Olson Burke/Sullivan Funeral & Cremation Center

Olson Burke Sullivan OBITUARIES

Return to Listing Page Click to send condolence Click to order flower
Barbara Merrell Pfaff , Age: 92
December 18, 1929 -- March 13, 2022

Barbara M. Pfaff, 92, of Park Ridge, Illinois, passed away peacefully on March 13, 2022.

Barbara was born on December 18, 1929 at Lakeview Hospital in Chicago, Illinois to parents, Russell and Opal ”Dena” (Grey) Peters.  She grew up in Des Plaines, Illinois where she graduated from Maine Township High School in 1947.  Barbara attended DePauw University from 1947 to 1950.  She transferred to Northwestern University in 1950 after marrying Heber ”Bill” D. Merrell in September of 1950.  She graduated from Northwestern University in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science degree as an art major.  After graduation, Barbara worked as a chart maker for U. S. Gypsum Company.

Barbara and Bill Merrell moved from Chicago to St. Charles, Illinois in 1954 where they kept horses that they both enjoyed riding.  Their daughter, Constance Eileen, was born on January 9, 1955 and their son, Bruce Logan, was born on June 16, 1956. After a divorce, Barbara and children moved back to Des Plaines where they lived with her parents while the St. Charles home was remodeled.  In 1959, Barbara, children, and parents moved back to St. Charles where Barbara taught first grade for the St. Charles School District.  During that time, she also obtained a Master of Science degree in Education from Northern Illinois University. Barbara married William ”Bill” C. Pfaff in 1969 and moved with her children to Park Ridge, Illinois.

Barbara was an active member of the Park Ridge Community Church for over 50 years.  Barbara and Bill led the Christian Outreach Committee for several years and they also taught Sunday School.  Barbara sang in the choir and took care of the church garden for many years. She was also active in the Women’s Circle, serving as President for two years.  She served as a trustee and a deaconess and was honored with the Second Mile Award in 2004.  In addition to her Community Church activities, Barbara was a long-time member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), where she was active in providing college scholarships for young women and leading a music study group.  Barbara served as President for AAUW, FISH (Friends Indeed Serve & Help) of Park Ridge, and the Park Ridge Panhellenic Club, where she also fund-raised for women’s scholarships.  Lastly, Barbara and Bill helped with the resettlement of Vietnamese families during the late 1970s and early 1980s.  She and Bill ultimately became lifelong friends with these families.

Barbara valued physical fitness and enjoyed many activities including horseback riding, ice skating, tennis, swimming, scuba diving, bike riding, cross-country skiing, and gardening.  She also enjoyed playing the piano, painting, and playing bridge with her friends and neighbors. Barbara and Bill also enjoyed experiencing varying cultures and sites through their many trips to Europe, Asia, and Caribbean islands.

Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and her sister, Charlotte Kunkle.

She is survived by her daughter, Constance (Charles) Merrell-McDonald; her son, Bruce (Barbara) Merrell; five grandchildren, Jeffery (Kim) Kusiciel, Thomas Kusiciel, Robyn (Andy) Blomberg, Ann (Scott) Merrell, and Emily Merrell; six great grandchildren, Lauren, Carter and Danielle Kusiciel, Garrett and Paige Blomberg, and Logan Turransky; and two sisters, Shirley Peters and Andrea Mann.

Memorial Services will be held at the Park Ridge Community Church, 100 Courtland Ave, Park Ridge, IL, on Saturday, April 23, 2022 at 1:00 pm, with a reception to follow.  In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to:

Park Ridge Panhellenic Club Scholarship Program

C/O Sandra Bowen

Park Ridge Community Church

100 Courtland Ave, Park Ridge, IL 60068


UCCA - Ukrainian Congress Committee of America

#SupportUkraine Humanitarian Effort


Views: 7


Olson Burke-Sullivan
Funeral & Cremation Center
6467 N Northwest Hwy
Chicago, IL 60631