Barbara  Ranes's Memorial

Barbara Ranes
(1936 - 2008)


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General Details

Name: Ms Barbara Ranes
Nick Name: Barbie
Gender: Female
Age: 71 years old
Lived: Wednesday, 24 June 1936 - Wednesday, 4 June 2008

My Story

      by Barb Ranes, 2007
Copyright 2008,  Barbara Ranes

Who is this woman in the mirror?
Is she my mother?
No, not quite.
Maybe if I sneak up on her
when she’s distracted,
my face will fall into place.
But no, I must confront her –
the woman of my bad dreams
who used to vanish with the sun.

For years she’d flicker and then dim.
Now she has assumed possession of the mirror,
sweeping aside the creams and lotions.
She who’ll be my comrade till the end,
      but not my friend.

The children, pushing middle age,
those betrayers! –
whisper behind my back
of hearing aids and eccentricities.
It has brought them closer.
The grandchild traces wrinkles,
looks sad, and then runs off to play.

Young men give up their seats
And call me ma’am.
But mostly I’m invisible.
I could strut naked down the street,
were I to flaunt this body
chipped away – a part of a breast,
      some teeth, much more.

And no man wants me
even if I do not want him.
That’s the hardest thing,
      the very hardest thing.

The poets create their consolations:
…where late the sweet birds sang
and Do I dare to eat a peach?
and I will wear purple….
      Did it work for them?

What do I have?
Some years to go, my health, my senses,
curiosity, not much remorse,
and the warm touch of children.

I’ll find new hobbies, do kind deeds,
keep learning, write that novel,
cherish work and travel, music, art and books,
feign dignity and wisdom.

To make the sun chase me
and rage against the dying of the light,
      it takes a lot of effort.

But off we go, she and I,
the women in the mirror.
Comrades tethered till the end,
      but never friends.

Barbara Jane Ranes was an extraordinary woman who left a hole in many hearts with with her unexpected passing from septic shock due to pneumonia on June 4, 2008.  She was born the eldest of three daughters in Fargo, ND on June 24, 1936 to Bert and Hazel Ranes, and reared in the small farming community of Lisbon, ND.

She began her academic career at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, transferring to the U of Iowa where she joined the Alpha Delta Pi sorority.  In her junior year she married Tom Segnitz and moved to San Francisco in February 1957 where she continued her undergrad work at San Francisco State University.  Son Eric was born the following year.  The family moved back to Iowa City where Barb completed her Masters in English Literature, and where she eventually received her Ph.D.  There the family also added a daughter Amy, born in 1961.

Barb went on to teach at several colleges and universities, including Parsons College,  University of Iowa, University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, Northeastern Illinois University, Loyola of Chicago, and to the present, the Art Institute of Chicago.   She had acquired a second Masters degree in ESL and especially enjoyed teaching the multilingual classes.  She had only recently retired from her twenty-some years at NEIU.

Never idle, Barb was passionately involved in political causes and also had a variety of interests that, during her life, ran from seriously committed (women’s rights, prison reform, and more) to entertaining (dancing, art collection, poker, piano, and much more).  She was a published poet, author and periodical editor - and a world traveler.  Whenever time allowed, she was traveling, often off the beaten path.  Her separate trips included Cuba, Jordan, Honduras, Greece, Puerto Rico, Belize, Russia, France, Italy, England, China, and most of North America.

Barb was very proud of her children’s accomplishments and an enthusiastic supporter of their interests.  She is survived by son Eric Segnitz (Kim Robertson), daughter Amy Aleman and treasured granddaughter Nicki, and sisters Robbie Sullivan and Beth Anderson.  She will also be sadly missed by numerous friends and extended family, all of whom were truly dear to her.

A memorial fund has been established for the education of Barb's granddaughter, Nicki Aleman.  Checks can be sent c/o:
                Amy Aleman
                160-B E. Northwest Highway
                Des Plaines, IL  60016

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Dear new friend, My name is Naomi a good looking girl.I have a special reason of contacting you which i will make...
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From Patty Wege: Hi Barb - Remember when you helped me make a bikine for 8th grade home ec? It was a hit that nobo...
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Our Thoughts and prayers are with you Everyday, Your Mom was one of the most interresting women I have ever come acr...
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Im lighting this candle ,my mom died of septic shock and it was painful to see her that way, I know what your going t...
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From Tea I want you to know that your Mom was an extraordinary woman whom I loved very, very much. She was my suppor...
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From: AmyBeth
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This is from Cousin Nancy Barbara was always such a unique individual who grew into a strong and centered woman, inq...
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Song Name: When You're Gone
Artist: Avril Lavigne
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I miss you.


Fathers Name: Bertram Ranes
Mothers Name: Hazel Wilson
Spouse's Name: Thomas Segnitz
Children's Names: Eric Segnitz, Amy Aleman
Siblings Names: Roberta Sullivan, Beth Anderson
Country of Birth: USA
Country of Residence: USA
City of Residence: Chicago
Occupation: Education & Training
Marital Status: Divorced
Religion: Not Religious


Favourite Sport: Basketball
Favourite Team: Chicago Bulls
Favourite Music Genre: Jazz


Place of Passing: Evanston, Illinois
Date of Passing: 4 June 2008
Cause of Passing: Pneumonia
Type of Funeral: None
Place of Burial: N/A

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