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Barbara J. Spink

January 20, 1960 ~ January 22, 2019 (age 59)

Barbara Jan Spink, 59, of Peoria lost her battle with cancer on January 22, 2019 at Unity Point Health-Proctor 

She was the daughter of James E. and Harriett B. Schildman Spink and the sister of Mark J. Spink, who are all deceased. She is mourned by her nieces Kristin Spink (Erick) Baumgartner of Colorado and Kaitlyn Spink (Sean) Lukassen of Massachusetts, and her sister-in-law Shawn Spink of Colorado, along with beloved cousins and devoted friends around the country. 

She graduated from Richwoods High School and Bradley University, then studied art and graphic design at Illinois Central College. Although she developed her considerable talents working on several magazines—Sew News and Woodworkers Journal, among others—she most loved the challenging work she did as an artist and designer for Crafts Magazine, a subscription-based publication with a circulation of 300,000. Barb had numerous responsibilities at Crafts. She created four-color page layout designs, managed photo shoots in studio and on location, worked with editors for articles and monthly columns, and assigned production of graphs, charts and illustrations to freelance contributors. Barb always felt her work on the magazine was one of her greatest professional achievements. She was also proud of her years of freelance graphic design work. 

Barb didn’t limit her designing to the page. She remodeled two kitchens, tackling much of the work herself— wallpapering, installing backsplash, painting cabinets and putting up shelving—dramatically transforming dreary kitchens into fresh and attractive spaces. The kitchens look like magazine photo shoots, all of the elements coordinated, white hobnail dishes arranged with precision, with visual vignettes combining artfully arranged vintage kitchen ware with foliage and pictures. Simple bedrooms became opportunities for a charming display. 

Barb was kind, generous and loyal to family and friends. She had close friendships that have lasted from her early childhood until now. She had a sweetness and a smile that charmed everyone she met. She never criticized and rarely complained; she didn’t want to distress others. She was also a complex and thoughtful person who could be very firm about what she wanted. Some might even say she was stubborn. She enjoyed visiting with friends, eating out, and going to movies. She liked musicals and was recently thrilled by the music and costumes of The Lion King. She loved her cats—George, even when he was very naughty—and gentle Snow, and her dog Truly. She loved her visits to Lake Waupaca with the Spink clan, recalling peacefully floating in a boat out on the water. She loved horses and during the fall she rode in a wagon pulled by two handsome Belgian draft horses, and was able to spend time grooming and talking to them. She loved her nieces Kris and Kaity and her sister-in law Shawn—and all of her family and friends too numerous to mention.

Cremation Rites have been accorded. A memorial service is scheduled for 11:00am Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at Mt. Hawley Community Church, 6900 N. Mt. Hawley Rd in Peoria. Visitation will be one hour prior to her service also at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorial in her name may be given to TAPS. To share a memory or send a condolence for her family, visit 

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