Barbara Braner (Hamilton), age 83, of Beardstown died Thursday, January 20, 2022 at Heritage Health in Jacksonville.
She was born September 3, 1938 in Savanna IL, the daughter of Lewis and Florence Imel Hamilton.
She is survived by her brother James (fiance Nancy Brogdon) Hamilton of Chapin; two nieces Brenda (husband Kip) Stevenson of Amery, WI, and Shanon (husband Dan) Keller of Jacksonville; one nephew Ed (significant other Diane Henry) Schiener of Lanark, IL; and four very special great nieces and nephews Connor and Kendall Stevenson and Andrew and Katelyn Keller; special friends Lynette Hamilton and her Emblem sisters. She was preceded in death by her parents, a nephew Mike Sieple, her half-sister Dorothy Aubry, and a half-brother Edward Hamilton.
Barb graduated from Mt. Carroll High School and from Illinois Wesleyan University with a Bacherlor’s Degree for Music Education. She taught music at Chandlerville, Triopia, and White Sands New Mexico Military School, before her 25-year career with the Beardstown School district. A few of her proudest moments as an educator were having students qualify for All-State and winning sweepstakes for chorus. While teaching, Barb served as President of Illinois District for Music Educators and served on Illinois Elementary School Board Association.
Barb was a charter member and the charter president of Beardstown Emblem Club #474. She served many years and held many positions within the club. She was elected to Supreme President of Emblem Club of American serving her term from 2004-2005. She spent the whole year traveling over 60,000 miles visiting other Emblem Clubs. Barb remained active within her local club until her health no longer allowed.
Barb was a member of First United Methodist Church in Beardstown where she played the organ and was choir director. She found great joy volunteering with Cass/Schuyler Area Hospice. Barb always enjoyed playing the organ and piano, but in her free time she liked golfing and reading. She was an avid University of Illinois and St. Louis Cardinals fan. Barb was honored when she was asked to be Grand Marshall of the Beardstown Fall Fun Festival Parade. She truly loved her family, all the students she taught and friends she met.
Funeral services will be held at 12:30 PM Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at First United Methodist Church in Beardstown. Burial will be held at a later date. The family will meet with friends from 11 AM until the time of the services at the church on Wednesday following the visitation Emblem memorial services will be held.
Memorials have been suggested to Beardstown Emblem Club #474. Condolences may be left online at www.colwellmemorialhome.com or on Facebook at Colwell Memorial Home.