Cover photo for Barbara Ann Schow's Obituary
Barbara Ann Schow Profile Photo

Barbara Ann Schow

May 7, 1938 — March 26, 2023


Barbara Ann Schow


Barbara Ann Schow (Wilkening), 84, of Lamar, Missouri passed away peacefully at the family farm on Sunday, March 26, 2023.   

The oldest of four siblings, Barbara was born on May 7, 1938, in Aurora, Illinois, to Fred and Irene (Mueller) Wilkening. She spent her formative years in and around Aurora and Tucson, Arizona, making countless memories with friends as she never met a stranger.
After graduating from Aurora East High School (Illinois), Barbara attended Walther Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Chicago, where she was selected for an RN apprenticeship in Washington D.C. before starting her nursing career in pediatrics. She would eventually trade in her nurse's cap to be a stay-at-home mom for 20 years before returning to the medical field in the 90's to work in geriatric care.
On September 26, 1970, Barbara married the love of her life, Selmer Schow in Wilmington, Illinois. Following their nuptials, the couple relocated to Tucson, Arizona, where they added two children to their family, Mark Schow and Debra Schow-Smith. In the mid 80's the family of four moved from the suburbs to a small farm in Lamar, MO.

Known for her baking skills, Barbara spent many hours in the kitchen creating delicious treats and perfecting her status as pizza master. She was an avid reader, enjoyed crocheting in her younger years, and loved munching on popcorn, especially caramel corn.

Barbara loved the Lord and was an active member of the Lamar Church of Christ. She belonged to the Horse Creek Homemakers; was a past Cub Scout Den mother, Girl Scout parent, and soccer mom, and was a never-ending cheerleader for her family.
Barbara is survived by her devoted husband, Selmer; two children, Mark Schow of Carterville, Missouri and Debra Schow-Smith of Webb City, Missouri; grandchildren, Stephen Smith of Kansas City, Missouri, Jacob Smith and his wife Erin of Webb City, MO., and Andrew Smith and his fiance Maya of Webb City; five great-grandchildren, Madison, Christian, Malaki, Elena and Connor; two sisters, Sharon Blanton of Lisle, Illinois and Darlene and husband Mike Brown of Holland, Michigan; and several nieces, nephews and extended family members.

Preceding Barbara in death are her parents, Fred and Irene and brother Fred and his wife Bonnie Wilkening.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date for family and friends. The family encourages those wishing to honor Barbara's legacy to consider financially supporting Fair Haven Children's Home ( or Orphan's Lifeline International (

Condolences may be shared at

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