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Barbara Ann Resnik Madden Sawyer


Barbara Ann Resnik Madden Sawyer, 83, of Gillespie, passed away at Heritage Health nursing home on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022.

She was born Dec. 5, 1938 in St. Louis, MO, to Leo Paul Resnik and Frances Jean (Sali) Resnik.

She grew up in University City, MO, and graduated from Mercy High School and St. Louis University.

She married John Patrick Madden of Gillespie, on June 23, 1962.

She moved to Gillespie where she lived for 60 years, raising her sons, teaching school, and supporting her friends and extended family. She taught at and served as principal of Ss. Simon and Jude Catholic School in Gillespie. While teaching, she earned her doctorate in education from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Her dissertation, which examined writing and the learning of mathematics, was cited in others’ research. She served the Southwestern Community Unit School District 9 for 21 years. She taught middle school and high school mathematics. In addition, she served as principal for Shipman Elementary and Medora Elementary schools, leading both schools simultaneously. On her retirement, she focused her time on supporting her family, as well as being involved with her church, Ss. Simon and Jude.

After John’s passing on Oct. 10, 2009, she married George E. Sawyer on Feb. 15, 2014, at Ss. Simon and Jude Catholic Church in Gillespie.

She and George sang in the choir at Ss. Simon and Jude. She also served as lector, eucharistic minister, including providing Holy Communion to residents at Heritage Health nursing home, and helped George deliver Meals on Wheels. She was a brilliant pianist, loving classical music and Broadway show tunes.

She loved to travel, visiting Europe multiple times, as well as China and Kenya. She bicycled with George  and walked daily with her beloved dog, Pepper.  She loved good food, and was an excellent cook, she continued a family tradition of making poteca, a Slovenian nut bread.

She is survived by her husband, George; sister, Helen R. (Joseph B.) McGlynn; brother, Leo P. (Sharon A.) Resnik; sons, John P (Betsy) Madden, Paul F. (Liz) Madden, Timothy J. (Anne) Madden, David W. (Sarah) Madden; grandchildren, Colleen E. Madden, Joseph M. Madden, Peter J. Madden, Clare M. Madden, Emily E. Madden; step grandchildren, Colin J. Filkins, Zoey L. Mayo, dear friend and former exchange student Thomas Heidel of Bonn, Germany; cousins, Louis and Judy J. Carlson; many nieces, nephews, and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; first husband John; Aunt Helen Sali Morris; cousins, Karen and Maureen Carlson; in-laws, Dean and Mary Ann Hall; nephew Thomas Hall, and son, Mark.

Visitation will be on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, at Kravanya Funeral Home in Gillespie from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Funeral mass will be on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, at SS Simon & Jude Church, Gillespie, at 12 noon.   Burial will be at Holy Cross Cemetery, Gillespie.

Memorials are suggested to Catholic Charities, the Ss. Simon and Jude Altar Society, and the Gillespie Public Library.

Anyone wishing to send an online condolence may do so at

Kravanya Funeral Home, Gillespie, is in charge of the arrangements.