Mildred Barkau of Okawville, IL departed this life in the Friendship Manor Health Care Center in Nashville, IL on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 11:07 P.M. She had attained the age of 93 years and 3 months.
Mildred was born on the Joellenbeck family farm just south of Okawville on September 15, 1927, the daughter of Fred and Hulda (nee Koch) Joellenbeck. She was baptized in St. Paul United Church of Christ (White Church) in rural Okawville on October 9, 1927 and confirmed in White Church on April 6, 1941. She was a 1945 graduate of Okawville High School. Mildred was united in marriage to Roland Barkau in White Church on June 1, 1947 and he preceded her in death on November 11, 1996.
Mrs. Barkau was an active and faithful member of St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Okawville, where she was a member of the Women’s Guild, had served on the church council, and taught Sunday School. She sang with the church choir for 60 years and was honored with an engraved music box for the special occasion. Mildred also spent years translating the early church records from German into English. She was a member of the Okawville American Legion Auxiliary where she held numerous offices and was a member of the Okawville Home Extension group.
Mrs. Barkau worked as a bank teller in Okawville as well as being a homemaker and raising her family. Along with her husband Roland, they owned and operated the Okawville Motel and later went on to manage the Super 8 Hotel in Okawville. Mildred lived an active life and enjoyed gardening, canning, and baking. She was especially known for her Red Velvet cake. She also enjoyed quilting, sewing, and crocheting. She was known as the family historian and enjoyed researching family genealogy. Mildred loved to travel and visited many exotic locations, including Europe, Hawaii, Mexico, China, where she climbed the Great Wall, and Thailand, where she had the opportunity to ride an elephant. Most of all she loved her family.
Left to mourn her passing are her three children, Brad Barkau and wife Deborah of Okawville, Bruce Barkau and wife Kathy of Okawville, and Brenda Schildz and husband Christopher of St. Louis, MO; eight grandchildren, Dr. Erin Buckley and husband Dr. Lucas Buckley, Dr. Erica Ibendahl and husband Drew, Cullan Barkau and wife Morgan, Beau Barkau and wife Christine, Kayla Gentz and husband Eric, Dr. Michael Schildz and wife Meggie, Matthew Schildz, and Kristen Schildz; eight great grandchildren, Aiden and Ava Buckley, Lilly and Grady Ibendahl, Benton and Cruz Barkau, Tripp and Tate Gentz, and baby girl Schildz due to arrive in January; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and a host of friends.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Roland Joellenbeck and his wife Leona, and Ralph in infancy; a sister-in-law, Marian Brockmeier and her husband Walter; and a granddaughter Elizabeth in infancy.
Due to Covid-19 health concerns, private services will be held from St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Okawville with Pastor Jeffrey Schwab officiating. Interment will be in the church cemetery. A Celebration of life memorial service will be held in the spring on a date to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the St. Peter’s Choir Robe fund, the W.W.C U.S.D. 10 Scholarship fund, or the Alzheimer’s Foundation and will be accepted by the Campagna Funeral Home.
Online expressions of sympathy may be made at www.campagnafuneralhomes.com