sports. She loved her Packers, Brewers, and Badgers football and hockey. Mostly though, she loved reading—especially mysteries. Many bookstores in Madison must have noticed when Barb moved back to Green Bay.
Barbara died Saturday evening November 26, 2022. Surviving family includes her sister Nancy Kohrman, nephews Steve (Janet) DeGroot and Scott (Dawn) DeGroot and their children Brady, Hannah, and Mason DeGroot; brother John (Sally) Basteyns and nephews Michael Basteyns and Stuart (Mellisa) Basteyns and their children Hayden and Layla Basteyns.
She was predeceased by her parents John (Ione) Basteyns, brother-in-law Kevin Kohrman, and numerous aunts, uncles, and friends.
Visitation will be held at Proko-Wall Funeral Home, 1630 E. Mason St. on Friday, December 2nd from 4:00 to 6:00 pm followed by a Celebration of Life at 6:00 pm. To send online condolences visit www.prokowall.com.
Our family is deeply indebted to the angels at Unity Hospice who guided us through Barb’s last days so she could be at home.
Barbara had a brilliant mind full of memories of a life well lived, which was gradually taken away by Alzheimer’s disease. Any memorial made in her honor should be directed to the Alzheimer’s Association.