Barbara Marie Swinburne

Barbara Marie Swinburne

Barbara Marie Swinburne, of Carbondale, passed on March 11, 2023, surrounded by her loving family.  

She was born on Sept. 26, 1932, the daughter of Loren J. and Eulalah P. Smith Miller.  

She grew up on the family farm in rural Union County and attended Saratoga Methodist Church.  

She married Ivan L. Lirely in 1951. During the next 31 years, Barbara and Ivan raised their four children in the various Central and Southern Illinois communities in which Ivan was appointed to serve as a Methodist minister.

She began her own career in 1965 as secretary at Cairo High School.  She then worked for the Marion County Regional Superintendent of Schools in Salem, Fairfield High School in Fairfield, Casey Junior High School in Mount Vernon and as administrative assistant to the dean of instruction at Kaskaskia College in Centralia.

On Sept. 24, 1989, Barbara married John R. “Dick” Swinburne and moved to Carbondale, where she worked at the chancellor’s office and then at the School of Law at Southern Illinois University until her retirement.

Her greatest passion was her family. She loved spending time with her kids, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She played the piano, did jigsaw puzzles and played many games of Sorry with each generation. She loved to spoil the grands and great-grands with ice cream, her famous strawberry shortcake, ooshy gooshy cake, brownies and coconut cream pie.

Left to carry on her legacy are her children, Roger (Denise) Lirely of Tyler, Texas, Yvetta (Michael) Hays of Salem, Stephen Lirely of Hubertus, Wis., and Necia Jannings of Carbondale; her five grandchildren, Eric (Emily) Hays, Mark Hays, Aaron (Hayley) Jannings, Lara Lirely and Loren “Billy” (Kaylee) Lirely; and her seven great-grandchildren, Daniel, Isaac and Eden Hays, Charlie, Esme and Henry Jannings and Adelyn Lirely.

She also is survived by her brother, Wayne (Maudie) Miller; her sister, Bernetta Holshouser; her sister-in-law, Pat Swinburne; as well as numerous nieces and nephews and their families.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Dick; and her younger brother, Byford Miller.

A Celebration of Barbara’s life will be at 1 p.m. Friday, March 17, at the First United Methodist Church in Carbondale, with Dr. Revs. Rose Booker-Jones and Alan Rhein and John Sims officiating.  Burial will follow in the Anna City Cemetery.  

Friends can greet the family from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, today, at Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale.  

Memorials can be made to the First United Methodist Church of Carbondale and will be accepted at the church or funeral home.

To share a story or memory, visit Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale is in charge of arrangements.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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