Born to Ruth and Ernest Marsh in Chicago, Barbara Gunnell died after a lengthy illness on 2/2/2021. She went to Nash Elementary, where at age 12 she was told by a patrol guard to stay on the sidewalk. She later married that patrol guard, Donald Gunnell, a Chicago Police Officer & Illinois State Police Ballistics specialist, who preceded her in death Jan 2018. They were married 68 years, intensely devoted to each other with a rare love. Barbara was a strong, smart and creative woman, raising three children in a tiny house as Don worked three jobs. Barbara was a housewife for many years. Family members have memories of ‘skinny pancakes,’ cherry pie, pot roast (fond) and homemade bread (humorous). Later working in accounts receivable, she advanced professionally with each job recognizing her robust organizational skills. Barbara valued God, family, honesty and kindness. She served her church in various capacities, as a Sunbeam age 2, later a Sunday School teacher for decades and AWANA youth leader. She held various offices in PTA and named the local grammar school upon its’ renovation. On retirement, Barbara became active in Shawnee Quilt Guild. She created with 3 others the Kids’ Quilts charity, making quilts for children undergoing stressful times, enthusiastically contributing her philanthropic, administrative and sewing talents for 20 years. Barbara was interested in genealogy, becoming a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1990. An avid reader, cross word puzzle worker, animal magnet (despite her antipathy), she will be missed by many. She is survived by her children, Dr. Kathy (Chris Goode) Gunnell, Dona Howell and Dan (Maureen) Gunnell; her grandchildren Claire & Laure Goode, Becky (Adam Berry) and Matt (Gidion) Howell, Conor Gunnell; sister-in-laws Rose Gunnell and Kay Marsh and numerous nieces and nephews. Her brother, her parents and grandfather Dolphe Alexander are awaiting her in heaven, as is her love Don, who will say, ‘GREAT to see you–what took you so long?’
Funeral services will be Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 10:30 am at Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home with Pastor Rick Strole officiating. Entombment will follow in Egyptian Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be Saturday from 10 am until the time of service at the funeral home.
Due to health concerns related to the COVID-19 virus, social distancing and the wearing of masks will be required.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:
Shawnee Quilt Guild Kids’ Quilts
c/o B Giffen, 138 McDowell Rd, Murphysboro IL 62966
Illinois Police Association Scholarships, Gunnell Fund
c/o John Frost, 103 Kirk Lane, Carterville IL 62918