Barbara Strom

Barbara Van Waters Strom

Barbara Van Waters Strom died Oct. 17, 2015, after a full and happy life. She would have been 93 on her birthday, Oct. 27. She was born in 1922.

She attended Shady Hill School, in Framingham, Mass., when she was twelve. It was this experience that undoubtedly sparked her lifelong quest for knowledge through her love of books, and her liberal philosophy. In Seattle, she graduated from Helen Bush School and attended the University of Washington. While there, she met her beloved husband, Arthur A. Strom, who predeceased her Aug. 22, 1977. When her children were grown, she obtained a bachelor of nursing degree with honors, Magna Cum Laude. She was first in her class and was a member of Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Jesuit Society, from Seattle University. She began a nursing career at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in 1975.

Barbara and Art raised five children on their Redmond farm along with cats, dogs, horses, cows and sheep. Baby lambs that needed special care were bottle-fed in the kitchen. Barbara, and her friends in a bible study class, founded St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Redmond (Holy Cross Episcopal Church today). And then, in her current home on Whidbey Island, she became a member of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Freeland. Always generous of spirit, she opened her home and the beautiful gardens she planted and maintained herself, to various charitable organizations. Audubon members, too, were invited for bird watching at the site overlooking Baby Island in Holmes Harbor. Barbara was a member of The Sunset Club, Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and the Whidbey-Camano Island Land Trust, and was a founding member of Save the Sammamish Valley.

Barbara is survived by her children, Barbara Baumueller (Mrs. Eckhard), Arthur Van Waters Strom (Nancy), Suzanne Reed, (Mrs. Duane), Gretchen Pickett, (Barry Butler) and Mary Strom; and her two sisters, Mimi Pierce and Nancy Breithaupt; and many treasured grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Arrangements are with the assistance of Whidbey Memorial in Oak Harbor.

Please join Barbara’s family at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, her 93rd birthday, for a celebration of her life in Oak Harbor. There will be a reception for sharing memories at 12:30 p.m. with a communion service following at 1:15 p.m. Both services will be held at St. Stephens Episcopal Church, 555 SE Regatta Drive, Oak Harbor.

Donations in Barbara’s memory may be made to WAIF (Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation) or to Hospice of the Northwest, Mount Vernon.

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