Cover photo for Barbara "Barb" Olsen's Obituary
Barbara "Barb" Olsen Profile Photo
1939 Barbara "Barb" 2024

Barbara "Barb" Olsen

July 8, 1939 — February 21, 2024


Barbara Ann Olsen, age 84, of Rothschild, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully surrounded by family at her home on February 21, 2024. She was born on July 8, 1939, to Irving and Janice Weik in Wausau, Wisconsin but spent most of her life in Southern Florida.

Barb was an accomplished artist. Having won many awards for her paintings of wildlife, focusing primarily on horses, she traveled within the rodeo circuit selling her artwork as she went. Along with her time in the circuit, she also trained show dogs, winning numerous awards and trophies. She spent her remaining time working in different stables throughout Florida. Eventually, making her way back to Wausau in 1997 to settle down and spend time with family.

She would always stop to talk to anyone while traveling with her husband, Mark Dempsey. Together they had many adventures exploring Wausau and the surrounding area, frequenting thrift stores for unique treasures. Together they were able to build quite the menagerie of outdoor wildlife that would frequent their home to beg Barb for some extra peanuts. She loved to watch nature from her living room window, giving the animals unique names and learning all about them. Her grandchildren greatly enjoyed listening to her talk about all her mischievous critters.

It is hard to summarize the magnitude of her life in such a small space. Barb was a kind and generous person who was always there for the people she cared about, a true blessing to those who chose to call her friend or family. Her smile was contagious and she was notorious for her quick wit. She will be greatly missed.

Survivors include her husband, Mark Dempsey, and her two sons, Eric (Louise) Olsen and Russell Olsen. She also leaves behind a grandson, Kenneth (Amanda) Olsen. 

Barb was preceded in death by her parents, Irving and Janice Weik.

No memorial service or funeral is planned. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to New Life Pet Adoption Center in Marathon, WI in honor of Barb’s great fondness for all animals great and small.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara "Barb" Olsen, please visit our flower store.


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