August 27, 1931 to February 1, 2023 - Our mother, Barbara Close, lived a life filled with joy, laughter, friendship, and unconditional love.
A lifelong Oregonian, Barbara was born at Emanuel Hospital to Gid and Nellie Morse. She and her older brother, Bill, were raised on Buffalo Street in Portland.
Friends formed the core of Barbara’s life from a very early age. She cherished friends from Buffalo Street, Ockley Green, Jefferson High, Oregon State, and Gresham throughout her life.
At Oregon State, she pledged Pi Beta Phi. Her sorority sisters were her dear friends for the rest of her life. She met Dick Close when he was a houseboy at the Pi Phi house. They married in 1951, waiting until after Barbara turned 20.
Barbara and Dick moved to Gresham in 1955. There they raised their three daughters, helped raise their five grandchildren, and enjoyed living in Gresham the remainder of their lives.
Gregarious to a fault, Barbara loved to cook and entertain. Events at the Close home were always memorable and occasionally extraordinary, thanks to abundant gourmet food and drink, lively discussion, eclectic guests, and much hilarity.
Barbara was a reader. She always had a book in progress and frequently had recommendations for friends and family. She was reading Prisoners of the Castle the day she died and didn’t quite finish. She might have recommended that book to you. She also challenged herself with the daily crossword puzzle.
Tech and Barbara were meant for each other. She bought her first personal computer, a Compaq, in 1987 and never looked back. She applied her natural curiosity first to operating systems and software programs, then expanded her skill to email and internet usage as those opportunities emerged. At 70 she retired as a database administrator.
Along with her intellectual pursuits, Barbara was always physically active; she loved the outdoors. She was happiest with friends or family joining in activities with her: bike riding, rollerblading, hiking, jogging, swimming.
Rarely idle, Barbara was usually either on a trip or planning her next one. Dick was her primary travel companion and frequently various family and friends went along. From Bandon, Oregon to Nairobi, Kenya and many, many other places worldwide, no matter how remote or grand, Barbara spread her joy and sense of wonder.
Sadly, Dick preceded Barbara in death two years ago. Although surrounded by friendship and love, Barbara missed Dick every day after their 69-year, loving partnership. And yet, Barbara was not ready for her life to end on February 1, 2023. There were more books to read (she had 11 on hold at the library;) more crossword puzzles to work; more movies to watch; and many more engaging conversations with friends and family.
Barbara had a most generous spirit. She liberally shared her time, love, opinions, gifts, and thoughtful notes. She is lovingly remembered by her daughters (husbands), grandchildren (one spouse), two great-grandchildren, and a host of dear family and friends.
In Barbara’s memory, raise a glass of scotch or a cup of tea, reach out to an old friend, read a good book, work a crossword puzzle, or go outside on a splendid spring day. If you are interested in making a donation, two charities close to her heart are Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette (ppcw.org) and Gresham Historical Society (greshamhistorical.org.)