Barbara Lee Vitek, 79


Barbara Lee Vitek, age 79, of Wilton, Iowa, passed away on May 21, 2024, six years to the day after her husband, Warren. She spent four months trying to overcome complications from a fall and broken hip in January that exacerbated her many other health issues.

There will be a Celebration of Life beginning at 4 p.m., Saturday, June 29, 2024, at Wahkonsa Country Club, with plenty of food, drink and laughter provided. She is now sailing on a journey to shores that we cannot see and is free from pain, floating peacefully towards the mountains and the ocean. Memorials may be directed to Wilton First Responders. Online condolences may be left at

Barb was born in Chicago, Illinois on May 17, 1945, to Monroe and Edith (Lemonds) Craven. Barb was a true city gal, who almost divorced her husband when he wanted to move to Iowa in 1974. Barb and Warren raised their 4 “Court Street kids” in Wilton, where Warren’s mother grew up and where the family still calls “home.”

Short and sassy Barb was certainly one of a kind, never afraid to speak her mind. A true Taurus, she was strong and stubborn “like Bull” (her many nurses can attest to this) and had a fun-loving sense of humor. Barb was a member of Wahkonsa Country Club, where she liked to socialize, watch her friends and family golf and was a great putter. Babs also enjoyed reading, watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune with Coach, Cheryl and crew, any TV show based in Chicago and the Illini. Once an avid “card player”, she was glad to reconnect with her card club gals later in life but was sad she did not reach out to a dear friend, with whom she shared many adventures. Before her health took a turn, Barb liked to travel west, loving the mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Most of all Barb loved spending time with her family, especially her youngest great grandson, “Arty".

Barb worked at Eastern Iowa Light & Power for over 35 years, retiring in 2014. When asked what she missed most about her years at REC, she named her great co-workers and many fun outings, especially the summer canoe trips. Cut off day was also a particular favorite.

Barb’s family would like to thank all of her health care providers, especially the often-overlooked CNA’s and first responders. The last months of her life were spent in and out of UnityPoint Rock Island and Muscatine, Select Specialty, along with Leland Smith in Wilton. The dedicated staff at all of these facilities were amazing, showing great kindness and compassion. Only one night was spent in hospice care, but we thank them deeply for helping ease her pain.

Barb will be greatly missed and lovingly remembered by her favorite son, Jeff (Jamie) Vitek; daughters, Dawn Caes, Michelle (Kirk) Trede and Jennifer (Ryan) Streck; 6 grandchildren, Amanda (Shaun) Dunston, Ashley Caes, Alex (Chili) Alimoski, Jake Lenker, Trey Lenker and Karson Trede; 4 great grandchildren, Aiden, Hailey, Steven and Arton; many nieces and nephews; her sister, Peggy (Bill) Smith of Mount Hope, VA; her sister-in-law and dearest friend, Charlene (Rick) Lorton of Huntley, IL , sister-in-law, Marilyn Stevens of Chicago; and brother-in-law, John Freeland of Mt. Pleasant, IA. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Warren; her brother-in-law, Elmer and his wife Mary Kay Vitek; brother-in-law, Mickey Stevens; sister-in-law, Mary Ann Freeland; and her former sons-in-law, Ben Caes and Todd Lenker.