Grand County volunteer Barbara Nisssen dies
Barbara Ann (Feiereisen) Nissen was born in 1951 in Milwaukee, Wis., and died on Oct. 29, 2010. She died peacefully, at home with her husband Jerry at her side, looking at the mountains she loved, in the place she loved, having been cared for by people who loved and admired her and Jerry.
A celebration of Barbara’s life, a time for family and friends to gather to remember her, will be held at a future date to be announced.
Barbara and Jerry met at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and were married in Milwaukee 38 years ago this past July. They began skiing in Winter Park in 1976, moved to Boulder in 1978, and in 2000 made Grand County their full time residence.
Barbara was an avid skier, hiker, mountain biker, snowshoer and astronomer. Her first career was with the U.S. Forest Service as a computer programmer and systems analyst. She later established Nissen Appraisal Associates, doing real estate appraisals in Boulder and in Grand County.
While pursuing her appraisal career, Barbara also devoted many hours to philanthropy, including serving as Treasurer of the Boulder Philharmonic and President of Grand County Pet Pals. She was an active member of the Fraser River Valley Lions Club, serving as Newsletter Editor and President of the Fraser Lions Foundation. She is the recipient of Lions’ highest honor for service, the Melvin Jones Award.
Three years ago Barbara was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a terribly debilitating neuromuscular disease which did not affect her beautiful intellect but eventually took its toll on her physical well being. As her friends and family would attest, she suffered her illness with a style and dignity admired by all who knew and loved her.
Jerry gives his personal thank you to the Heart of the Mountains Hospice, Grand County Home Health Care, the Denver Muscular Dystrophy Association, the ALS Association, Barbara and Jerry’s family, the gals who helped Barbara with physical therapy, and to everyone in the community, especially Lions Club members, who cared for Barbara and supported him. Jerry added, “What a wonderful community this is.”
Barbara is survived by her husband Jerry; parents Jim and Agnes Feiereisen of Wisconsin; sisters and brothers-in-law Ann and Kevin Buckley of Arizona, and Pauline and Ken Judy of Wisconsin; and brother and sister-in-law Jim and Joan Feiereisen of Wisconsin. She was also much loved by nieces and nephews Chris, Shailagh, Ashley, Paul, Caitlin, Christopher, Natalie, and Leslie, and many great-nieces and great-nephews. She will also be remembered by Jerry’s brother Tom Nissen and Jerry’s step-mother Mildred, both in Wisconsin.
In lieu of flowers, Jerry requests that memorials in Barbara’s name be made to the ALS Association, 7403 Church Ranch Blvd., Suite 109, Westminster, CO 80021.
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Doctors told her there was a slim chance she’d ever be able to play sports again.