Barbara Jo (Hemken) Whitworth

barbara (hemken) whitworth

February 10, 1979 ~ September 19, 2023

Born in: Litchfield, Illinois
Resided in: New Douglas, Illinois

Barbara Jo (Hemken) Whitworth, 44, of New Douglas, passed away at 3:50 p.m. on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, at HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield.

Barbara was born February 10, 1979, in Litchfield, the daughter of Paul E. and Mary Jo (Randle) Hemken, Sr.  She graduated from Greenville High School with the Class of 1997.  Barbara married Michael E. Whitworth on September 29, 2012, at the Salem United Church of Christ in Alhambra, and they have enjoyed nearly eleven years of marriage.

Barbara loved the water, camping, and 4-Wheeler riding, but her passion was music.  Barbara especially enjoyed listening to 105.7 “The Point”, where she won several call-in contests.  Family and friends would often hear her call in as “Barb from New Douglas”.  Of all Barbara’s interests, she devoted as much time as possible to her daughters and Michael.  She loved her family deeply, and she was loved by all who knew her.

She was preceded in death by her infant twin brothers, James and Joseph Hemken; maternal grandparents, Kenny and Opal Randle; and paternal grandparents, Leslie and Dorothy Hemken.

Barbara is survived by her husband, Michael E. Whitworth of New Douglas; daughters, Cassandra Knetzer of Livingston, Allison Knetzer of Benld, and Kirielle Kovaly of Livingston; parents, Mary Jo and Paul E. Hemken, Sr. of Sorento; brothers, Eldon (fiancée, Karen) Hemken of Sorento, and Rev. Daniel (wife, Kim) Hemken of Clay Center, KS; mother-in-law, Donna Lockhart of New Douglas; father-in-law, Danny Whitworth of Alhambra; several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins; and many friends.

Visitation: The family will receive guests from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Monday, September 25, 2023, at Perfetti-Assalley Funeral Home, 201 S. Main Street, Sorento, IL 62086.

Funeral Ceremony: 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, at the funeral home with Rev. Daniel Hemken officiating.

Interment will follow the ceremony at Sunnyside Cemetery in Sorento.

Memorial contributions may be made to: Sorento Presbyterian Church, 109 W. Taylor Street, Sorento, IL 62086.

Please visit to share memories of Barbara, or to offer condolences to her family.


Visitation: September 25, 2023 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Perfetti-Assalley Funeral Home of Sorento
201 S. Main St.
Sorento, IL 62086

Funeral Ceremony: September 26, 2023 10:00 am

Perfetti-Assalley Funeral Home of Sorento
201 S. Main St.
Sorento, IL 62086

Interment: September 26, 2023 11:00 am

Sunnyside Cemetery
Cemetery Road
Sorento, IL 62086

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The family greatly appreciates donations made to these charities in Barbara Jo (Hemken) Whitworth 's name.

Sorento Presbyterian Church

109 W. Taylor St.




Memories Timeline


  1. Light a CandleDear God, wrap your arms around this family, help bring them comfort. May they find peace knowing Barbara Jo is with you. Amen. Cherish you memories dear family and friends knowing she is forever in your hearts and lives on in your love for her.

  2. Light a CandleMary Jo and Paul, we were so sad to hear about Barbara Jo when Sandi (Heston) Rinderer contacted us. May you have peace from the Lord and know you are loved . . . as she was and is.

  3. Light a CandleMary Jo and family:
    So sorry for your loss. Prayers for u and your family.

    Mary Green
    (I helped out at the sorento food pantry in 2008 to 2016)

  4. Light a CandleShe gave me the best thing a woman could, she gave me children and I’ll be forever grateful for that. I loved her once as a wife and forever as a mother to our children. May you rest in peace and feel no more pain.

    Love Kenny

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