Barbara Lee Waltz (Bilewicz) passed away peacefully on May 9, 2023. Beloved wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She was born September 4, 1941, to Jennie Kulesa Bilewicz and raised by her mother and stepfather Grover Harrison. She graduated from Lakeshore High School in St. Clair Shores, Michigan in 1959.
She married Louis Waltz November 7, 1964. Affectionately known as “The Duchess” and Louie “The Duke” they made St. Clair Shores their home. Together they built a wonderful life. Barbara was always up for one of Louie’s great adventures, going on hunting and fishing trips often. Eventually one of Louie’s adventures would bring them to reside in Alpena, Michigan, where they would live and eventually retire. Barb was an avid sportswoman herself and enjoyed fishing in Squaw Bay in a fourteen-foot aluminum boat aptly named “The River Queen.” Camping and following Louie to trout streams was her past time. As members of the Richmond Sportsman’s Club together they enjoyed competitive sporting clay shooting, competing at tournaments throughout the state of Michigan.
Moving to Alpena she brought her love of flowers and nature and bringing people together forming the Friendship Garden Club where she served as president and founding member. Barbara loved flowers, monarch butterflies and birdwatching. She made friends wherever she lived. She was always quick with a smile and friendly conversation. Barb also enjoyed working in the garden with Louie and side by side they would preserve and can their harvests.
She held several jobs throughout her life. She especially enjoyed working for Walmart in Warren and Alpena, retiring after 15 years of service in 2017. Being with people brought her immense joy. Her grandsons Walker and Cole made her life complete. She loved taking them to the playground and water park when they were little and trips to the Great Wolf Lodge.
She is survived by her daughter Donna Waltz Jaskolski, her favorite son-in-law Dave Jaskolski, grandsons Walker and Cole, her lifelong friends and partners in many shenanigans, Marge Nowicki, John and Dee Klockow, Rich and Marilyn Witte, Monica Pinkenburg, Barbara Ann Wines, Lee and Mona Brandt, Judy Holloway and Mabel Johnson along with many other friends. She was preceded in death by her husband Louie in 2019.
A graveside service at Holy Cross Cemetery will be held on Friday, May 19, 2023, at 3:00 pm. with Rev. Michael Lingaur officiating. Arrangements have been made by the Bannan Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Alpena Garden Club c/o Senior Citizens Center, 501 River Street, Alpena, Michigan 49707, Friends Together, Art in The Loft or to a charity of your choice.