Barbara J. Brandes

April 1, 1941 ~ October 2, 2020 (age 79)



Barbara J. Brandes, age 79, of Bluff Siding, WI, passed away on Friday, October 2, 2020, at her home.

She was born on April 1, 1941, in La Crosse, WI, to Robert and Marion (Knutson) Gardner, and married Richard Brandes on May 8, 1976, in La Crosse.

Barb was employed with the Watkins Home in Winona as a cook and nurse aid, and she later took a position as the manager of the Thousand Oaks Apartments in Arcadia, WI, until her retirement.  This was a job she truly loved, and she was even honored as their Manager of the Year.  She was a member of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona.

She will be remembered for her love of the outdoors where she enjoyed hunting and golfing, and she was a huge fan of the Packers and the Badgers.  Barb was the world’s greatest cook, and loved providing food for large family gatherings and functions.  Her greatest joy in life was her family, and she especially cherished the time she spent with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She will be deeply missed by all those who knew and loved her.

Barb is lovingly survived by her husband, Rick; children: Arlen “Rusty” (Dawn) Pierce, Connie (Ken) Spitz, Rici Gibbons, Julie Pierce, and Kim Rieter; 13 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; a sister: Florence Nordstrom; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and many friends.

She was preceded in death by her son: Tim Brandes; her parents; and brothers: Butch and Terry Gardner.

Visitation will be held from 9 AM until the Mass of Christian Burial at 10 AM on Thursday, October 8, 2020, at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.  The Very Reverend Mark C. McNea will officiate.  Those attending will be required to wear masks, and to follow social distancing guidelines.

Barb will be laid to rest in a family ceremony at a later date. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Online condolences or memories may be left for Barb’s family at

Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.



To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Barbara J. Brandes, please visit our floral store.

Funeral Service


October 8, 2020

9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart
360 Main Street
Winona, MN 55987

Mass of Christian Burial
October 8, 2020

10:00 AM
The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart
360 Main Street
Winona, MN 55987

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