Barbara Zuniga Posted: 2022-05-06 15:04:32

Barbara Zuniga


Barbara Zuniga fought a long and difficult battle with a rare type of ovarian cancer and finally succumbed at 10:35 am on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. She was 75 years old at the time.
Barb was born on April 9, 1947 to proud parents Lillian (Ziebka) and Raymond Bartel and had one older sister named Kathy (now Boyce). She was born in Chicago at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. Barb was an aunt and godmother to Kathy’s daughter Judy (now Kawal) and grandaunt and godmother to Judy’s son Christopher.
On March 4, 1967, Barb was married to Tony Zuniga while Tony was on leave from the Marines. In May, 1968 Tony was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps and Barb & Tony set out to establish their family. Their son Mark was born on February 21, 1969 and daughter Debbie was born on May 15, 1970.
Barb was as unselfish a person, as a person could be. She elected to forgo a career for herself until Mark & Debbie started school. She had many interests in life but none greater than her devotion to her grandchildren. Debbie and Joe Gleeson presented Barb with two grandchildren – Joey & Patrick. They are now 25 and 21, respectively. Lisa (Greenberg) and Mark subsequently also presented Barb with two grandchildren – Lindsey & Nathan. They are now 10 and 9, respectively. Barb loved these grandkids of hers, putting the comfort, safety and wellbeing of these children far above any considerations she had for herself. She loved them with a passion when she was alive and she will continue to love and worry about them, from above.
Unfortunately Barb was preceded in death by both of her parents and both her daughter Debbie and her daughter-in-law Lisa. On both sides of her family she was a cousin to many and aunt of many nieces and nephews – far too many to name. On Tony’s side of the family, Barb had 8 sisters-in-law and 6 brothers-in-law, with one of them having preceded Barb, Tom Howard, who was married to Jessica (Zuniga).
Barb considered herself lucky to have married into a family that was started by Virginia (Cerda) and Raul Zuniga back on October 11, 1944. Virginia preceded Barb and Raul is going strong at 101 years of age. Barb was also preceded by Philly Zuniga, son of Carmen and Phil Zuniga.
Barb held a number of jobs during her professional life, most notably with American Hospital Supply, Baxter Healthcare and Hobby Lobby. While she had a passion for her grandchildren, her secondary passion was her flowers and plants. She loved to bake and cook and was a very creative person when it came to crafts.
To know Barb was to have loved her.
Visitation will be on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, from 4 to 7 at DeFiore Funeral Home located at 10763 Dundee Road in Huntley, IL. A Funeral Mass will be held at 10 am on Wednesday, May 11 at St. Mary Catholic Church located at 10307 Dundee, also in Huntley. Burial will be at Maryhill Cemetery in Niles, IL. The family is in the process of trying to schedule a luncheon after the burial.
For further information contact the DeFiore Funeral Home at (847) 515-8772. Online condolences may be offered at

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Patricia Castro 2022-05-06 21:34:55

My beautiful sister-in-law Barbara. We were privileged to have you in our family. We had fun times together as teenagers. Will cherish those times. You have certainly earned your Angel wings & are reunited with many other family members who are our angels also. Tony & Mark & your four grandchildren will miss you terribly. You are gone but never ever forgotten. Love you always. Pat

Carmen Zuniga 2022-05-07 14:47:43

Barbara….how much you have suffered- yet endured!!! Never complaining - just always going forward , doing what needed to be done. The memories I have of you are wonderful- always compassionate, graceful, gentle, thoughtful, loving, full of laughter and the list goes on. My earliest memories go back to you and Tony dancing the Jed Clampett - how much fun we had over the years!! You have left beautiful memories for all of us who will mourn for you….we love you, we will miss you, we will never forget you. It is an honor to have been your sister in law.

Deanna Zambrano 2022-05-08 07:09:20

This memorial was wonderfully written. “To know Barb was to have loved her.” You are missed my friend.

Sony Powell 2022-05-09 10:39:18

I am saddened by this news. I have often thought of you both, Barb and Tony. I have several holiday items I still use to this day that Barb has made and each year when I pull them out I wonder what she is up to. I will continue to cherish these items each and every year.

Pat Frede 2022-05-09 11:27:11

Dear Tony and family, I was truly saddened to hear the news about Barb. She was one of the loveliest people I have had the honor of knowing. It was such a pleasure working with the two of you and to this day I still bring out some of the Christmas crafts made with love by Barb. She will be missed by all and I hope your memories will see you through this most difficult time. My Deepest Sympathies Pat

Bridget Favero 2022-05-11 10:32:56

I was shocked and SO sad to hear of Barbs passing. We met in the hallways at our grand children's school, You could see the love she had for her Family , they filled her heart. I will never forget you and the summer party you and Tony had. Gino and Giuliana will always be friends with Nathan and Linsey , I just know it. Barb, I am so happy you touched my life, I will strive to follow in your footstep by being the best just like you . You will be dearly missed by me. My Heartfelt Sympathies to Tony and the entire Family . Grandma Bridget