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Barbara Anne Van Fleet


1947 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Barbara Anne Van Fleet Obituary
Van Fleet, Barbara Anne
Barbara Anne Van Fleet (nee Walling) died in Portland, Ore., on Sept. 26, 2016, after a long illness. She was born 1947 in Johnstown, Pa., the oldest of four children of Sal and Jennie Anne Walling. The family moved to Arizona in 1962, where Barbara graduated from Scottsdale's Coronado High School. Her first and favorite career was that of a homemaker and mother of three children, who survive her: Suzanne, Christine, and Justin. Two grandchildren, Zoë and Molly Van Fleet, siblings, nieces and nephews, also survive her. She entered college once her youngest child started first grade, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from ASU with a degree in Journalism. She was named to ASU's Walter Cronkite School Hall of Fame in 1989. Her 20-year career in Public Relations included positions at Good Samaritan Medical Center, Honeywell, and GTE (later named AG Communication Systems), from which she retired as Vice President of Corporate Communications in 2002. While working in the business world during the '80s and '90s, she was active in service to both her profession and the community. She served on the national boards of directors of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the PRSA Foundation. She was PRSA Western District chairman and Phoenix chapter president, which honored her with their top honor, the Percy Award. She was named to the Phoenix Women's Commission for two terms, and served the Phoenix community on various boards of directors, including: Florence Crittenton of Arizona, Deer Valley Education Association, Arizona Theatre Co., Planned Parenthood of Arizona and ASU College of Public Programs Alumni Association. After returning to college for post-baccalaureate teaching certification, she fulfilled a long-time ambition to teach middle-school English, for 10 years. After leaving Vista Verde Middle School in Paradise Valley School District in 2013 (when she was named teacher of the year), she retired to Portland, Ore., where her daughters live. In her new home, she was a volunteer at a high school, Portland Art Museum, and the SMART reading program. She requested donations in her memory be sent to Florence Crittenton Services of Arizona, 715 W. Mariposa St., Phoenix, AZ 85013.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Oct. 14, 2016
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