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Barbara Zeman

December 22, 1925 April 26, 2022
Barbara Zeman
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Obituary for Barbara Zeman

Barbara Jean Zeman died on Tuesday, April 26, 2022 at her daughter’s home in Peoria after a short illness. She was surrounded by her children. 

Barbara was born in Canton, IL to Ulysses Earl Baker and Verna C. Hedden Baker on Dec. 22, 1925. In 1944, Barbara graduated from Woodruff High School and then later that year she graduated from the Northwestern Academy of Beauty Culture. She married John F. Zeman on October 20, 1945 in Peoria and celebrated 56 years together until he died on December 8, 2001.  

Shortly after their wedding, John and Barbara built their family home together. Barbara, pregnant, carried cement blocks down to John while he dug the basement with a hand shovel. The basement became a beauty salon and had family space where years of holidays were celebrated. Her career as a beautician lasted about 70 years and her favorite clients were her grandchildren who were rewarded with a dollar for sitting still. 

Barbara and John cared lovingly for their home, garden, family, and most of all each other. They played cards, went fishing, and hosted fish frys. They traveled extensively with their daughters in the summer and in retirement continued their adventures across the United States. For many years, they joined their children and grandchildren on spring break adventures in Florida. During the last twenty years of her life, Barbara remained devoted to John and kept his memory close as their family grew. 

Barbara was preceded in her death by beloved John, her parents, and her siblings Frances Powers, Charlotte Conlee, Robert Baker and William Baker. Barbara is survived by her daughters Susan (Dave) Cignetti of The Villages, FL; Janni (Tom) Kahn of Peoria, IL; grandchildren Stacey Cignetti of Edwards, IL; Shelley (Chris) Brown of Fishers, IN; Molly (Jim) Allen of Lexington, IL; Andy(Joslyn) Kahn of Brooklyn Park, MN; and Johnny (Daniela Martinez) Kahn of Cumming, GA. She delighted in her nine great-grandchildren, Gus and Will Brown; Olivia, Mary, and Warren Allen; Aretha and Melody Kahn; and Max and Emma Kahn Martinez and many nieces and nephews. 

Barbara lived a life of love and service to others. She was actively involved in St. Philomena Catholic Church, a lifetime member of the Catholic Women’s League and a member of the Silver Sneakers Club at the YMCA. Barbara’s homemade chicken and noodles were the star of every Thanksgiving, and she rarely visited anyone, even a doctor’s office, without bringing fudge, cookies, or another of her special recipes. Each of her daughters and all of her grandchildren received their own handwritten copy of her recipes. When her grandchildren headed to college, she spent every Sunday evening handwriting letters with updates on her life, the Cubs, and family events. She tucked 5 dollars into the letters and mailed them to her grandchildren in college and beyond, keeping that practice for many years. Barbara recognized every event from a lost tooth, broken arm, college graduation, birthdays and showers with cards and gifts. 

A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, May 9, 2022 at St. Philomena Catholic Church.  Fr. David Richardson will officiate. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment of Ashes will be at Resurrection Mausoleum. The family extends their thanks to the Hospice Team at OSF, Dr. Barry Miller, Sheila, and everyone who prayed for her in these past few months. 

Memorials may be made to Soft Bones the Hypophosphatasia organization, https://softbones.org, or OSF Hospice Care.

Friends and family may sign the online guestbook by logging onto www.wrightandsalmon.com.

Previous Events

Visitation

Monday

9

May

9:00 AM 5/9/2022 9:00:00 AM - 10:00 AM 5/9/2022 10:00:00 AM
St. Philomena Catholic Church

1000 W. Albany Ave
Peoria, IL 61604

St. Philomena Catholic Church
1000 W. Albany Ave Peoria 61604 IL
United States

Memorial Mass

Monday

9

May

10:00 AM 5/9/2022 10:00:00 AM
St. Philomena Catholic Church

1000 W. Albany Ave
Peoria, IL 61604

St. Philomena Catholic Church
1000 W. Albany Ave Peoria 61604 IL
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Resurrection Cemetery & Mausoleum Final Resting Place

7519 N Allen Rd
Peoria, IL 61614

7519 N Allen Rd Peoria 61614 IL
United States
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