The former Geraldine Marie Neely was born on October 2, 1953 in New London to Edward and Ellen (O’Connor) Neely. She grew up in Bear Creek and attended Bear Creek High School for one year until it closed and then went to Clintonville High School, graduating in 1971. Gerri furthered her education at NWTC in Green Bay and MSTC in Marshfield. She was employed for a short time at the Clintonville Public Library and then as a clerk at Erickson’s Pharmacy. She was united in marriage on September 23, 1988 to Thomas M. Barkow at St. Rose Catholic Church, Clintonville. Gerri began working as a medical assistant at Clintonville Family Practice. She served for many years as an assistant and scheduler for both Dr. Gray and Dr. Egan. Following Clintonville she worked for some time at the Shawano Clinic. Her passion for helping and caring for others spanned over 27 years with ThedaCare Physicians. Gerri was a longtime member of St. Rose Catholic Church, Clintonville, where she was active in the PCCW, volunteered on the school board, and sang in the funeral choir. Her strong faith and determination always gave her the strength to endure difficult surgeries. She enjoyed gardening and especially liked planting hostas around her home. Gerri was always a dedicated wife, a loving mother, and a proud grandmother.
Survivors include her husband of 28 years, Tom; and two children, Carrie Wait of Clintonville and Ed (Jaime) Egan of Oconto Falls. There are six grandchildren, Josie (friend Kyle Young) Wait of Marion, Jared, Kassidy, and Kallie Wait of Clintonville; and Alex and Carter Egan of Oconto Falls. There is one sister, Jane (Ron) Lorge of Bear Creek; and four brothers, Dan (Rachel) Neely of New London, Tom (Barb) Neely of Bear Creek, John (Connie) Neely of New London, and Tim Neely of Clintonville. There are three sisters-in-law, Kathy (Don) Buettner of Clintonville, Bonnie (friend DuWayne Hess) Barkow of Eureka, and Tammy (Dave) Westphal of Hortonville; and one brother-in-law, Michael (Gail) Barkow of Clintonville. She is further survived by many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Gerri is preceded in death by her parents, her father and mother-in-law, Ernie and Edna Barkow, and a sister Mary (Bob) Bessette.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, June 24th at 11:00 a.m. at St. Rose Catholic Church, Clintonville. Fr. John “Jack” Mullarkey will officiate and burial will follow at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, Bear Creek. Friends may call on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until time of mass at the church. The Beil-Didier Funeral Home, Clintonville, is assisting the family.