Barbara Rhodes Frederick
OCTOBER 29, 1930 - MAY 6, 2016
Our beloved Mom, aka Nai Nai, Barbara, Aurora, died unexpectedly Friday, May 6, 2016. Gosh, we will miss her, as will so many people whose lives she touched throughout her 85 + years. She cast her net far and wide and lived a life of integrity and grace, filled with love, compassion, wisdom, laughter, and deep friendships. She was so grateful to have had 2 great loves in her life: her late husband of 52 years, Stanton (Tony) Frederick, and more recently, her special friend of 5 years, John (Jay) Gilmour. She was beautiful, beloved and funny.
Survived by children Julie Frederick, Jan Frederick (Warren Gibbs), Jennifer Frederick Shibayama (Gerry) and daughter-in-law Nancy Frederick. Her grandchildren, Skylar & Kasey Shibayama, and Nelle & Mengmeng Gibbs will especially miss her unconditional love and support, hugs, wise counsel, birthday poems, fierce love of games, Baseball to Badminton, Ladderball to Scattergories, and having their biggest sports fan in the stands rain or shine. Her uncanny ability to listen without judgment helped us to navigate our own lives; she was and continues to be a great role model/inspiration beyond the family.
Born in Fresno, CA to Carl and Nelle Rhodes, they moved to Seattle in 1935. She graduated Queen Anne HS and pledged Alpha Phi at the University of Washington. Married in 1950, Tony and Barbara lived briefly in New Jersey, but soon returned to the Northwest. Aside from 5 years in Tucson AZ, Seattle was home. Apple Grove, the family 'cabin' in the Okanogan, was where she loved to reconnect, slow down and recharge. Barbara's home base the last 9 years was Horizon House.
Her many accomplishments included serving on the Board of Head Start in its early beginnings, and Human Relations Trainer for Seattle Public Schools during the height of the civil rights movement in the late 60's & 70's. In 1981, Barbara began 23 years as Exec. Director of Cancer Lifeline, overseeing the expansion of programs offered and realizing her dream: the opening of the Dorothy S. O'Brien Center (1999). In semi-retirement, she organized writing groups, writing and sharing prose and poetry. She was active in "The Gathering of Women", traveled and never, never stopped championing Cancer Lifeline.
Survived also by brother, Reg Rhodes, (Karen) of Atlanta GA, nieces Kimberly Leavitt (John), Melinda Wilker (Jim), nephews Jason (Aesook), Daniel (Hyun Ju), David (Sharon), Brian and a growing number of grand-nieces and nephews. Predeceased by her parents, husband Tony, son Jeff, & brother Richard Rhodes.
Donations to Cancer Lifeline or Mary's Place in lieu of flowers. A celebration of Barbara's life will be held 6:00pm, July 29 at the Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st St, Seattle.
Published in The Seattle Times on May 15, 2016.