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Esther J. Barnes, 97, of Rockford, passed away on Sunday, September 30, 2018 in her home. Born on October 31, 1920 in Jackson County, Gorham, IL, the daughter of Clarence and Mamie (Boucher) Hamilton. She married T. D'Mar Barnes on August 22, 1941 in Ste. Genevieve, MO. He predeceased her on November 27, 1981. Esther was a member of Court Street United Methodist church, a former member of Easter Star O.E.S - Chapter #832, Raleigh, I Land in Eldorado, IL; a member of the Beta Signa Phi and Zi Alpha Lambda Sororities and entitiled to DAR: Daughters of American Revolution. Her love in life was her family and teaching, both presented many challenging and varied experiences. She taught in several Southern IL schools (Ponds, Wise, Raleigh, and Beulah Heights) before coming to Rockford in 1956. Here she taught second grade at Barbour and Whitehead schools, retiring in 1979.
Survived by her daughter, Terry (Victor) Serrano; grandchildren; Donald C. Hogan, Kari Hogan, Kelli Hogan - McLaughlin, Nicholas (Tessa) and Alexander (Dania) Serrano; six great grandchildren, Erah & Mae Hogan, Katara Spencer, Katelynn Hogan, Kyle McLaughlin, Riker Serrano, and one on the way; three great-great-grandchildren, Ethan, Eliza & Lewis D'Mar Hogan; sister, Alice (Joe) Pigott; brother, Paul Hamilton; many nieces and nephews; cousins; and good friends. Also predeceased by her parents; daughter, Carol Jo Hogan; brothers, John Hamilton, Ralph Hamilton and James Hamilton; and sister, Louella Raben. Esther's special message to all: "I must say goodbye and hope to see all again sometime!"
Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 4, 2018 in Fred C. Olson Chapel, 1001 Second Ave, Rockford. Funeral Services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at Colonial Terrace Funeral Home, 700 4th St, Eldorado, IL 62930 and a visitation from 12:00 to 12:45 p.m. prior to the service. Burial in Raleigh Masonic Cemetery, Raleigh, IL. Memorials may be made to Rockford Rescue Mission, 715 W State St, Rockford, IL 61102 or American Heart Association, 208 S. LaSalle St. Suite 1500, Chicago, IL 60604-1242.

Condolences & Shared Memories (5)

  1. Jody

    I too, was a student of Mrs. Barnes at Whitehead School. She is a teacher that left a lasting impression on me. I looked forward to going to her classroom each day. She was an excellent teacher and very kind. I generally don't write condolences, but felt moved to let you know Mrs. Barnes had a lasting impact on me. I am sorry to hear of her loss.

  2. Lisa Mathis Butler Harrington

    It was always nice to talk to Esther--such a sweetie. She kept up with Mom, then me until recently.

  3. Shelbey

    My condolences to the Barnes family on the loss of your Mom. I am a former student from Whitehead Elementary and have fond memories of my days in your Mom's classroom.

  4. Judy Johnson Towle

    Aunt Esther I will never forget you and how good you were to me and how much your loved butterflies and let me see a caterpillar turn into a butterfly. You are missed by your former students in the Saline County area. Will love you forever

  5. Nancy Richmond Ure

    Mrs. Barnes was my 2nd grade teacher @ Whitehead School. I'll always remember her. She instilled a love for reading in me. My sympathy to all of her family. RIP

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