Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Paula Ann Barbacovi

BESSEMER, Mich. - After a short battle with cancer, Paula Ann Barbacovi, 56, a longtime resident of Bessemer, died peacefully Friday afternoon, July 26, 2019, at Essentia Health–St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth, Minn., with her loving family by her side.

Paula was born on Sept. 27, 1962, in Bessemer Township, a daughter of Timothy Prospero and Patricia Kleimola. She graduated from J.E. Murphy High School in Hurley, Wis., with the class of 1980. Paula continued her education at Gogebic Community College and earned her associate degree in business and accounting.

While Paula was attending college, she met her future husband, Daniel Barbacovi, and married him in 1984. They made their home in Bessemer and were blessed with three children. Paula and Daniel celebrated 35 wonderful years of marriage in June 2019.

Paula was a member of the International Independent Showmen's Association and The Tampa Club of Florida.

She loved her children, Michael, Crystal and Melissa, along with her two precious dogs, Lucy and Hannah and her four dear grand dogs, Cash, Waylon, Willie and Puppy. Many times you could see her walking them on Iron Street in Bessemer.

Paula enjoyed working with children, helping them when she could, and worked at the Bessemer Area Schools for 26 years.

Paula had fun following the Detroit Lions. Each year she would attend the Green Bay Packers vs. Lions game at Lambeau Field, even though her Lions were usually on the loosing end.

Her family was everything to her. She traveled each summer with the family business, Spectrum Entertainment, helping in any way possible and spending the summer with her family.

Paula never wanted anyone to feel sorry for her. She would always tell people, "Please don't feel sorry for me. I'm going to be okay and don't be sad, smile I'm fine."

Paula treasured her time in Florida as she and her family would spend most of February there each year since 2009. She made countless special memories.

Paula is survived by her beloved husband, Daniel; a son, Michael (Kara Holzscheiter); two daughters, Crystal (Rob McLean) and Melissa (Dennis Kontny); a sister, Marci (Chris) Knight; her mother, Patricia Kleimola; her mother-in-law, Jean Barbacovi; other loving relatives; and many special friends.

She was predeceased by her father, Timothy.

Honoring Paula's wishes, cremation will take place.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, Aug. 7, at 11 a.m., preceded by visitation at 9:30 a.m., at St. Sebastian Catholic Church, 210 E. Iron St., Bessemer, with the Rev. Dominic Agyapong, celebrant.

Rite of Committal and interment will take place at Hillcrest Cemetery, Bessemer, followed by a luncheon at Manny's Restaurant, 316 E. Houk St., Ironwood.

The family would especially like to thank Dan Reinerio for always being at her appointments in Ashland and making her smile. The staff at Essentia Health-St. Mary's and Ashland, Beacon Ambulance for their care and services when needed, the staff at Aspirus Ironwood Hospital Emergency Room, Mr. John Friedli for always being available 24/7, and finally Mr. Jerald Rocco and Lakeside Memorial Chapel for helping us through this difficult time and making all the arrangements.

Condolences may be expressed online at

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