Barbara Gomer

Alton |

Barbara J. Gomer received eternal rest on April 29, 2024 in her home at The Whitley of Aurora, IL. She was 94 years old. Barb was born on April 22, 1930 to the late Everette S. and Helen (Naylor) McGlasson in Alton, IL where she spent most of her life. In 2014, a year after her husband’s death, Barb left the Alton area to live closer to family. She lived in Montgomery, IL and then moved to Aurora, IL in September of 2023.

As a child, some of Barb’s best memories were spent visiting her grandparents’ small farm near Winchester, IL on the weekends and during the summers where she could play with her cousins and be with her grandparents.

Barb loved working and having a job from an early age. At age 11, she started babysitting in her neighborhood. At age 15, she was hired as an usher by the owner of the Princess and Grand Theaters in Alton. Barb was hired by Illinois Power Co. as a secretary in their construction office, as the company built its Wood River plant. Barb worked for Alton Community School District #11 for over 20 years, first at the Administrative Offices at Haskell House and later at the high school in the attendance office and then the library.

Barb met the love of her life, Sam. Gomer Jr. while working for Illinois Power Co. Barb and Sam married in 1952 and celebrated 60 years of marriage together. Barb and Sam were true nature lovers. They enjoyed birding and feeding backyard birds, foraging for morel mushrooms in the spring, and spending lots of time on the Current River in the Ozarks.

Barb was always very active in various social and service groups, such as the PTA and Mother’s Club at her girls’ elementary school. Barb served on her high school reunion committee for every single reunion the class of ’48 hosted. Barb and a group of friends had a long time bunco club. In later years, Barb would host bunco parties for her great-nieces and nephews. Barb was an active member of College Ave. Presbyterian Church, serving on many committees and as a deacon.

Anyone who knew Barb always looked forward to her many cards and notes. She was gifted at the art of hand-written notes and every card came with lots of stickers on the envelope!

Most important to Barb was her family! She has been the matriarch to so many and has left us with a wonderful legacy.

Barb is survived by two daughters; Deb Runyan (Bob) of Ridge Farm, IL, and Sue Heinkel (Paul) of Aurora, IL, four grandchildren; Pat (Kayla) Runyan of Martinsville, IN, and Greg (Sarah) Runyan of Ridge Farm, IL, Sarah (Peter) Guzauskas of Aurora, IL, and Eric (Meghan) Heinkel of Oswego, IL, eight great-grandchildren; Will and Jeff Runyan and Deven Vice, Audrey and Emma Runyan, Grace and Max Heinkel, and P.J. (Paul Joseph) Guzauskas. She is also survived by her nephew, Dennis (Beth) McGlasson, two nieces, Dyann (Rick) Clark and Dawn (Kurt) Emshousen, and many great-nieces and nephews, all of whom she was very close with.

Barb was preceded in death by her husband, Sam Gomer Jr., her parents; Everette and Helen McGlasson, her brother; Robert (Bob) McGlasson, her sister-in-law and best friend; Shirley McGlasson, and one niece; Denise Strader.

A Life Celebration for Barb will take place on June 1,2024 at 11:00 AM, at Aurora Senior Services, 2111 Plum St. Aurora, IL 60506.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in Barb’s honor to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Arrangements were handled by The Healy Chapel, Aurora, IL.  To sign the online guestbook please visit    630-897-9291.

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