October 28, 1929 - November 1, 2019
August 2, 1926 - November 4, 2019
68 Years Together - A Love Story
Beloit, WI -- On November 1, Barbara Joan Klobucar passed away at her family home in Beloit, WI, at the age of 90. She was survived by her husband of 68 years, Ferdinand Louis Klobucar (Ferd) for just three days. On November 3, Ferd, age 93, suffered a severe stroke and passed away at home the next day.
Ferd and Barbara are survived by their eight children: Joan Ptacin (Tom) of Roscoe, IL, Jill Logan (Gary) of Millersville, MD, Jack Klobucar (Leigh) of Edina, MN, Jim Klobucar (Barbara) of Janesville, WI, Jean Klobucar of Bloomington, MN, Judy Geissler (William) of Beloit, WI, Jerry Klobucar (Kris) of Beloit, WI, and Jane Krumrey (Ken) of Loveland, CO. Very dear to them were their 21 grandchildren - Tom, Jerod, Megan, Ben, Grace, Ethan, Andrew, Chris, Jessie, James, Stephen, Amanda, Jenna, Aimee, Callie, Jennifer, Jack, Sam, Will, Joe, and Mitchel - and ten great grandchildren - Thomas, Anna, Lucca, Julia, Colbie, Cameron, Catherine, Georgia, Sonny, and Alessandra.
Barbara was born in Chicago, IL, on October 28, 1929, one day before Black Tuesday, the stock market crash that ushered in the Great Depression. Her father, Irwin Faulds, died four months before her birth at the age of 29, and Barbara was lovingly raised by her mother, Margaret Dunn, and her grandparents, Lillian and John Dunn. She attended Little Flower Elementary School and Mercy High School, an all-girls school on Chicago's south side. As a teenager she held many jobs, including women's swimwear sales at Sears and modeling at the Walnut Room at Marshall Fields. At this time, Barbara also became a fan of the Chicago Cubs, a passion that endured throughout her life. Upon graduation from high school, Barbara went into nursing at the Little Company of Mary School of Nursing in Evergreen Park, where she then served as a nurse for three years.
Ferd Klobucar was born to Pauline (Kompare) and Ferdinand O. Klobucar of Chicago on August 2, 1926. Ferd grew up on Clyde Avenue in "The Hill" area of south Chicago. At the age of four, Ferd contracted scarlet fever and nearly died. Quarantined for six weeks with a notice posted on the front door, Ferd eventually recovered only to catch the same bacterial infection twice more over the next five years. Ferd's father was a typesetter at the Daily Calumet newspaper, and during the Depression he was able to work just one or two days a week. During these bleak years, the younger Ferd and his neighborhood friends would often bring potatoes, carrots, beans, and tomatoes to the encampment of jobless and homeless men and women near South Green Bay Avenue for their communal kettles of stew. Ferd later attended Warren Elementary School and Bowen High School.
In the summer of 1943, Ferd left Chicago to work for the Forest Service in Montana. Filling in for older workers who were now fighting in Europe and the Pacific, Ferd lived in a small mountain cabin with 11 other boys and spent his days maintaining trails, felling trees and fighting forest fires.
In June of 1944, at the age of 17, Ferd enlisted in the Army Air Corps, hoping to become a pilot and join the fight overseas. He was called up in January of 1945, and went to basic training in Biloxi, Mississippi, and on to Amarillo, Texas for flight training. During his physical, it was revealed that his depth perception was off, and he was denied entry into flight school. Instead he moved to the flight repairing force where he worked on getting war-damaged B-17 and B-25 bombers back into service. At the end of the war, Ferd enrolled in the civil engineering program at Bradley University.
Barbara and Ferd first met in the summer of 1949 at the Crystal Palace Ballroom in Coloma, Michigan. "She was the prettiest one of the bunch," said Ferd. "But she was with seven of her girlfriends so we got in just one dance. Still, I often thought of her."
The next summer, Ferd and Barbara once again met by chance at the Crystal Palace during a Tommy Dorsey concert. Delighted at their good fortune, they danced again and this time Ferd made a lasting impression by stepping firmly on her foot. Hobbled but laughing, Barbara arranged to meet with Ferd at a dance hall in South Chicago, where they began their formal dating. At the time, Ferd was working for a building contractor at the steel mills in South Chicago.
