Staunton Star - Times - Published in the Interest of the Staunton Community for Over 143 Years



October 5, 2022

Barbara Ann Resnik Madden Sawyer: Mother, wife, friend, teacher, musician

Barbara Ann Resnik Madden Sawyer, 83, of Gillespie, Ill., died at Heritage Health nursing home on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022. She was born Dec. 5, 1938, in St. Louis, Mo., to Leo Paul Resnik and Frances Jean (Sali) Resnik. She grew up in University City, Mo., and graduated from Mercy High School and St. Louis University. She married John Patrick Madden of Gillespie on June 23, 1962. She moved to Gillespie where she lived for 60 years, raising her sons, teaching school, and supporting her friends and extended family. She taught at and served as principal of Ss. Simon and Jude Catholic School in Gillespie. While teaching, she earned her doctorate in education from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Her dissertation, which examined writing and the learning of mathematics, was cited in others' research. She served the Southwestern Community Unit School District 9 for 21 years. She taught middle school and high school mathematics. In addition, she served as principal for Shipman Elementary and Medora Elementary schools, leading both schools simultaneously. On her retirement, she focused her time on supporting her family, as well as being involved with her church, Ss. Simon and Jude.

After John's passing on Oct. 10, 2009, she married George E. Sawyer on Feb. 15, 2014, at Ss. Simon and Jude Catholic Church in Gillespie. She and George sang in the choir at Ss. Simon and Jude. She also served as lector, eucharistic minister, including providing Holy Communion to residents at Heritage Health nursing home, and helped George deliver Meals on Wheels. She was a brilliant pianist, loving classical music and Broadway show tunes. What's more, she fostered a love of music in her sons and grandchildren. She loved to travel, visiting Europe multiple times, as well as China and Kenya. She bicycled with George and walked daily with her beloved dog, Pepper. She loved good food, and was an excellent cook, hosting her family for gatherings at Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, when she continued a family tradition of making poteca, a Slovenian nut bread. She continued to advise her sons through their lives, and maintained relationships with her siblings, her aunt, Helen Sali Morris, high school and college friends, community members, and the German exchange student she and John hosted.

She is survived by her beloved husband George; her sister, Helen (Joseph) McGlynn; her brother, Leo (Sharon) Resnik; her sons, John (Betsy) Madden, Paul (Liz) Madden, Timothy (Anne) Madden, David (Sarah) Madden; grandchildren, Colleen Madden, Joseph Madden, Peter Madden, Clare Madden, and Emily Madden; step-grandchildren, Colin Filkins and Zoey Mayo; dear friend and former exchange student, Thomas Heidel of Bonn, Germany; cousins, Louis and Judy Carlson; and many nieces, nephews, and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; her first husband, John; her Aunt Helen Sali Morris; her cousins, Karen and Maureen Carlson; her in-laws, Dean and Mary Ann Hall; her nephew, Thomas Hall; and her beloved son, Mark.

We are all richer for having known her; we will miss her deeply. We hope she is remembered when anyone listens to music or shares a good meal with family and friends.

Funeral mass was held on Saturday, Oct. 1, at SS Simon & Jude Church in Gillespie. Burial will be at Holy Cross Cemetery, Gillespie.

Memorials are suggested to Catholic Charities, the Ss. Simon and Jude Altar Society, and the Gillespie Public Library. Condolences may be left online at Kravanya Funeral Home in Gillespie was in charge of the arrangements.

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