Barbara Ann Grear, 83, of West Chester, PA, passed away on April 7, 2023.
Barbara was born on June 17, 1939, in Philadelphia, PA. She was the only child of the late Nathan and Edna Mae (nee McElrath) Rophel. Fondly known as “Gram” to many who met her, she was predeceased by her beloved husband of 38 years, Gerald J. Grear, and son, G. Jeffrey Grear. Barbara was the loving mother to surviving sons, Mark A. Grear (Cynthia) and Craig D. Grear (Julie), and adoring grandmother of Andrew, Jacob, Franklin, Benjamin, and Lana.
Barbara grew up in Upper Darby, PA, and graduated from Upper Darby High School. Together with her family, she lived for a number of years in Glenolden, PA before moving to West Chester, PA in 1970. She briefly worked at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. In addition, she worked part-time as a bookkeeper for over 20 years at Simeone Brothers Auto Repair in Upper Darby, PA. Her main career, however, was as a mother to her two sons. In her eyes, they could do no wrong, even when they did. Her sons and late husband often reminded her that they did not have to worry about anything because she did all the worrying for them.
A self-sufficient problem solver, Barbara frequently found ways to use various household items not for their intended purposes, but instead for ingenious repairs. She had a good teacher, her husband Jerry, but Barbara took it to new levels with dental floss, shopping bags, and other odds and ends. Until recent years, she insisted on cutting her own lawn, shoveling her own driveway, and undertaking any number of other tasks, including going to battle with a bat that, to the bat’s misfortune, found its way into her basement. Barbara, Mom, Gram was always reluctant to ask for help and did not want to be a burden on anyone. On the other hand, she was always there for others to lend a hand, babysit, run an errand, wait for a repairperson, give someone a ride, lend a car, lend an ear to listen or shoulder to cry on, get a stain out of anything, fold a fitted bedsheet, lend money, shop for the best deal, plan and stock up on (at least 6 months in advance) everything needed for a week’s vacation at the Jersey Shore, pick up a child from school, and in so many other ways too numerous to mention. In her later years, Barbara loved spending time with her grandchildren. She also enjoyed gardening, reading, word finds, playing solitaire, and watching television, especially The Bachelor.
In addition to her immediate family, Barbara will be missed by numerous former neighbors, friends, and extended family. A memorial service and celebration of Barbara’s life will be scheduled for a later date. In lieu of flowers, her family asks that a donation be made to your favorite charity in her memory or that you perform a kind act with her in mind.