Cover photo for Barbara Jane Schwartz's Obituary
Barbara Jane Schwartz Profile Photo
1926 Barbara 2021

Barbara Jane Schwartz

October 6, 1926 — November 20, 2021

MAKANDA - Barbara Jane Schwartz, 95, passed away on Saturday, November 20, 2021 in Makanda surrounded by her family.

Barbara was born on October 6, 1926 in Carbondale to Walker and Mabel (Smith) Schwartz.

She married John S. Rendleman of Anna in 1949.

Barbara is survived by her son, Charles Mathew Rendleman (Claudia); five grandchildren, Julia Marie Rendleman (Robert Zullo), Paul Nathan Rendleman (Daniela), Daniel Ford Rendleman (Katy), Annie Jean Rendleman (Graham Baker), and Natalie Jane Grace Rendleman, 10 great-grandchildren, and a sister-in-law, Kathryn Schwartz Balsano.

She was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Sally Yarbrough, and brother, Thomas Schwartz.

After graduating from Carbondale Community High School, Barbara attended Southern Illinois University, the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and Northwestern University, graduating in 1949. Her love of acting never stopped and she performed in Stage Company productions into her sixties.

Barbara was a banker. She managed Carbondale Loan and Improvement, later Home Federal Savings and Loan Association. She was active in many organizations, including service in the Jackson County Port Authority, Rotary International, the SIU Museum, the Makanda Village Board, the Stage Company, Pi Beta Phi Sorority, and the SIU Alumni Association. She established the Society for Public Discourse at SIU, believing that civil conversations could lead to better understanding. She was a beloved member of the Sea Club of Hillsboro Beach, Florida. In 2000, she was awarded the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award. She attended Hope Presbyterian Church Carbondale.

She enjoyed Learning-in-Retirement classes at SIU and travel, visiting Russia, Turkey, and Central America. She was in Tiananmen Square the day before the government crackdown.

She was most at home in her hilltop farm in Makanda. She was never without a cat or dog. She loved horseback riding and enjoyed fox hunting, despite losing a tooth and breaking a bone, she never gave up on riding. She even got into the cattle business on a whim, purchasing several Charolais cattle at auction. She had a life-long vendetta against Johnson grass.

Her years were long and full. She approached each day with energy and exuberance, and ended them with bourbon.

Services for Barbara will be held on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 at Meredith Funeral Home, Carbondale. Visitation will begin at 1:30 pm. Funeral, officiated by Pastor Tony Marseglia, will begin at 3:00 pm. Burial will follow at Oakland Cemetery in Carbondale.

Memorials may be made in Barbara’s name to the Society for Civil Discourse at SIU and will be accepted at the funeral home.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, November 24, 2021

1:30 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Starts at 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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