Home 9 Obituaries 9 Barbara J. Brannan

Barbara J. Brannan

February 26, 1948 - July 20, 2020

Barbara J. Brannan Barbara J. Brannan
  • Funeral


Barbara J. Brannan, 72, passed away on July 20, 2020 in Geneva, Illinois. She was born in Bryan, Ohio, on February 26, 1948, to Paul and Vivian (Casebere) Brannan.

Barbara graduated from Bryan High School in 1966 and attended Ohio University for two years. Throughout her career in Chicago, she completed her B.A. at Mundelein College of Loyola University and went on to earn a M.A. from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago.

An accomplished writer and presenter, her work encompassed areas of marketing and publishing. Barbara devoted much of her career to helping adult employees embrace and master new skills.  She spent the last eleven years working for Metra Chicago Railroad, developing training materials and teaching employees at all levels. She loved her work and sought to help others see the world in a positive light.

An obsessive improver, Barbara developed DIY skills in home renovation, with emphasis on a beautifully functional kitchen, a cultivated garden, and eclectic decor. She sought perfection in a recipe and shared her appreciation for antiques, the arts and literature. She was active in acting and directing community theater. She embraced life’s changes by rising to its challenges.

Barbara’s bright spirit is held close by her brother, Larry (Nancy Skinner) Brannan, niece Brigette Winniman, nephews Andy Kelly and John Skinner, cousins on both the Brannan and Casebere sides, and precious lifelong friends.

Please share your memories of Barb and find details for a memorial service on-line at

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the American Cancer Society or to Williams County Community Theater, 208 W. Butler St., Bryan, Ohio 43506.

For further information please call Yurs Funeral Home Geneva. 630-232-7337


Sandrok family from Geneva, IL

"Your friendship will always be cherished and knowledge of things that grow is priceless. Thanks for the friendship that we gained. You will be greatly missed. Thank you for being a part of our lives."

Sally Griffin from St Charles , IL

"So sad to hear of Barb's passing. She was a recent member of AAUW and saddened that she has passed away so soon after we have met. Condolences to her friends and family."

Margaret (Peggy) Hume from Holly Springs, NC

"Barb and I had so many wonderful and funny times together in Bryan. Her spirit and uplifting energy will be with me forever. I am sad at her passing this life, but know that she continues her journey beyond. I will see you again Barb."

Claudia Curtis from Batavia, IL

"My sympathies for your loss, she will be missed."

Lynn Scott from Long Beach, CA

"So sorry to hear of Barb's condolences go out to her loving family and friends. I knew her through high school, and I was privileged to be in a play she directed. She was so intelligent, sweet, and in peace, dear Barbara, we will miss your bright light."

Cathy Barrett from Powell, OH

"Barb was a wonderful cousin and role model when I was growing up. She was always warm and outgoing. It’s so hard to believe that we won’t do some catching up on her next trip to Bryan. I will miss her. ♥️♥️♥️"

Donna Trimble from South Elgin, IL

"I met Barb on the train nearly 4 years ago on the way to Chicago when we both worked downtown. She would sit right in front of me and we just started talking. We started building a close friendship. I told her she couldn't retire until I do because I would miss her on the train. I will always think of her in that chair in front of me on the train. I will miss her terribly."

Gwen Shadley from DALTON, WI

"So sad to hear of your passing. I knew Barb through high school. Always so creative and positive."

Sue Shaff from Naperville, IL

"I had the pleasure of working with Barb for five years at Metra. She was kind, funny, feisty, and always helpful. She was an excellent writer and instructor - I learned so much from her. She had a wonderful, quirky sense of humor. Because of her, I will always giggle when I think of the Oxford comma! Rest in peace, Barb."

Eva LaCour (Metra) from Chicago, IL

"Barb was a cool woman, funny and smart, loved her spiked hair cut. I know the heaven's received and welcomed her, she is not resting but celebrating, rejoicing her spirit's everlasting life. I was blessed to have known her, she was a great class instructor, always making it interesting. My condolences to her family and friends"

Soledad Santiago from Chicago, IL

"A wonderful spirit - a loss for all that knew her! She will be missed. Condolences to her loved ones."

Jacqueline Gargiulo from Downers Grove, IL

"Oh, Barb. I feel so blessed to have had the time we did to work together. Your vitality, honesty and love were enjoyed and a gorgeous model for which I strive. I have missed you. I will continue to miss you. You will be missed by the many you have touched with your beautiful presence in life."

Martha Espinoza from Chicago, IL

"I will always keep Barb in my heart as the vibrant, intelligent, insightful, funny, creative, generous, warm, humble person she is. I miss you, Miss Barb."

Derek Mason from Grayslake, IL

"I will always remember you Barb and you will be missed."

Bonnie Schwartzengraber from Bryan, OH

"Happy memories of our friendship! God speed Barb!"

Rosie McVay from Batavia, IL

"I send family and friends wishes for peace. Barb will be missed."

Mary Ellen Segraves from Saint Charles, IL

"It is so comforting and heartwarming to read all the comments from people who knew Barb from the different parts of her life. She touched all of us in her special way. I will miss her terribly, but her wisdom will stay with me always."

Fátima Figueiredo from Geneva , IL

"My condolences. I met Barb once, and I could feel she was a warm and special person. She will be missed."

Diana Smith from Crystal Lake, IL

"So glad that Barb was a part of our family at holidays and family celebrations. We will miss her generosity and kindness."

Kelly Snyder from bryan, OH

"I am so sorry to hear of Barbs passing . She was a very close friend of mine when she lived in Bryan. She will be missed ."

Nancy Gilbert from Batavia, IL

"So blessed to have had Barb come into my life. I will cherish our friendship forever and keep Barb close to my heart. Miss you, Barb."

Pam Johnston Busta from San Clemente , CA

"I was a high school Classmate of Barbara’s. I was sorry to hear of her passing and my condolences go out to her family! Reading about Barbara’s life was impressive as she touched many lives, enjoyed her own life and created a better world for all. Thanks you, Barbara!"

Nancy Bigall from Chicago, IL

"I adored Barb. She was my mentor, counselor, friend, and work colleague. We talked about everything. Her unique perspective somehow managed to help, no matter what we discussed. Her warmth, sense of humor, courage, and tenacity are inspiring. I miss you my friend."

Molly from Chicago, IL

"If I could think of one word to describe Barb it would be kindness. She was intelligent, articulate, had a great sense of humor but above all she was kind. She will be missed. A great lady. My heart goes out to her family and friends."

Karen from Chicago, IL

"I only knew Barb for a short time, but it was easy to see what a special person she was. God bless you on this next part of your journey."

Lisa Dzugan from Fox Lake, IL

"I had the pleasure of working with Barbara at Metra. She was a brilliant woman. We shared many stories of our beloved animals. I admired and respected her so much. Rest easy, dear friend."

Karen from Arlington Heights, IL

"Barb was an inspiration, adept in many areas. A voracious reader and life observer, she absorbed, practiced and was generous with her time and knowledge. She was my first friend in Chicago,...following through her many moves in Chicago, to Bryan, back to Chicago and out to the suburbs. We sought out different ways to get into constructive mischief, laughing much of the time. On your birthday, I can still feel your spirit."

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