Barbara Pierangeli Grabow died peacefully at Pleasant View Nursing Home on March 7th in Monroe at the age of 76, after a brief but brave journey with cancer.
Barbara was born on June 21st, 1943 in Racine to Philip Pierangeli and Yolanda Marie (nee: Aiello) Pierangeli, first generation Italian-Americans. She graduated from Washington Park High School, Racine, in 1961 where she had already decided that she would become a teacher. Barbara married Edward Walter Grabow in 1964, during her years at University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. After her graduation in 1965 with a degree in Elementary Education, she and her husband and son moved to Monroe where she began her long career in education. Over the next 45 years she would change the lives of countless children through her dedication and hard work in teaching. Her love of education continued during summers, where she earned a Master’s degree in elementary education from UW–Platteville, taught science in Camp Invention, and tutored summer students. Her commitment to education also extended outside the classroom to her involvement in Wisconsin Education Association Council and the National Education Association. Among her many accomplishments are her teaching awards, including the Kohl Teacher of the Year, Kiwanis Teacher of the Year, two Teacher World awards, and the Environmental Scholarship award.
After her retirement in 2011, she impacted the community in other ways by her involvement with the Monroe Theater Guild, the Green County Historical Society and the Behring Senior Center. Barbara was an accomplished seamstress and often donated her time and talents to make custom garments and costumes for many in the community. She was an adventurous traveler who loved experiencing the foods and cultures of those in all corners of the globe, an attribute she lovingly encouraged in her children and grandchildren through years of expeditions and explorations. Her spirit of adventure was a gift that she shared with an ever-growing set of cherished friends through their many journeys together. Her world travels and Italian heritage inspired in her a passion for cooking and entertaining, often sharing the fruits of her kitchen and warmth of her home with her many friends and family members. Above all, Barbara loved being in the surroundings of her friends and her entire family, and she treasured celebrations of life.
Barbara is survived by her two children Barry Edward (Cynthia) Grabow of Laurel, Maryland and Dina Yolanda Ortiz of Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin; her two brothers Philip Anthony (Mary) Pierangeli of Conifer, Colorado, and Dr. Gregory Thomas (Barbara) Pierangeli of Milwaukee; her four grandchildren Paul Edward Grabow and Anthony Edward Grabow of Laurel, and Vincent Salvatore Ortiz and Dominic Vitorio Ortiz of Mount Pleasant; and extended family members, Edward Walter Grabow and Pedro Ortiz. She is preceded in death by her father Philip Pierangeli, 91 and mother Yolanda Marie (nee: Aiello) Pierangeli, 87.
Her children and siblings remember her as a strong, positive and independent woman who encouraged them to pursue their goals and worked hard to create opportunities. Memorials are being planned in both Monroe and Racine for friends and family to celebrate Barbara’s life.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in her name to Behring Senior Center in Monroe. Condolences can be sent to https://www.gatheringus.com/memorial/barbara-pierangeli-grabow/2633. The family gives a heartfelt thanks to caregivers and hospital staff for their compassionate care and dedication.