Edgar Van Barriger loved to feed people


Edgar Van Barriger (1933-2023)

Edgar Robert Van Barriger passed away at home in Rockton after a long illness on Friday, February 3, 2023. He was 89 years old.

Edgar was born in Rockford, Illinois, on August 31, 1933. He was the son of Edgar M. Van Barriger and Dorothy (Cholke) Van Barriger. He graduated from Rockford West High School in 1951, where he played football and ran track. He was a gifted athlete and once tied a state sprint record, though a football injury would prevent him from attaining additional honors.

Edgar served in the United States Army from 1953-55, working as radio repairman for the HQ Battery 5th Division Artillery in Germany.

He worked at Woodward Governor Company for over 39 years, with 35 of those years in the Experimental Lab Machine Area. After his retirement, he remained active in the company's retiree community.

Edgar was married to Linnea Johnson on October 7, 1961. They had two children: John Van Barriger and Lori Van Barriger. Janet (Werth) Van Barriger was his daughter-in-law. While Edgar and Linnea never had grandchildren, they had many dogs over the years and even “grand dogs,” as he called them. All of the dogs were spoiled and doted on.

Edgar had two sisters, Mary (married to Raymond Hakala) and Dorothy (married to Dick Nyberg). Together, his sisters had six children.

Born a Catholic, Edgar was a strong believer and did many things for his church community. Through his membership in the St. Vincent de Paul Society, he coordinated the St. Peter Church Food Pantry in South Beloit for 16 years and was awarded/recognized for his work there. He frequently spoke of how much he loved the people there, both his co-volunteers as well as the thousands of community members who made use of the pantry. When reminiscing on this years later, he said it was the activity of which he was most proud in his life.

Edgar also served in various capacities and on numerous committees in the church. He was also a 4th Degree Knights of Columbus member, and he truly loved his Catholic faith and Jesus, his Lord and Savior.

Edgar loved to hunt and fish in Illinois, Wisconsin and Canada. He was a Lifetime Member of the Blackhawk Field Archers Club in Shirland, Illinois. Beginning in 1955, he was very involved until his health deteriorated, but even then he was still in touch with the group and attended events till the end of his life. He loved archery, the hunting that went with it, and the many friends he made through the club.

Edgar volunteered with Meals on Wheels for years and also loved to cook, but most of all he loved people. He was very outgoing and enjoyed meeting new people, soon talking and laughing together. He was a natural born story teller, and the tales of his outdoor adventures with his nearest and dearest friends are legendary. (Some of them are even true!)

He will be missed by his family and many, many friends from work, church, and the hunting and fishing community.

A funeral mass will be held at St. Peter Church in South Beloit, Illinois, at 11 a.m. on February 18, 2023.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry at St. Peter's Church in South Beloit, Illinois, or to the Northern Illinois Hospice.

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