Barba Haapala

CRYSTAL FALLS – Barba J. Haapala, 81, of Crystal Falls, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, at Marquette General Hospital, with her family by her side.

She was born on Nov. 7, 1932, in Waukegan, Ill., daughter of the late Clifford and Helen (Hiatt) Gelling. Barb grew up in Waukegan and graduated from Waukegan High School. She married William “Pete” Haapala on May 1, 1954, in Waukegan. They resided in Gurnee, Ill., until moving to Crystal Falls in 1988.

Barb was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church in Amasa. She enjoyed many hobbies, including needlework, bowling, quilting, cooking and crocheting. Barb was an avid Green Bay Packers fan and enjoyed spending time with her family and her many grandchildren.

Barb is survived by her loving husband of 59 years, William “Pete;” three sons, Keith (Cathy) Haapala of Bristol, Wis., William “Wink” (Michele) Haapala of New Holstein, Wis., and Donald “Mutt” (Laura Spiewak) Haapala of Zion, Ill.; three daughters, Lori Rumer of Round Lake Beach, Ill., Beth (Craig) Nelson of Iron River, and Kari (Kevin) Saum of Grayslake, Ill; nine grandchildren, Brian (Shaunes), Josh, Kate (Joshua), Matthew, Anthony, Erik, Mitchell, Joey and Emilie; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by one brother, Laddie Gelling.

Visitation will be on Tuesday, Jan. 14, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Bethany Lutheran Church in Amasa.

A memorial service will follow at 11 a.m. at the church. Rev. Michael Laakko will officiate.

Burial will be in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Crystal Falls in the spring.

Memorials can be made to Bethany Lutheran Church of Amasa.

You may light a candle in remembrance of Barb, or leave a condolence for her family online at

The family has chosen the Jacobs-Plowe Funeral Home of Crystal Falls to honor Barb’s legacy of life.