|Barbara Ellen Kepner, 67, of Alpha, Illinois died Saturday May 14, 2011 in her home after a long battle with brain cancer. Cremation has been accorded and Services are 11:00 AM Tuesday May 17, 2011 at Bethany Lutheran Church In Woodhull, Il. Private burial will be at a later date. Visitation is 1 hour prior to services at the Church. In lieu of lowers, memorials may be left to OSF Hospice of Galesburg or Bethany Lutheran Church in Woodhull. Peterson Wallin Knox is in charge of arrangements and online condolences can be made at www.petersonwallinknox.com
She was born June 18, 1943 a daughter of LaVerne and Mildred Johnson. Her father was a lifetime farmer in the Ophiem area and her mother helped with the farming chores and is still an active member of Grace Lutheran Church in Ophiem. She graduated from AlWood High School in 1961. That same year, she began her undergraduate elementary education degree at Illinois State University where she met her future husband, James L. Kepner. They were married August 21, 1965.
Jim and Barbara began their teaching, education and research careers in the LaSalle-Peru area. They lived in many places during their careers including Normal, East Peoria, Cedar Rapids, Gainesville, FL, St Cloud, MN, Buffalo NY, Memphis TN, and Atlanta, GA. She was always active in various LCA and ELCA congregations where she lived.
Barb's interests included her family, gardening, sewing and reading. She was always ready to help anyone in need.
Survivors include her husband, James, 2 daughters, Diane (Timothy) Ulshafer of Azle, TX, Jennifer (Shawn) Williams of Naperville, IL, 5 grandchildren, her mother, Mildred Johnson of Alpha, Il, a brother Mahlon Johnson of Ophiem, Il, 1 niece and 2 nephews.
Her father, LaVerne Johnson preceded her in death.