Barbara Mae Grossman (Reisner) died peacefully at Careage of Whidbey in Coupeville, Wash., on the morning of Jan. 1, 2020. She will be missed by many, and specifically by her family, both near and far. She was a life-long student, educator, counselor, care-giver, friend, wife, mother and grandmother.
Barbara was born in Milwaukee, Wisc. on Jan. 17, 1920 to Robert and Louise Reisner.
After graduating from high school, she attended Lawrence University, followed by John Hopkins University, graduating with an RN degree in 1942. She married Philip W. Grossman of Wauwatosa, Wisc., and, on Jan. 4 of 1943 enlisted in the U.S. Army, in which she served as Army Nurse, earning the rank of second lieutenant. She was honorably discharged in 1944.
She and Philip began their family with the birth of Jane Louise. Two other children, Robert Philip and Margaret Ann, followed in the coming years. After Philip received his doctor of divinity degree from Dallas Theological Seminary they began their first ministry at Prairie Creek Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. In 1950, Philip accepted a pastorate in Oklahoma City at the Metropolitan Baptist Church. Some years later, he and Barbara became acquainted with and eventually joined Wycliffe Bible Translators where they served in several administrative capacities.
Eventually, both Barbara and Phil returned to education and both received degrees, certification and licensing in marriage, child and family counseling in California. They traveled extensively to counsel Wycliffe members around the world, until their retirement to Coupeville, Wash., on Whidbey Island, in 1983. Both were active in Trinity United Presbyterian Church of Santa Ana, Calif., and Whidbey Presbyterian Church of Oak Harbor.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Philip, after 58 years of marriage; her brother, Arthur Reisner; and her daughter, Jane Louise Beaver. Survived by her children, Bob and Karen Grossman, and Peg Fitzgerald (Mike); grandchildren, Ben Fitzgerald (Chizuko), Ryan Grossman (Erin), Cairi Braaten(Bleu) and Erin Larson(Sam); and five great grandchildren, Brogan, Grady and Vivian Braaten, Dexter Sapien and Lia Grace Fitzgerald.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to Harbor Tower Village of Oak Harbor for providing such excellent care for Barbara in her last five years, and to Maria Aguilar, her private caregiver for her steadfast compassion. Also to Careage of Whidbey in Coupeville, Wash., and WhidbeyHealth Hospice for making her final days so comfortable.
There will be no formal service. A private graveside ceremony will be held with the family at Sunnyside Cemetery in Coupeville, where Barbara’s ashes will reside with her husband Philip and daughter Jane.