Barbara Marie Swinburne of Carbondale passed on March 11, 2023, surrounded by her loving family. Barbara was born on September 26, 1932, to 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.
Barbara 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, the Fairfield High School in Fairfield, Casey Jr. High School in Mount Vernon and as administrative assistant to the Dean of Instruction at Kaskaskia College in Centralia.
On September 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.
Barbara’s 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. Barbara 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 Barbara’s legacy are her children Roger (Denise) Lirely of Tyler TX, Yvetta (Michael) Hays of Salem IL, Stephen Lirely of Hubertus WI, and Necia Jannings of Carbondale; her 5 grandchildren Eric (Emily) Hays, Mark Hays, Aaron (Hayley) Jannings, Lara Lirely, Loren “Billy” (Kaylee) Lirely; and her 7 great-grandchildren Daniel, Isaac and Eden Hays, Charlie, Esme and Henry Jannings and Adelyn Lirely.
Barbara is also 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 1:00 p.m. on Friday, March 17, 2023, at the First United Methodist Church, Carbondale, with Dr. Revs. Rose Booker-Jones, Alan Rhein, and John Sims officiating. Burial will follow at Anna City Cemetery. Friends can greet the family from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 16, 2023, at Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale. In lieu of Flowers, 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 of Barbara, please visit www.meredithfh.com