Barbara Ann Gregory
August 19, 1933 - December 21, 2016
In Loving Memory
Barbara passed away peacefully on December 21, 2016, at the age of 83. She was one of five children born to Egwin and Josephine Straub in Toledo, Ohio on August 19, 1933. Barbara was raised in Toledo and graduated from Central Catholic High School. She attended community college for almost 2 years before she was married in 1953 to David Gregory of Clarklake, Michigan.
When Barbara’s husband started working at Boeing in 1962, she moved with her children from Toledo to join him. It was also the same year as the Seattle World’s Expo and the Columbus Day windstorm. A few years later Barbara divorced and forged out as a single mother of four children. Despite her obstacles her major accomplishment was to earn a college degree at Seattle Central College in printing (classic printing press with manual type). With this new skill she was hired by the accounting firm Price Waterhouse where she worked in downtown Seattle until her retirement in 1998.
Barbara was a doting mother and grandmother-she was fervently loyal to those family members and friends who were close to her. Despite many daunting challenges in her life, Barbara pressed on with a rare courage and tenacity, yet never lost her compassion or capacity for humor. Barbara was a generous giver-especially to those she knew who were struggling.
Barbara loved music and was a talented, self-taught musician. She loved dancing and had a good sense of rhythm. Her piano playing was very impressive and she composed some of her own music. In fashion she had a good sense of style and color, and had an artistic flair. She was a very good cook and prepared lots of wonderful meals on any budget-she could turn spaghetti into a culinary delight in a cast-iron skillet, or bake chocolate eclairs in a snap.
Barbara was also very interested in health and nutrition. She had a regular vitamin regimen and exercise routine (The Fountain of Youth) that worked for her. Even in her last days she had a youthful complexion. Barbara loved reading-usually non-fiction: biographies, humor, history, or politics. She loved perusing libraries and bookstores. For fun she loved to ‘window-shop’ downtown Seattle or frequent antique stores to find ‘something different’ for her home. She enjoyed going out to the cinema and loved movies with ‘happy endings’. She lived many years in West Seattle and enjoyed exploring ‘the Junction’.
The last seven years were very challenging for Barbara as she struggled with Lewy Body disease. She lost many of her freedoms including her mobility and ability to live independently. In her last month she commented on how family was so important to her.
Barbara was preceded in death by her eldest son David, and sisters Frances Sears, Suzanne Saal, and Julie Donahue. She is survived by her brother Dr. Thomas Straub (Betty) of Holland, Ohio, her children Zapote Gregory, Mark Gregory, and Gerald Gregory, her grandchildren Elizabeth Song (William), Victoria Gregory, Zola Gregory and Delilah Gregory, two great-grandsons Elijah and Matthias Song, and many nephews and nieces.
She will be buried at Sunnyside Cemetery in Coupeville, WA, on Whidbey Island. Services and memorial are pending. The family would like to especially thank her caregivers, Mike and Rachael Gillen of Birch Manor in Lynnwood, WA for their dedicated and loving care since September 2014.
Also, the family is very grateful to Evergreen Hospice, which gave Barbara quality ‘end of life’ support, and to Dr. Joe Huang of Harborview’s Senior Care Clinic in Seattle. Sue Hooper was a special spiritual friend in her last year of life.
You can honor Barbara's memory by thinking of her when you place yellow roses on your table or plant a primrose or pansy for your garden. Any children's organization or memory support research group would be other ways to make a remembrance.
She is Gone
You can shed tears that she is gone
or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she'll come back
or you can open your eyes and see all she's left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see her
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her and only that she's gone
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
or you can do what she'd want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
Love Lives On
Those we love remain with us,
for Love itself lives on.
Cherished memories never fade;
because one loved is gone.
Those we love can never be
more than a thought apart,
for as long as there's a memory
they live on in our heart.
Think of her as living
in the hearts of those she touched,
for nothing loved is ever lost,
and she was loved so much.