A lover of people and in seizing the day, Barbara Jensen Dwyer lived life fully and on her terms. Beloved by family and friends, she passed away at age 83 on February 13, 2021 after living courageously with cancer for 10 years. Barbara had the gifts of beauty, wisdom, humor and unmatched social abilities. She connected with friends from all generations and walks of life.
Born on July 17, 1937 to Genevieve Jensen, a nationally-renowned classical pianist, and Mark Jensen, an outdoorsman admired for his entertaining wit and ukulele skills, Barbara and younger brother Charles were raised in a loving Duluth home filled with laughter and gatherings of great area musicians of the day.
Barbara attended Duluth’s Stanbrook Hall and graduated from Colorado College in 1959. She embraced memories of her friends at CC, hockey games, socials at the Broadmoor and the stunning views of Pikes Peak. She taught grade school in Denver and then Minneapolis.
At St. Paul’s University Club, she met the love of her life, W. Michael Dwyer, an Omaha-raised graduate of Princeton University working on his MBA. They married at Duluth’s Holy Rosary on December 29, 1962. They raised five children on faith and love. Their many family trips included annual summer stays at William’s Narrows Resort on Cut Foot and Big Winnie.
After Michael’s sudden passing in 1989 at age 50, Barbara led her family and remained a caring and nurturing mother. She stayed physically active, socially engaged and spiritually connected. Her eleven grandchildren would become the center of her world. Every one of her grandkids was her absolute favorite hands-down.
Barbara also shared the past 25 years with her friend and love, Elmer Trousdale. They dined, traveled and enjoyed many special times together. The family loves and is grateful to Elmer for his love and kindness to Mom throughout.
Barbara is preceded in death by her husband Wendell Michael Dwyer and her parents, Mark and Gen. She is survived by brother Charles Jensen of Duluth, sons Mark, Tim (Nicole), David (Angela), Steven (Erika), daughter Wendy Bagley (Lester) and Elmer Trousdale. Barb’s grandchildren are Jacob, Natalie, Michael, Mikayla, Charlie, Trenton, Luke, Addi, Jack, Tommy and Will.
A private funeral Mass has been held. There will be a gathering this summer to celebrate Barbara’s family and friends. Memorials preferred to St. Thomas Academy, Annunciation or your favorite charity.