Former Buckley resident publishes 12th book — about her hometown

BUCKLEY — Naperville author Barbara Brabec recently published her 12th book, “Marcella’s Secret Dreams and Stories — A Mother’s Legacy,” which is a memoir and biography that features her parents, grandparents and her hometown of Buckley.

Brabec is the daughter of William J. and Marcella Eliza Schaumburg, who lived in Buckley all of their married lives. They started life together in 1935 on a farm outside of Buckley. In 1946, the family moved into town, where he built a home and garage business named Buckley Motors.

Their three daughters — Barbara, Mary and Mollie — graduated from Buckley-Loda High School between 1955 and 1965. They participated in Buckley’s sesquicentennial celebration in 2006 and continue to cherish their memories of growing up in Buckley.

In Chapter 21 of the 338-page book — entitled “Buckley, IL — A Good Place to Live” — Barbara and her sisters reminisce about what their home, school, church and community life was like during their early years. Their folks worked hard for a living, and the daughters did their part to help, as did all the children of that era.  When Bill’s health forced Marcella to become the family breadwinner, she astonished her family by quitting her factory job and going back to school to start a nursing career at age 55.

In the book, posthumously co-authored by Marcella through recorded conversations and writing done decades ago, Barbara weaves together the memories of two authors to tell the true-life story of three generations of a Midwestern farming family going back to the 1880s. Marcella writes about what life was like before she and her parents and grandparents had electricity, indoor toilets, hot running water, the Internet and cell phones. The authentic dialogue, stories, diary and journal excerpts and unusual collection of family letters offer a mixture of history, humor, drama and pathos.

In completing the story of Marcella’s inspiring life and accomplishments with present-day reflections from her sisters, Barbara illustrates the important of their mother’s legacy to the family and challenges readers to think about the life story only they can tell — one that should be shared with their family and perhaps the world.

“Marcella’s Secret Dreams and Stories — A Mother’s Legacy” is available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and by special order in bookstores.

“Several of Buckley’s businesses and friends of my parents are mentioned in this book, and although many of them are gone now, I believe some of their relatives and many of my and my two sisters’ schoolmates are in (the area still),” Brabec said. “There’s quite a story behind this book, which includes many topics of general interest and  special messages about the benefits of documenting one’s family history, the value of old family letters that contain life perspective and American history that should be preserved, and the importance of the legacy we all will leave behind.”


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