Sandra "Cindy" L. Barkei


October 30, 1940 ~ January 4, 2023

Born in: Ashland, WI
Resided in: Arden, NC

Sister, wife, mother, grandmother, friend and provider of compassionate support to innumerable souls in this life, Sandra (Cindy) L. Barkei (nee Berweger) went to her eternal rest on Jan 4, 2023 in Asheville, NC.

Cindy was born to John & Irene Berweger on October 30th, 1940 in Ashland, WI. She graduated from DePadua High School in 1958 and from St. Mary’s School of Nursing in 1961. She later earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Carroll College, Waukesha, WI.

Cindy married the love of her life, Thomas Barkei on June 24th, 1961 in St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Burlington, WI. They had three children, John, Theresa/Terri Guerini (David) and Patricia/Trish. Their five grandchildren are Katie, Jen and Alison (Terri) and Johnathan/Hans and Emily (John).

Cindy is survived by her sister Betty Schroeder of Ashland, brother Jack (Kathy) Berweger of Las Vegas NV, sister Nancy (Don) Salawater of Mountain Home AR, brother Richard (Donna) Berweger of Eau Claire, WI, sister Irene Oliphant of Mason, WI and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Bill and her sister Janice.

Cindy practiced nursing and nursing management for 50 years across a number of departments.

She designed the HIV-AIDS care unit for Mercy Hospital in Miami. Within two years of her work at Mission Hospital Cindy was recognized as one of the ‘Great 100 Nurses’ of North Carolina in 1996. Expanding the nature of her caregiving, she became skilled in the practice of Healing Touch, then mentored others as they learned the practice. Further, she helped establish an Integrated Health unit at Mission Hospital before retiring.

In keeping with her life’s caring mission, Cindy continually nurtured many outside work.
She was a Girl Scouts leader, and was involved with St. Peters Church and Knights of Columbus activities in East Troy WI. She offered her services to the East Troy ambulance. She housed and was mother to dozens of AFS exchange students in East Troy and Arden, NC. Instrumental in the creation of a St Vincent de Paul clothing store in East Troy, Cindy served as its first president.

Upon moving to Arden, Cindy served on the board of directors at Springbank Retreat Center in S. Carolina. For her efforts with the Arden Rotary Club she was made an honorary member. She turned a quilting hobby into another means of comforting others by sewing and donating quilts to the Asheville Quilt Guild, Cancer Center patients, Quilts of Valor program and Veterans’ Healing Farm. Many babies baptized at St. Barnabas Church were christened in bibs she sewed. Cindy contributed time for Veterans’ Restoration Quarters meals, Transformation Village, Costello House and Medical Center of ABCCM; over 150 hrs in recent years, despite her cancer.

Most important to her were the lives she touched, and those who knew her know that this is a superficial description of her interactions with everyone in her life.

Because her personal and professional life was dedicated to the bodily, emotional and spiritual care of others, and in lieu of flowers, we suggest donations be made to two of the causes she cared about deeply: St Vincent de Paul Food Pantry, 109 Crescent Hill Drive, Arden, NC 28704 or ABCCM at

Services will be held on Friday, January 20th at St. Barnabas Catholic Church, 109 Crescent Hill Dr., Arden, NC. A Rosary will be prayed at 11:30 am followed by a Funeral Mass at 12:00.

The Mass will be livestreamed at

Reception to follow.

A celebration of life is to be held in Arden in April. Details will be posted at


Memorial Mass: January 20, 2023 12:00 pm

St Barnabas Catholic Church
109 Crescent Hill Drive
Arden, NC 28704

(828) 684-6098

Rosary: January 20, 2023 11:30 am

St. Barnabas Catholic Church
109 Crescent Hill Road
Arden, NC 28704


Funeral Home Assisting The Family:

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704


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Memories Timeline


  1. Cindy was a gentle, kind, caring soul. Peace to her & her family. She leaves a giant void & will be missed by all.

  2. Cindy touched the heart of all those she met. Her work in the Integrative Health Department at Mission Hospital was invaluable to patients and for the program itself. She was a kind and loving friend to all fortunate enough to call her friend.

  3. Cindy was inspiring, kind, and a beautiful soul. She will be greatly missed by all of us in the Healing Touch Community. She always had a smile and welcoming heart for all.

  4. Liebe Cindy, wie schrecklich, dass du verstorben bist. Du hast viel gelitten in den letzten Jahren, aber du warst immer stark! Ich habe dich sehr geschätzt, und ich erinnere mich sehr an deinen Besuch bei mir vor 30 Jahren in Costa Rica! Ih bete für dich und hoffe, dass Tom deinen Tod einigermaßen verkraften kann. Liebe Grüße der ganzen Familie, ich hoffe , wr bleiben in Kontakt!
    Barbara Westerbarkey

  5. Cindy was one of the most generous, caring people who gave endlessly of her time and talents. She was equally gifted in giving deep, personal care and in establishing complex programs that helped others continue that care. Heaven is more beautiful than ever now that Cindy is there. She lived her faith faithfully and fully.
    Rest in peace and joy.

  6. I met Cindy while a member of the Asheville Quilt Guild, where she served as a member, and a chair, of the fund raising committee. I loved her; her enthusiasm, her dedication, her friendship. She was beautiful inside and out; it was always fun to be around her, and I feel sad that she is no longer with us here on earth. She will always be remembered. Heartfelt sympathy to her family and those she loved.

  7. As Founder, of the North Carolina Nurse Honor Guard, I would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends who are left behind to cherish her memory.
    It will be our most sincere privilege to provide Honors and a Final Call to Duty, for Nurse Barkei, R.N.- a life well lived. A community well served!

  8. Cindy was a gentle, loving angel on earth. Her imprint is on many, many hearts. She will not be forgotten. Hail the Traveler!

  9. Sandy was my godmother. She always sent me gifts as a child and was a very gentle and loving person. The last time I saw her was at my father’s funeral and she said something to me that I will never forget. She was a special woman.

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