After she was born, Helen’s family moved to Fayetteville, IL, where she was raised with her five siblings. During World War II, Helen worked as an inspector at the Small Arms Ammunition Plant in St. Louis, MO. On December 15, 1945, she married Elroy H. Barkau in Mascoutah, IL, and they moved to a farm near Okawville, IL, and eventually to Freeburg, IL. Helen was a true farmer’s wife. She and Elroy worked side by side to build their life together.
Helen was an active member of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Freeburg, IL, St. Paul’s Quilters, and American Legion Freeburg Post 550 Auxiliary.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Elroy, who died on March 3, 2007; her parents, Henry and Elenora, nee Blumhorst, Schrader; two sisters, Erna (Dennis) Nash and Mabel (Alfred) Bahr; two brothers, Albert Schrader and Herbert Schrader; three brothers-in-law, Robert Petri, Leslie Barkau, and Raymond (Sandra) Barkau; and a sister-in-law, Irene (Alvin) Blumhorst.
Surviving are two sons and a daughter, Donald Barkau,
Richard (Rona) Barkau,
and Gloria (David) Niebruegge, all of Freeburg, IL;
a sister, Ruth Petri;
three sisters-in-law, Jeanette Schrader, Violet Schrader, and Norma Barkau;
and many nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to the Freeburg American Legion Auxiliary, to the Wounded Warriors Project, to St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Freeburg, IL, or to the charity of the donor’s choice. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
Visitation: Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, November 22, 2015, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Freeburg, IL, and from 9 to 10 a.m. Monday, November 23, 2015, at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Freeburg, IL. An American Legion Auxiliary ritual will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.
Funeral: Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, November 23, 2015, at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Freeburg, IL, with Rev. Earl Crecelius officiating. Burial will follow at St. Paul’s Cemetery, Freeburg, IL.
Don, Rich, Gloria and families, please know that I always admired and looked up to your Mom and have wonderful memories of her throughout my life. I am rejoicing in her extra-ordinary life and fondly think of she and Elroy reunited in Heaven. Sending you hugs of comfort. I wish I could be in Freeburg to celebrate Helen personally. Loved her to bits. XO. Stacey
Stacey Young (Wilson), Richmond, TX, 77406
Gloria please accept my deepest sympathy. I really liked your Mom and when i was able we had a lot of good breakfasts together after church. Will miss seeing her when i get back to church. God Bless!! Jan
Janet Thrasher, Freeburg, Illinois, 62243
My sympathy to Don and his family. Helen was a lovely lady and will be missed. She’ll be welcomed to heaven by all her quilter friends.
Kathy Ruhmann, Sparta, Illinois, 62286