LANARK—Barbara Jo "Barbie" Nelson, 44, of Lanark, passed away suddenly at home Sunday, March 14, 2021, due to natural causes.

A loving and funny daughter, sister, aunt and friend, "She was the kind of person that would drop everything to make sure someone else was okay." Barbie was an amazing hugger, had an infectious smile, enjoyed a good laugh and especially having fun with friends.

A private funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, March 22, at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Freeport. You may watch the Mass on Facebook live at A Celebration of Life will also be held in the summer for all who wish to attend. Memorials may be made to the family. Family and friends are invited to share in Barbie's life at

Barbie was born May 19, 1976, in Clinton, Iowa, the daughter of Robert "Bob" and Garla (Smith) Nelson. She is a graduate of the Polo High School with the Class of 1995, then attended Educators of Beauty in Sterling. From a young age, Barbie enjoyed sports. She was a lifelong Iowa Hawkeyes and Dallas Cowboys fan.

Barbie loved to cook and bake. She worked as a chef and baker at the Campbell Center for Historic Preservation in Mount Carroll for several years. If there was a special request, Barbie would be shopping at night to have the right ingredients the next morning.

Her family was most important, and they were close. She joins in Heaven with her mother, Garla, who passed in 2013, brother Rob, who passed in 2019, and her grandparents.

Barbie will be dearly missed by her father, Bob Nelson of Lanark; two sisters, Michelle "Shelly" Nelson and Keri (Antonio) Asevedo, both of DeKalb; her nephew, Aiden Asevedo; her aunt, Carolyn Lee of Goose Lake, Iowa; and several close and special friends.