Marion-Lori Rachael (Barwick) Zukas, 33, went to be with our Creator on Monday, October 26, 2015, in Glendale, Arizona after nearly two years of courageously battling cancer. Several members of her family were present, including her husband, father, and mother.
Lori was born on July 15, 1982 to Randy and Jan Barwick. The oldest of seven children, Lori’s independent personality and confident demeanor positioned her well into a role of responsibility and respect among her siblings. With the arrival of four sisters and two brothers, Lori transitioned from only child to playmate, to babysitter, to protector, and eventually settled into the steadfast role of friend. She was naturally beautiful, highly intelligent, and had a kind and generous heart.
Lori married her best friend, Brandon, on September 11, 2008. Their relationship knew no standard, but excelled in every respect. Lori supported him, respected him, and loved him endlessly. Their first son, Zach, arrived in 2009, with his sister, McKenna, following him shortly after in 2010. Four years later, Ellison Annlee was born. Lori rose to the role of mother very naturally. She chose homemaking as her career, and fulfilled household duties, family responsibilities, and mothering with a devotion that goes unmatched. Lori poured herself into the things she loved with a beautiful fierceness.
Lori loved her country. She made sure that her home proudly displayed the American flag, and she respected and appreciated the Armed Forces. She faithfully attended the annual Veteran’s Day parades, being the first to stand and clap for our nation’s veterans. She also followed politics very closely, and unashamedly voiced her support for the unborn and the second amendment. Lori loved to be outdoors. She loved gardening, taking walks, swimming, hiking, camping, reading, rummage saling and listening to music. She dreaded winter, but always warmed up her home with beautiful Christmas decorations, scented candles, and occasional coffee dates with her mother and sisters. Each spring, Lori gladly anticipated the wild weather of southern Illinois. She loved thunderstorms and grew excited for the dark clouds that would roll in with lightning and sheets of rain. Lori had a beautiful spirit that loved adventure, justice, and radiated loyalty to those she loved.
Most importantly, Lori knew Jesus Christ. Her friends and family can testify to her unwavering faith, and her deep rooted devotion to her Heavenly Father. Her prayers conveyed her trust in Jesus to bring healing to her body, and that trust was not misplaced. For so it says in 1 Peter 5:10, “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
We all loved Lori so very much. Our memories with her will remain in our hearts until we meet her again.
Lori is survived by her husband, Brandon, and their children, Zach, McKenna, and Ellison; parents, Randy and Janet Barwick; sister, Lindsey (John) Simmons; sister, Libby (Luke) Pritchard; sister, Leah (Shannon) O’Hara; sister, Leslie (Dustin) Overturf; brother, Luke Barwick; brother, Will Barwick; nephews, Coltan and Nathan Simmons, Asa Pritchard, and Jude O’Hara; nieces, Jaylin and Adalynn Simmons, Alyvia O’Hara, and Iris Pritchard; paternal grandparents, Andrew and Mildred Barwick; maternal grandparents, June Kersten and Sharon Kersten; along with aunts, uncles, and cousins. Lori was preceded in death by her maternal grandfather, Mel Kersten.
Visitation will be held at the Vine Church in Carbondale, IL on Tuesday, November 3rd from 10am to 1pm, with the funeral following. Burial will be at Rose Hill Cemetery in Marion, IL. Blue Funeral Home in Marion is assisting the family with arrangements.
In place of flowers, memorials may be made to Wounded Warrior Project and will be accepted at the Vine Church and at Blue Funeral Home. For more information or to sign the memorial guest register, please visit bluefuneralhome.com