Barbara J. Dalton

MENDOTA - Barbara J. Dalton, 75, of Mendota passed away Jan. 5, 2021 at Ottawa Pavilion Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing, Ottawa.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 9 at the Merritt Funeral Home, Mendota with Rev. Ken Gibson officiating. Burial will be at Restland Cemetery, Mendota. Visitation will be one hour prior to services. Mask wearing is required and appreciated.

Barbara was born Nov. 18, 1945 in Mendota to Alfred and Mary Helen (Wittgan) Zimmerlein.

Survivors include her children, Christopher (Martha) Dalton of Stuart, Fla. and Jennifer (Russell) Stachlewitz of Mendota; one sister, Sarah (Al) Echelbarger of Las Vegas, Nev.; one granddaughter, Perris Stachlewitz of Mendota; her long-time partner, Anthony Martinez of Mendota; her beloved Shih Poo, Fred; and several nieces and nephews including those with whom she had a very special bond, Amanda (Robert) Stachlewitz and Joshua (Kristin) Echelbarger.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Barb was a 1963 graduate of Mendota High School and attended the University of Illinois, Champaign. Much of her life was spent working in the Mendota grade schools and at the Secretary of State Driver Services Facility in Mendota. While working at both locations, she befriended many co-workers, all of whom she loved dearly and considered family. She could find humor and fun in almost any situation. While she was both an avid reader and writer, she always preferred to be in the company of others. She enjoyed spending time cooking, baking and simply chatting and joking around with her family and friends. Everyone who entered her home was treated like family and never left hungry or without a good laugh. In her later years, she absolutely loved seeing new places while traveling with her long-time partner and their dog.

Memorials may be directed to Alzheimer’s Association or Illinois Valley Animal Rescue. Online condolences may be left at


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