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Barbara Sisson

1922 — April 25, 2024

Barbara Jane Baughman Sisson entered the presence of the Lord when she passed away at her home in Wadsworth, Illinois, on Thursday, April 25, 2024, at the age of 102. She was born to Lester and Cleota (Carmer) Baughman on March 14, 1922, in Zion, Illinois. She loved Zion and lived there most of her life.

Barbara attended Zion Parochial Schools through her junior year in high school. Her senior year, in band, she met the trombone player Grant Sisson, not suspecting that he would become her husband! When Barbara graduated in 1940, she was part of the very first graduating class at Zion-Benton Township High School.

Since Barbara was determined to attend college, she worked four years at the Zion State Bank and took art classes in Chicago. She attended Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin, for one year, until Grant wooed her away to become his wife on November 24, 1944.  They were happily married for seventy-two years until Grant passed away in 2017.

After their marriage, Barbara returned to the Zion State Bank where she worked as a bank teller and eventually served as secretary to the bank president.

Barbara and Grant began their family after WWII. She was a wonderful mother to her four children, daughters Kay and Karilyn and sons Ken and Karl.

Barbara was known for serving God in a multitude of ways, never needing recognition for her service.  Barbara showed the love of Jesus to many people by opening her home and heart to people who had various needs.

She was a life-long member of Christ Community Church (formerly Christian Catholic Church) where she was a deaconess. She served at Camp Zion in Door County, Wisconsin, as chaplain for several sessions, including Jr. Girls and High School Camp. She participated in the Zion Passion Play for seventy years performing multiple roles including Mother Mary.  She taught many summers in Vacation Bible School and served from her teens well into her eighties as a Sunday School teacher. In 1991, at age sixty-nine, she was named the church’s Woman of the Year for “her unceasing dedication to the cause of Christ.”

Barbara served Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) for over twenty years, on the board as secretary and in the community as a teacher in Good News Bible Clubs.  She introduced many students to Jesus; some attribute their first step in the Christian life to the teaching and love of Barbara Sisson.

She also served God by giving her time and talents to the Mahon Mission (now ZEMA) which teaches the AmaZioni people in South Africa about Jesus. She served as a board member and took multiple trips to South Africa to support the Mission there.

Barbara was a loyal friend.  She was part of the “Dizzy Dozen”—twelve friends who met regularly throughout their lives.  She had known some of these special ladies since kindergarten.  Barbara was the last surviving of these twelve women.

Although Barbara loved Zion, she and Grant enjoyed the opportunity to travel the world, including all fifty states, most of the Canadian provinces, and all six inhabited continents. In their later years, they traveled with extended family or missionaries in adventures across the country seeing National Parks and visiting friends and relatives.

Barbara will be missed by her family and they thank God for her life. She was a “good and faithful servant,” living out the love, acceptance and grace of God to others. She was generous with her time and her resources. She loved and served God, her family and many others. To God be the glory!

Barbara is survived by her younger brother, Douglas Baughman, her beloved children Kathryn Sisson, Karilyn (Tom) Jones, Ken Sisson and Karl (Kathy) Sisson.

Barbara was the greatest cheerleader of her grandchildren—Andrew (Phiona) Sisson, Becca Jones, Gretchen (Kyle) Phillips, Elli Jones, Nate (Megan) Sisson, Tim (Clarissa) Jones, Haley (Tim) Bryson, Matthew (Hannah) Sisson, Grant A. (Megan) Sisson, Kelly (Ryan) Sisson-Smith, Jack Sisson, David Sisson—and her great-grandchildren—Alaina, Stephen, James, Kaitrin, Seth, and Hanneli Phillips, Joshua and Luke Sisson, Declan Sisson, Evangeline Jones, and Noah Bryson.

In addition, Barbara is survived by two foster sons, John (Nancy) Huber and Glen (Annette) Crozier; her foster grandchildren, Stacie Crozier and Ashley Kanode; and her foster great-grandchildren, Ishvara Brewington, and Ryan and Maci Kanode.

Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, Lester and Cleota Baughman, her beloved husband, Grant; her sister, Patricia Baughman Capp; her daughter-in-law, Jeri Sisson; her foster grandson, Michael Brewington; and her great-grandson, Asher Phillips.

There was a small graveside service with her family on May 4 at Mt. Olivet Memorial Park in Zion. A memorial service honoring Barbara’s life will be held at Christ Community Church, 2500 Memorial Drive, Zion, Illinois, on Sunday, July 21, at 3:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Christ Community Church (

), Camp Zion, (

), CEF Illinois (

) or Zion Evangelical Ministries of Africa (

To send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Sisson, please visit our flower store.


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