Barbara Odenkirk obituary (2021) – Naperville, Illinois


Barbara Mary (née Baier) Odenkirk, 85, passed away peacefully in her home at Villa St. Benedict in Lisle, Illinois. She was born on September 27, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois, the first of two daughters of William (Bill) Clarence Baier and Theresa (née McCormick) Baier. Barbara’s life has been defined by three things; being a practicing Catholic, a mother of seven, and having fun asides all day. Barbara barely survived a polio attack at the age of eight that put her in a coma for three days and two nights and she credited the nuns at the nearby convent and their 24-hour prayer vigil for her survival. Her father, Bill, was a kind and serious man who attended mass daily, and his unwavering commitment to the Catholic Church informed his own strong allegiance. Her mother, Theresa, was caring, kind and gentle, and her childhood, aside from polio, was full of fond memories and love. Barbara briefly worked as a secretary, but once she met Walter Harry Odenkirk through a church group that their mothers were a part of, they quickly married and she quickly got to work in her real life. and greater profession – to be a mother. They had their first child, Steve, on September 28, 1961, and it was off to the races! Over the next fifteen years, Barbara and Wally had six more children. As tall and committed as Barbara was as a mother, Walter was her polar opposite and never seemed fully committed to the business of having and raising a series of backgrounds. Fortunately, Barbara took over. There were difficult days, for sure. She survived a day of doing fifteen loads of laundry in total. While finances were wobbly, she hardly ever was. The children, in that order; Steve, Bob, Bill, Maria, Phil, Lori and Sue were well fed (on powdered milk and giant trays of burritos), well dressed (when they remembered to put on clothes), and happy most of the time. The house at 1009 Heatherton Drive was full of activities, laughs, goofs, runs, a dog (Lady) and a cat (Whitney and others), constant comings and goings, and no one slacked off in its chores either. Barbara was delighted with her children and kept the trains on time during those busy and busy years. It is a wonder and a mystery to imagine how she did it all. She was in her glory during those years and she knew it and was grateful for it. With financial support from Barbara’s father, Barbara was able to raise her offspring in the beautiful, safe town of Naperville, Ill., Where children played in the forest, threw rocks at each other from construction sites, participated in Little League and in youth football, and received a decent enough education to do something on their own. Interestingly, Barbara didn’t matter much to college and didn’t care what her kids did as adults – she just wanted them to be good people and after that everything was a piece of cake. Speaking of cake, she made each child the type of cake they wanted for their birthday, and she made some great cakes too. Maria (8 at the time) once put her hand in Bill’s chocolate cherry frosting (10) because she was mad (because mom ruined a chocolate cake by putting cherries in it) , but this is not the place to settle scores. Here’s what you need to know, Mom laughed and laughed at the shenanigans and her kids put on a nonstop show for her. Barbara survived a life-threatening pneumonia attack in 1978 just before the birth of Sue, her seventh child, and it was a frightening time for her and all the children. At times like this, we know that she prayed with deep and total devotion to God, Jesus and the Virgin Mary and the saints too many to mention, and she credits her faith for leading her. through these truly lonely and scary chapters. Above all, Barbara was humble – and always added a dose of practicality to her stronger beliefs. She was amazed at what her children have done, and they have all amazed her with their accomplishments and the good job they have done with their lives. In her final days, every child had the opportunity to tell her that she was the reason, that her voice within them was the ethical compass that informed their values ​​and their work in this world, and she had to know that was true and that she was rightly proud of each of them and, hopefully, of herself and the way she lived this life. And the last thing to note was his good humor that permeated every moment of his day. She laughed a lot, always at some human weakness or flaw and always in a good and generous spirit. We, his children, always carry his caring and perplexed perspective with us. She is survived by her beloved sister, Mary Rutsche, her seven children and fifteen grandchildren, as well as countless other friends named Mary. Visitations will be held on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Beidelman-Kunsch Funeral Homes & Crematory, 516 S. Washington St., Naperville, IL. A Christian Burial Mass will be held on Thursday, December 2, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at Saints Peter and Paul 36 N. Ellsworth St. Catholic Church, Naperville, IL. Interment in the cemetery of Saints Peter and Paul in Naperville, IL. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Catholic Charities of Joliet. Info: 630-355-0264 or

Posted by Naperville Sun on Nov 28, 2021.


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