Former Arizona Resident Barbara A. Holder, 85, died Nov. 17, 2012 at the La Posada Community in Green Valley, Ariz., with her closest friend, Corinne, by her side.

She was born on May 14, 1928 in Pittsburgh, Pa., to Overton and Bertha Holder.

Barbara graduated from the University of Indiana, where she was an Alpha Chi Omega, and went on to be one of the first flight attendants with American Airlines. She always liked to joke that she "flew with the Wright Brothers." While only flying with American for short time, she remained actively involved in their alumni program, the "Kiwis," for the remainder of her life.

Never a fit for the corporate life, Barbara started and ran several small businesses during her life, and was the owner of successful used book stores in Spokane and then Green Valley. Extremely organized, for many years there was a sign hanging in her house above the door stating "Let's get organized." Ironically, she also had a sign in the kitchen that said "A good housekeeper is a dull person."

She had a savvy business mind, was a keen bridge player, and was always the first (and last) to tell a joke. She loved to dance, and could often be found at the local Elks Club on the dance floor. Cruising was a passion and Barbara got to see many ports of call around the world, always accompanied by her closest friends and colleagues.

With "champagne tastes on a beer budget," she was so well known at the local White Elephant thrift store that one of her friends thought she might have someone working secretly for her on the inside.

Barbara is survived by her son, Thomas Gruver, and grandson, Samuel Gruver, as well as countless friends, old and new, from all around the world. She was preceded in death by her son, William Weigle.

Rest in peace Barbara, we all hope you finally see the "blue brick!"

A memorial service will be held in mid-January.

Published in Green Valley News & Sun on Dec. 9, 2012