Chapel Hill Gardens West Funeral Home & Cemetery

17W201 Roosevelt Road, Oakbrook Terrace, IL


Mrs Barbara "Barbie" J. Placek

April 20, 1944January 23, 2020
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Barbara Jeanne Placek January 23, 2020

Who is Barb Placek?

Wife, Sister, Aunt Mother, Mom, Ma Barb, Barbie, Barefoot Barb Speed Racer, Teacher, Author, Friend A strong and vibrant woman who, throughout her life, gave of herself, constantly helping those in need

During her life, Barb has been many things to many people: Homemaker, Caregiver, Entrepreneur, Business owner, Teacher, Mentor, Director, Cantor Barb was a valued and loved member of her community. She conducted Story Hour at the Stickney/Forest View library and was an active member of St. Pius X church and choir.

In the 70’s, Barb was an entrepreneur and innovator. While teaching exercise at Morton College, she couldn’t fully implement her vision, so she opened her own business in the St. Pius X church basement with the help of her family sporting leg warmers and company t-shirts. Barb’s Body Shop started with 5 clients and grew to over 100, changing many lives for the better with new ways to succeed finding a better life with exercise and nutrition. She educated clients how to eat better and showed them ways to have fun while exercising, including choreographing dance numbers to use in class.

Later, Barb went on to achieve Certification to be a Nursing Home Administrator, Activity Director, Alzheimer’s Unit Coordinator, and Consultant. As a Nursing Home Administrator and Alzheimer’s Unit Coordinator, Barb brought love and joy to residents and their families by sharing genuine care and compassion. She implemented thought provoking games and fun, educational presentations to enhance the quality of life for residents.

Barb went on to teach Aqua Aerobics at Bally’s Total Fitness, then LA Fitness for 15 years. Again, by using education, a positive attitude and fun, Barb helped countless people feel better about themselves and achieve healthy goals. She taught her classes by being in the water with her students and making sound effects to some of the moves she choreographed. She would “Ribbit” with the frog jump and “Naaayyy” with the Rocking Horse. Attending her class was a great experience. We saw her work people and saw how much fun they all had being a part of her positive energy.

Barb has always been a woman of great Faith. She has been a Catechism Teacher, Eucharistic Minister, Cantor, Choir Member and Professional Singer for weddings. She has had the Mother Mary statue in all her gardens and Jesus in her Home and Heart.

The biggest Love in Barb's life was THE Love of her life, her husband, Ed. She adored him and he adored her. Everyone who knows them or saw them always said how much they were in love, all through their 52 years of marriage. Everyone wanted to be like them, especially when they danced. Barb and Ed won many disco dance competitions in the '70's and cut a rug at weddings and at home. They didn't care where they were or who was watching. They would dance in a restaurant if the perfect song was played. They were able to get through anything together as their love was, and always will be, immeasurably strong and true. Barb and Ed have two children, Ryan and Eddie, who, whether near or far, have been part of their strong bond. They welcomed their son-in-law, Rob McKenna, lovingly into their family in 2018.

Barb has touched not only all of our lives but has changed the lives of so many people for the better. She has Followed the Yellow Brick Road to Heaven to be reunited with her parents, shop with her In-Laws, hang out with family members and friends and probably has a dog with a very long leash.

We will Forever Miss You:

Wife, Mom, Sister, Auntie



  • Visitation Tuesday, January 28, 2020
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, January 29, 2020
  • Interment Wednesday, January 29, 2020


Mrs Barbara "Barbie" J. Placek

have a memory or condolence to add?

Ryan McKenna

February 9, 2020

The members of Barb's Aqua Fit class at LA,Fitness honored her memory by incorporating her routine including the frog jump and rocking horse with sound effects during the Wednesday and Friday classes the week of Barb's passing. Thank you for keeping her alive in your hearts and lives!

Wally and Lee Huebner

January 29, 2020

Please accept our condolence on your loss.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

Bob & Diane Faford

January 28, 2020

We are so very sorry for the loss of your beloved Barb.
The smiles on your faces always shined with such joy and love.
Ed, our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathy are with you and your family.

Bob & Diane Faford

Janice Hopwood

January 28, 2020

John and I are sorry for the loss of Barbara. We have enjoyed getting to know and be with Barbara and Ed at the Retirees events. We will miss her very much.

Ceil and Jerry Frederick

January 28, 2020

Ceil and I are so sorry for your loss. We remember all the love she showed to you. She will always be by your side. You were so fortunate to have her all of your married life. Take care Eddy, we love you.

Ronald Tucker

January 28, 2020

We were truly saddened to learn of Barb’s passing. We feel privileged to have known her. Our sincere condolences to Ed and family.
Peggy and Ron Tucker


January 27, 2020

First of all, I am shocked and so saddened to receive this news. Barb was a delightful dinner companion at many ExxonMobil events. She was always charming and pleasant, and I was surprised to hear about the manual book she wrote of her experiences helping people in their illnesses. My sister and I enjoyed the New York trip where we got to know Barb & Ed a little better.

My heart goes out to Ed. He has lost a wonderful wife. I know Barb went straight to heaven. She was a lovely lady.

Bob and Susie Eaton

January 27, 2020

Our thought and prayers are with you and your family Ed. Always enjoyed chatting with Barb.

Colleen Panfil

January 25, 2020

Oh, how I loved Barbara...I loved her so much, from the second I met her. I met the Placek family through my job. I loved them all, instantly, because it was obvious how much they all loved one another. Such a beautiful family, such a beautiful woman. And Mrs. Placek was stunning, both inside and out. She was the true epitome of grace; the lovely clothes, the perfect shoes, the skin that glowed like a thousand lights were shining upon her! Oh, and that smile. When she smiled at me, I felt like a million dollars! But the way she smiled at her husband, her kids? I will never forget that look of love. My friend will remain in my heart, forever. I love you, Mrs. Placek, I love you all.