Obituary: Francha Barnard – Door County Pulse


July 6, 1946 ~ July 22, 2022

Francha was small but she left a big mark on the world… infectious laughter and fiery conversationalist… concern for others and commitment to the community…

Remembering Francha, I consider her a pioneer and an activist. She knew what she wanted and she went on with her course. Like walking in a drum and bugle corps, waiting until you’re 30 to learn to drive and buying a car, like going back to school to be a librarian. She gave unique gifts that fit the receiver of a T. She got in on the action: renting a chainsaw to cut her bushes, learning how to make paper, and all of her creative pursuits, including writing grants and poetry. She served great meals and entertained the guests, just like our mother did. And she loved cats. She was always known to be good with children.

Francha Barnard passed away suddenly, but peacefully, on July 22, 2022 at Bellin Hospital in Green Bay, WI.

Frank and Frances Barnard’s eldest daughter, Francha, 76, was born July 6, 1946. Francha graduated from South High School in Sheboygan, WI in 1964 and attended Mount Mary College in Milwaukee, WI and went to earned a liberal arts degree. in 1968. She earned a Master of Arts degree in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1976.

Francha was a librarian at the Mead Public Library in Children’s Services in the 1970s. After beginning her career with the Sheboygan Area School District, she continued her association with Mead as Board Chair of directors and member of the Mead Foundation.

Francha joined the Sheboygan Area School District on October 2, 1978 as a school librarian. Later, she was trained as one of the library’s first Media Center Specialists and became so proficient that she was promoted to Instructor Media Center Specialist. Francha has brought her love of books and learning to countless children at five different elementary schools in the Sheboygan area: Jackson, Mapledale, Lincoln-Erdman, Cleveland and Sheridan.

Eventually, she returned to Jackson and retired after 16 years of service to the schools on June 13, 2005.

After her retirement, Francha moved to Baileys Harbor as a full-time resident. She immediately fell in love with Door County and became active in many aspects of the community.

As a continuation of her literary endeavors, she gave more serious attention to her poetry writing. During her teaching years, she led creative writing groups for writers in grades three through five, focusing on short stories, essays, and poetry, but did not write poetry herself. -same.

Word Women, a Northern Door critics group formed in 2006, and a community friend recommended Francha as a member, a step that launched her regular writing and public reading. After that came planning for Meadow’s Gallery’s Annual Poetry and Art Exhibition.

Francha has also led local lines at Baileys Harbor Library’s Poetry Bulletin Board and led Write On’s Art/Speaks poetry writing outreach program at the Edgewood Orchard Galleries, Margaret Lockwood Gallery and Unitarian Universalist Fellowship’s Gallery.

Francha’s poetry appears regularly in the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets calendar, for which she served as co-editor in 2017. Francha is also co-editor of the anthology Soundings: Door County in Poetry and was the poetry winner du Hal 2010. Prize for his poem: “Weavers”.

A frequent volunteer at the Good Samaritan Society – Scandia Village, Francha was thrilled to teach the art to the residents.

At Lawrence University’s neighboring Bjorklunden, Francha voluntarily tidied up the library and served as a weekly Wednesday afternoon guide for their little 12th-century wooden Norwegian chapel. She described in detail the 41 hand-painted frescoes and at the end of the visit, pulled the cord attached to the bell of the bell tower.

Francha has enjoyed visiting Baileys Harbor Local Nature Reserve, The Ridges Sanctuary, and for years taking tours of the Range Lights Lighthouse.

Francha was a local political and human rights activist from childhood until her last days.

Francha is survived by her four siblings, John Barnard of Boise, ID, Mary Barnard of Pittsboro, NC, Elizabeth Barnard (and Steve Church) of Fuquay-Varina, NC, and Robert Barnard (and Ann Wessel) of Bellingham, WA.

Perhaps Francha’s greatest joy was spending time with her four nieces and nephews, Ian Francis (and Miwa) Matsuzaki-Petta (and her great niece, Tamami) of Japan, Lauren Elizabeth Petta of Knightdale, NC, Neil Douglas Petta of Frederick, MD, and Lena (and Marianne Barnard), of Chicago, IL.

Also occupying a special place in her heart was her cat, Nina, who would sit at the window overlooking Baileys Harbor, and recognize, with a slight wink, Francha’s neighbors passing on Frogtown Road.

Francha was predeceased by her parents, Francis X. and Frances D. Barnard.

Her family would like to express their appreciation and gratitude to the staff at Door County Medical Center in Sturgeon Bay, WI and Bellin Hospital in Green Bay, WI for their loving care of Francha over the last day and hours, especially PA Emily at Bellin Hospital.

A visitation to celebrate the life of Francha Barnard will be held Saturday, September 17, 2022 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Huehns Funeral Home, 1414 Michigan Street, Sturgeon, Bay, WI 54235. A private burial will be held. after the visit.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to local Door County charities, the Ridges Sanctuary Nature Center and the Door County Land Trust.

Casperson Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Sister Bay helps the Barnard family. Francha’s expressions of sympathy, memories and photos may be shared with her family through her tribute page at


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