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Barbara Ellen Garber

September 3, 1929 ~ August 20, 2019 (age 89)


Barbara Ellen Garber, 89, of East Peoria, IL passed away at 11:31 am on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at Unity Point Health-Proctor in Peoria.  She was born on September 3, 1929 in Peoria, IL to E. Kirby and Vivian (Wirick) Jeneson.  She married Gordon C. Garber on July 8, 1950.  He passed away on March 10, 2010.

Surviving are her grandchildren Hanna Garber and Michael Garber; four sisters Beverly (the late Jerry) Kats, Connie (the late Pat) Carroll, Carol (the late Pete) Refakis, and Dick (the late Sherry) Witzig; many nieces and nephews; and many great-nieces and great-nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents, son Gordon Craig Garber, and daughters Leanne Garber and Laura Lee Garber.

Barbara was the director and owner of Big Top Nursery School for 26 years.  Upon retirement she became a member of the staff at First United Methodist Church in Peoria as coordinator of Children’s Ministry and had served in that capacity since.  She had been a very active member of First Church UMC with her husband serving in many capacities.  Barbara was the proud recipient of many community awards.  The family wishes to thank Unity Point Proctor Hospital and especially the nursing staff on the second floor.

Cremation rites have been accorded.  A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, August 24, 2019 at First United Methodist Church of Peoria with Pastor Tim Ozment officiating.  Burial of ashes will be in Spring Bay Cemetery in Spring Bay at a later date.  In lieu of flowers memorials may be given to First United Methodist Church of Peoria, 116 NE Perry Avenue, Peoria, IL 61603 or The Christian Center, 4100 North Brandywine Drive, Suite 1, Peoria, IL 61614.  Online condolences at


To send flowers to Barbara's family, please visit our floral section.


Celebration of Life
August 24, 2019

1:00 PM
First United Methodist Church of Peoria
116 NE Perry Avenue
Peoria, IL 61603

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