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Barbara Sigfusson

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Barbara Sigfusson Obituary
Barbara McNeily Sellstrom Sigfusson

Barbara McNeily Sellstrom Sigfusson, was born in Washburn, Wisconsin and raised in Rogers Park, Illinois. At age 20 she left the University of Illinois to marry and subsequently raise a family of four children with her husband Robert McNeily, founder of Railhead Corporation. Barbara and Bob first moved to Indian Head Park and later to Western Springs.

Both Barbara and Bob were actively involved in the community; Barbara as co-founder of the Western Springs Historical Society, President of the Western Springs School Board and quite active in the Village during Bob's term as President of Western Springs.

After the death of her first husband, Barbara married Roger Sellstrom and moved to Inverness, Illinois. Following Roger's death after a prolonged illness, Barbara took over for Roger as Chairman and CEO of Sellstrom Manufacturing Company. During the next 10 years she oversaw the significant growth and expansion of the business. As the company set new sales and profit records, Barbara's reputation spread. She was asked to give a series of speeches at the National Welding Supply Association's annual and regional zone conferences explaining what it's like being a female business owner in a male-dominated industry. Barbara emerged as a business mentor and role model for many.

By age 62, she had been named to the Board of Cole Taylor Bank. During that period, Barbara also chaired the Welding Equipment Manufacturers Association, the Private Industry Council of Northern Cook County, the Safety Industry Exhibitors Council of the National Safety Committee, Career Women Inc., the Illinois Prairie State Girl Scouts Council, the American Scandinavian Council, the Meadow Club, and presided over the Palatine Chamber of Commerce. Barbara was also a member of the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce, and held Board seats on the National Association to Prevent Blindness and Lutheran Social Services of Illinois. She sat on the Budget Advisory Panel for the State of Illinois and the Career-Cooperative of Illinois.

In 1985, Barbara married for the third time to Benedict Sigfusson, an architect and business owner. When Barbara retired in 1992, she and Ben spent the subsequent years together traveling and enjoying their extended families. Ben died in 2013.

Barbara is survived by her children, Karen McNeily; Bob McNeily (Kathy); Liz Asperger (Jonathan); and Kevin McNeily (Mary Jo); her brother, Jim Mitchell (Bobbie); 6 step-children; and 22 grandchildren.

A memorial service will be conducted at 3:00 p.m. on June 3, 2017 at Plymouth Place, 315 N. LaGrange Road, La Grange Park, Illinois.

In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to make donations to the Community Nurse Health Center of La Grange, Illinois or the .
Published in Suburban Life Publications on May 10, 2017
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