Barbara Jean Hollingsworth

SIGOURNEY- Barbara Jean Hollingsworth went home to be with the Lord, May 2, 2024. She was born in Port Clinton, OH, November 3, 1941 to Dr. Friend L. (Doc) and Stella Julia (Betty) Kilburn.  She and her mother spent happy early childhood years in Medina, OH, with a favorite aunt and uncle while her dad fought in WWII, and moved to Sigourney, IA after the war where her dad established a veterinary practice.

She attended Sigourney High School and following graduation in 1959, married her high school sweetheart, Joe (Larry Dean) Hollingsworth and moved to California with all their worldly possessions in a 1957 Ford retractable convertible. In 1964, they returned to Sigourney to raise their family and in 1967, after her children were born, she went to work for her dad in the vet clinic and later at Baumert & Gerard Law Offices.

She was a member of the Sigourney United Methodist Church where she served on committees and circles, and especially loved giving the children’s sermon. She was a creative and designed alumni homecoming floats, painted, crocheted, made hand-drawn Christmas cards, crafted Christmas ornaments, was a one-woman booster club and equipment manager for football, band, choir, theater, wrestling, and swim team, and unfailingly celebrated every family special occasion.

In 1982, Barb enrolled in the Indian Hills Community College nursing program and in 1984 she went to work at the University of Iowa Hospital where she served for 24-years as an ob-gyn oncology nurse.  During her time at the UI, she was one of four nurses who began the Iowa Cancer Pain Relief Initiative with the goal of teaching and advising health professionals and families about adequate pain control for cancer patients, and those practices were adopted by the American Cancer Society (ACS). In 1991, she received the Lane W. Adams Award from the ACS, given to registered nurses for outstanding care of cancer patients. She was the first Iowan to receive this honor. 

In 2008, she retired from nursing and opened Suitcases – Sigourney Antiques with daughter Missy - an endeavor she thoroughly enjoyed thanks to her lifelong love of going to auctions and collecting antiques.  Her favorite calling in life was being grandmother to Emily, Abbey, and Ricky. She taught them to love reading, gardening, crafting, writing, cooking, parades, music, spending time together around a campfire, to love unconditionally, and to put faith and family first.

Barb is survived by daughters Melissa (Dave) Ingle and Beth (Rick) Danowsky, son Joel (Kristi) Hollingsworth, grandchildren Emily, Abbey, and Ricky Danowsky of Littleton, CO, sister Patricia (Kilburn) Schroeder of Earlham, IA, and other cherished family and friends.  She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, brothers Dr. Richard F. Kilburn and Tim Kilburn, and niece and goddaughter Erin Kilburn Biegel.

A Celebration of Life service will be 10:30 am, Monday, May 13, at the Sigourney United Methodist Church. Visitation will be 3-6 pm, Sunday, May 12, at the Sigourney United Methodist Church. Messages and tributes may be left at



The News-Review

120 East Washington
Sigourney, Iowa 52591
Phone: 641-622-3110

601 G. Avenue/PO Box 245
Grundy Center, IA 50638
Telephone: 1-319-824-6958
Fax: 1-319-824-6288

Mid-America Publishing

This newspaper is part of the Mid-America Publishing Family. Please visit for more information.