In Memory

Barbara Kawka (Ziolkowski) - Class Of 1970 VIEW PROFILE

Barbara Kawka (Ziolkowski)

Barbara Jean Ziolkowski, 67, passed peacefully away Monday morning, October 12, 2020 in her home.

Barb is survived by the love of her life for 42 years, Dennis G. Ziolkowski, along with their children, Bryan J. (Kristina) Ziolkowski of Greenwood, IN, Craig A. (Kimberly) Ziolkowski of Savannah, GA, and Keith M. (Brittany) Ziolkowski of Indianapolis, IN; grandchildren, Nora Ray Ziolkowski, Oliver T. Ziolkowski, Hunter M. Ziolkowski, and Harper Jo Ziolkowski; sisters, Kathy (Marty) Albright and Luci (Jim) Jordan; and brother, Timothy (Cindi) Kawka as well as many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.
Barbara was born December 26, 1952 to the late Ted & Helen (Lisek) Kawka. She is also preceded in death by her in-laws, Henry J. & Genevieve B. Ziolkowski. She attended St. John the Baptist Catholic Grade School and graduated from South Bend LaSalle High School, Class of 1970. On September 16, 1978 she married her soulmate, Dennis G. Ziolkowski at St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Catholic Church in South Bend, Indiana.

Barb had a number of professional roles over her lifetime including Events Coordinator at the Center for Continuing Education at University of Notre Dame, teacher at Lydick Pre-School, Accounts Payable Clerk at Hill Truck Sales, Inc., and an administrative assistant at 1st Source Bank Wealth Advisory Services, from which she retired after 12 years of devoted and dedicated service on May 31, 2019.

Her #1 career was being a mom. Barb stayed home raising her three sons until the youngest was in elementary school. Barb and Denny were very active at all their sons' activities. Those activities included band, orchestra, tennis, and swimming. In the 10 years the sons were at Washington High School, she and Denny were active music parents, swim parents, and helped with several stage productions. She was commonly known as ""Mrs. Z"" or ""Momma Z"" to many of her sons' friends. As her sons continued into college at Ball State & Purdue, she was there for their recitals, band and orchestra performances, and architectural jury presentations.

She is survived by her cherished grandchildren, Hunter, Oliver, Nora, and Harper who called her ""Busia"" from the time that they could. Her face and eyes would light up every time she saw, held, rocked, read, or Facetimed them. They were her pride and joy. She also is survived by granddogs, Murphy, Gadget, and Birdie. Barb made intricate toys and games and would always come bearing treats for the pups.
Barb was the creative soul of the family. She was crafty, had an eye for color, loved doing sewing projects, putting those Pinterest ideas into motion, and above all loved sitting at the kitchen table doing crafts, painting, coloring, or any project with the grandkids.

Since all three sons loved watching trains, Barb would load the sons in her green van and chase trains. The boys along with Denny were avid train followers and enjoyed the hobby over the years. It seemed that family vacations were always centered around visiting a train museum, riding a vintage train, staying in a remodeled old caboose hotel, and going to a model train swap meet. She put up with it all.

After Barb retired in 2019, Barb and Denny had grand plans to do a lot of traveling in their retirement years, but COVID-19 and her untimely death ended those dreams.

Her death came without warning. This has been a terrible shock to the immediate family, extended family, dear friends, former clients, and acquaintances. She will be terribly missed by all.

Visitation for Barbara is TODAY, Thursday, October 15 from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm in ST. JOSEPH FUNERAL HOME, 824 S. Mayflower Rd. with a Rosary to be prayed at 4:00 pm. (The South Bend Tribune apologizes that Barbara's obituary was not in today's paper, due to no fault of the family or funeral home.) A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 am, Friday, October 16, 2020 in Holy Family Catholic Church with a one-hour visitation prior to the Mass in the Msgr. Galic Room. Burial will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Holy Family Catholic Church or Ronald McDonald House Michiana.
Condolences for the family may be made at

10/15/2020 JFC

Click here to see Barbara's last Profile entry.