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Barbara Kiel (Cerar)

September 6, 1932 — October 14, 2022

“. . .It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” Peace Prayer of St. Francis

Barbara Kiel (Cerar) was born to eternal life on Friday, October 14, 2022 with love from her family enveloping her as she departed this Earth. Barb was born September 6, 1932 to Paul and Jeanette Cerar in West Frankfort, Illinois. Her family moved to Carlinville where she was one of eleven children, and her siblings served as her closest friends. After her father suffered an injury in the coal mine, her parents ran a corner store where she worked side by side with her family.
As she described it, Barb noticed a handsome gentleman, Bernard Kiel, attending mass at her parish. While working in her sister Helen’s restaurant in Carlinville, Bernard came in for coffee and asked Barb on a date. This was the start of their love story, and Barb married Bernard on April 11, 1953. Together, they raised three boys, David, Tom and Jim, ran a farm and shared their love with their extended family. Barb served as an active member of St. Joseph’s Church in Meppen.

At the age of 47, Barb attended Lewis & Clark Nursing School earning her degree in 1981. She cared for patients in the Jerseyville Hospital Emergency Department before moving to Taylorville to work beside her son, David in his family practice where they cared for patients and each other. Upon retirement, Barb dedicated her time to being a full-time grandmother.

She loved to gracefully boast about her son Jim serving as a pastor in his own church. She loved to bake her famous gingersnaps with her grandchildren, listen to music, dance, laugh, play cards as long as she was winning, put puzzles together, have lunch with her friends, drink a whiskey sour, and never miss a party. When her grandchildren called her to go somewhere with them, she never asked where and was always ready for an adventure.

Barb lost her soulmate, Bernard, on November 28, 1999 and her son, Tom, on July 6, 2010, both to battles with cancer. Despite her grief, she continued to serve as the matriarch for her family and provide selfless love for all of them. Her recklessly unselfish love taught her family about life.

Her legacy will be kept alive by those who survive her: sons David (Colleen) Kiel, Jim (Val) Kiel, daughters-in-law, Debby Kiel and Gay Lynn Kiel; grandchildren Josh (April) Kiel, Jeremy (Beth) Kiel, Nichole (Bill) Zurheide, Chris (Alex) Kiel, Amy (Paul) Bulpitt, Brian (Megan Steely) Kiel, Emily (Phillip) Fiaoni, Ian Kiel, Evan Kiel and Logan Kiel; great-grandchildren Anna, Ashley, AJ, Alissa, Marcus, Vivian, Liam, Harper and Ellyanna; and siblings Claudette Krupnick, Bernie (Monique) Cerar, and George (Rita) Cerar and many nieces and nephews.

Besides losing Bernard and Tom, she was preceded in death by her parents and siblings including Helen, Paul, Henry, Doris, Jeanette, June and Patty.

The family will greet visitors at 10:00 a.m. Friday October 21, 2022 followed by mass officiated by Fr. Piotr Kosk at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church in Taylorville, Illinois where Barb was a member. Following mass, all are invited to a luncheon at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Taylorville. The family will hold a private burial later this fall.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in her honor to her son Jim’s church, 2nd Chances Community Church, at 4836 North Alby Road, Godfrey, Illinois 62035. McClure Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Taylorville is assisting the family with arrangements. Memories of Barbara, or condolences to her family, may be shared online at


  1. Linda Binger on October 17, 2022 at 3:48 pm

    I always enjoyed talking and being with Barb, through her being my nurse to my fellow art buddy. Boy we sure had fun on those art trips ! She was a wonderful person to know and to be around, sending my condolences and sympathy to all her family members. I will not be able to attend her services due to finishing with Covid days.

  2. Deborah Wood on October 17, 2022 at 7:04 pm

    My prayers are with you and your family God Bless

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