Ocean Beach 06

Nancy Jane (MacDonald) Barney

May 7, 1932 ~ March 12, 2024 (age 91) 91 Years Old

Nancy Barney Obituary

Nancy Jane (MacDonald) Barney, 91, passed away March 12th, 2024, surrounded by loved ones in her Florida home.

Nancy was born May 7th, 1932 in Imlay City, Michigan. There, her parents John “Mac” and Hazel MacDonald raised Nancy along with her three older sisters Faith, Fran and Margaret, and younger brother ‘Johnny' through the years of the great depression and World War II.  Nancy recalled that as a young girl she saved the aluminum from gum wrappers and collected bottles and cans to help with the War effort. In high school, she worked at her father’s jewelry store.  Nancy enjoyed art in High School and was a gifted painter of still-life.

During her senior year, she met John Joseph “Jack” Barney, who had recently moved from Detroit to Imlay City to live with his grandparents, retired Detroit fireman Joseph Mulka and his wife Sophia.  On their first date Jack and Nancy went to the high school prom and were instantly smitten with one another. They married in 1954 and soon moved to Gladwin, Michigan, where Jack worked as an engineer in the relatively new field of plastics. 

In 1955, Jack and Nancy were blessed with their first child, Joe (Joseph John), followed by Jamie (James Joseph), and Julie (Julia Justine).  In 1960, Jack was offered a Vice President position at Johnson Plastics and the family emigrated to Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Daughter Janet (Janet Jean) was born there in 1963. 

Nancy was a fabulous homemaker.  She made delicious family meals (including homemade boiled bagels and the World’s Best Christmas cookies), took up sewing and knitting, and even raised a garden. Jack, Nancy and the kids were a tight knit bunch, nourished by a loving family. 

In 1968, Jack and Nancy purchased a ‘cabin’, a small house built by German immigrant couple, on the White River in northern Wisconsin. The family grew even closer with the many happy weekends and summer vacations spent there, swimming and fishing in the backyard river, and exploring the unspoiled natural surroundings.

In 1971, Jack and two partners formed Extrusion Dies, Inc. As the company grew, they expanded their market to Europe. This allowed Jack and Nancy to enjoy some memorable trips to places like Germany and Ireland, some of her favorite experiences.

When Jack passed away suddenly in 1984, Nancy was devastated, and her world was turned upside down.  She moved to a condominium in Altoona and began spending her winters at her home in Islamorada, Florida.  She became an even more voracious reader.  For fun, she enjoyed playing the slots at the casinos in northern Wisconsin with friends, and even made a couple of trips with her kids to Las Vegas. 

When she experienced health problems in 2012, Nancy relocated from Altoona to the Twin Cities to be with Janet and her family.  She became a de facto member of the Fransway clan and traveled with them between their home in Minnesota, their lake cabin in Wisconsin and Nancy’s Florida home. In her later years, thanks to her granddaughter ‘roomies’, Jacqueline and Whitney, she even became a veritable (and recognizable) Tic ToK star on social media, dubbed “Grandma NanC”.

Nancy will be remembered as a loving spouse, terrific mother and a fun-loving (and very funny) grandmother. With her sharp and sometimes acerbic sense of humor she left her mark with everyone she met. 

Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, sisters and brother, and beloved husband Jack.   

She leaves behind her four children, Joe, Jamie (Shari), Julie Purvis and Janet Fransway (Jon); grandchildren JJ (Kristin) & Hanna Barney, Whitney Fransway, Jacqueline Thoma (DJ) and Taylor & Jackson Purvis; great grandchildren Julianne & Hans Barney and Rayna Thoma; and numerous nieces and nephews. 

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 23 at the Horan Funeral Home in Chippewa Falls. Interment will be in Forest Hill Cemetery in Chippewa Falls.

Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the time of services at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 23 at the funeral home.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Nancy Jane (MacDonald) Barney, please visit our floral store.

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March 23, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Horan Funeral Home (Chippewa Falls)
420 Bay Street
Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin 54729

Funeral Service
March 23, 2024

11:00 AM
Horan Funeral Home (Chippewa Falls)
420 Bay Street
Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin 54729

Video is available for this event


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