On September 15, 1951, Barbara Faulds wed Ferdinand Klobucar. Because she disliked growing up without brothers and sisters, Barbara knew that she and Ferd would build a large family, and her vibrant matriarchal role later defined her life. In 1952 Ferd and Barbara purchased a house in Park Forest, IL, and began raising their first two daughters, Joan and Jill.
In 1954, an engineering job drew Ferd and Barbara to Beloit, WI, where they purchased a home in the Turtle Ridge area on the city's east side. In 1966 Ferd started Klobucar Construction, a general contracting company that over the next five decades become a major builder of industrial and commercial buildings throughout southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. In the late 1950s and 1960s, six more children followed, all of who would attend Our Lady of the Assumption Elementary School and Beloit Catholic High School.
Barbara was a fantastic mother and wife. She loved music, painting, dancing, fishing, traveling, playing golf and bridge, attending Sunday mass, and teaching special needs children. Throughout her life as the mother of eight children, she always found time to celebrate the success of her children in academics and sports, organize raucous family gatherings and neighborhood cookouts, and build lifelong friendships with many other married couples from the Beloit area. Barb took up running and tennis in her 50s as a way to keep pace with her children, and she was running in 5K and 10k races well into her 60s.
When he wasn't working, Ferd pursued many passions: hunting and fishing, playing golf and tennis, woodworking, landscape and portrait painting. A passionate golfer, Ferd first shot his age at age 75, and even at age 92 he tallied three rounds in the 80s - even though he was legally blind due to macular degeneration. His pursuit of painting and playing golf despite severely impaired vision was a quiet demonstration of his persistence to roll with life's punches. He even made three holes-in-one, including back-to-back aces on two consecutive rounds playing the 160-yard Hole 12 at Forest Lake Golf Course in Northern Wisconsin.
In 1984, Barb and Ferd purchased a cabin on Lake Owen in Cable, WI, a home that would forever hold a special place in their hearts. Here, Barb and Ferd would gather their children's families week after week throughout each spring and summer, spending the long days swimming, fishing, skiing and canoeing, interspersed with reading and quiet walks through the woods. Barb loved the rush of the wind as it moved through the giant white pines, the cries of the loons in the mornings, moonlit fishing late at night, and hearing the laughter of her grandkids rising up from the lake. She loved nature's little creatures, including the bright little butterflies and hummingbirds that shared her environment, and she planted gardens that drew them close to her. She was also an inveterate reader and kept diaries of the hundreds of novels she'd read, as well as journals of each summer at the cabin.
As a couple, Ferd and Barb always looked forward to playing in the Sunday Don Ho golf tournaments at Telemark Golf Course, and bringing weekly family visitors to the Friday fish fry at the Black Bear restaurant. Ferd was at his best at the helm of a fishing boat, and no one knew the bays and sandbars of Lake Owen better than him. Over the years, he parlayed this expertise into a guide service of sorts to his grandchildren and great grandchildren. One by one, they would accompany him on fishing outings where the topic of conversation would invariably begin with, "So how's life?" He took great interest in their lives, and was in awe of their far-ranging interests and accomplishments. He conducted his "interviews" with them in his boat, and listened intently to their replies. He would begin the advice portion of these "boat talks" with the words, "You know, you could think about it this way."
On Saturday, October 26, one week before Barbara's death, Ferd and their eight children threw a party in honor of her 90th birthday. Sixty people celebrated her irrepressible spirit and the boundless love she gave to her family.
It is impossible to recount all the happiness that Barbara and Ferd experienced in Beloit and at Lake Owen, but the beautiful memories they created will always reside in the hearts of their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
A visitation for family and friends will take place at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church 2222 Shopiere Road, Beloit, WI, from 10 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on Friday, November 7, 2019 followed by a noon mass. Daley Murphy Wisch & Associates Funeral Home and Crematorium, 2355 Cranston Road, Beloit, WI, assisted the family with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic School Annual Fund. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.daleymurphywisch.com