Barbara Ellen Wishinsky, BSW, LPN, SGM USAR (RET.), 52, of Memphis, TN, died Thursday, June 14th, 2012 at the Veteran’s Hospital in Memphis, TN.
Barbara was born September 24th, 1959 in Paris, France, the daughter of Helen and Stephen Wishinsky. As an “Army Brat” she traveled and lived in France, Germany and the United States. Her family returned to live in New Rockford, ND in 1972.
She graduated from New Rockford High School in 1978 and in 1987 went on to graduate from St. Philip’s College, San Antonio, Texas, as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Barbara enlisted in the United States Army Reserve (U.S.A.R.) in 1984. Upon completion of her LPN certificate, she worked at the Veteran’s Administration (VA) Hospital in Fargo, ND in the Oncology Department, and was the Union Representative for the LPNs. While working at The VA she completed her Bachelor of Social Work from Moorhead State University in 1993. She was a member of the U.S.A.R. 311th Evac Hospital in Fargo, ND. She was activated for Desert Storm in 1991. In 1994 she married Clark King and moved to Memphis, TN. Upon moving, she transferred to the 330th Combat Support Hospital and was hired by the Memphis VA Hospital. During her employment with the Memphis VA, she worked on the Psychiatric Unit. In 1997 she was also hired by Alpha Omega Veterans Services (AOVS) and became Director of Programs in 2000. As Director of Programs, Barbara advocated for and served homeless veterans throughout her community. She was honored as a Community Peace Maker by the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center. Barbara was a dedicated member of the U.S. Army Reserve and completed Sergeant Major School in Texas in 2006. SGM Wishinsky served with the U. S. Army Reserve School in Millington, TN, 8th BN, 5th BDE, 100th Div (IT), providing medical training for combat medics. During her long military career, SGM Wishinsky continued her education, served as an instructor for fellow soldiers and was awarded many commendations. She retired from the U.S. Army Reserve in 2009.
Barbara had many dear friends and veterans whom she loved. She was passionate about her dogs, “Sarge”, “Molly“, “Jake“ and “Big Red“; reading; hosting dinner parties; horseback riding and estate sales. She was a proud member of the Cooper-Young Neighborhood Association.
She leaves behind two brothers, Paul (Kris) Wishinsky and Tony Wishinsky (Shawn Sax) of Fargo, ND; her sister, Caroline Hopkins of Mesa, AZ; two nieces (Laura and Lexi); nine nephews (Andrew W., Jacob, Andrew H., Tyler, Evan, Drew, Kaine, Drake).
Barbara was preceded in death by her father, Stephen; her mother, Helen; and her sister Anna.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be sent to Wounded Warriors Association (www.woundedwarrior.org) or Memphis Boys and Girls Club, 44 S. Rembert, Memphis, TN 38104 (memo-B. Wishinsky). Monetary donations will be utilized to create a memorial for women serving and who have served in the U.S. military.
Barbara’s gift in life was to selflessly help others and she touched the hearts of many. She made a difference in the world.
MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: St. John's Catholic Church, New Rockford
DATE AND TIME: Thursday, July 26, 2012 at 10:30AM
BURIAL: ND Veteran's Cemetery, Mandan, ND