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Obituaries » Barbara R Sibio

Barbara R Sibio

March 19, 1938 - July 12, 2018


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Barbara Ruth Sibio, (née Thiede), 80 years old, died of cancer peacefully in her sleep at her home in Cloverdale, California, early in the morning of July 12, 2018.

The daughter of Richard Conrad Thiede and Virginia Ruth Thiede (née Barracliffe), she was born on March 19th, 1938 in Camden, NJ. She grew up in Cranford, NJ, where she attended the Sherman School and graduated from Cranford High School in 1955. She had one sibling, an older brother named Richard whom she adored.

In high school, Barbara wrote an essay that won her a scholarship to Upsala College, but after a few semesters left to work as a secretary at Toms River Chemical. She later returned to Georgian Court College, NJ, to complete a BA in Psychology and in 1978 graduated Summa Cum Laude. She and her first husband, Robert G. Rose, who worked for the State Department, lived in Accra, Ghana and Djakarta, Indonesia. They traveled the world before settling with their two daughters in Toms River, New Jersey. She loved New Jersey and spent every summer day with her little girls “down the shore.” She remained a lifelong Bruce Springsteen fan.

Barbara worked at Lakehurst Naval Air Base, Middle Tennessee State University, the Presidio in San Francisco, and the Environmental Discovery Center in Sonoma. She enjoyed a long, happy marriage to her second husband John Sibio, living in Marin and Sonoma Counties, where they hiked and picnicked at state parks, wineries, and beaches. Her favorite place was Yosemite National Park.

Barbara was passionate about the environment and human rights. For many years she was an influential member of the North American Bluebird Society. She and John oversaw a successful nesting site in their garden that produced two broods a year. She volunteered for voter registration and LGBTQ rights. In 2013 she became an ordained minister to help marry same-sex couples. Always elegant and beautiful, she modeled for fund-raisers well into her senior years. She devoted herself to The United Church of Cloverdale (UCC), serving actively on committees such as Hospitality, Food Pantry, the Thrift Shop, and the Backpack Project. After years tending a plot in the Cloverdale Community Garden, she created and maintained a garden at the UCC that will be named The Barbara Sibio Memorial Garden.

She will also be remembered as an animal lover, an active member of the Cloverdale library, a film, theater, and symphony enthusiast, and an excellent conversationalist who had a delightful wit. Anyone who ever met Barbara had the same thing to say about her: “She’s classy.”

She’s preceded in death by her parents, Richard and Virginia, her beloved brother, Richard Conrad Thiede Jr., her adoring husband John Sibio, and her stepson, Johnny.

Barbara is survived by her daughters Elisabeth (“Lisa”) Rose and Laura Hall, her son-in-law Alby Lanser, her stepsons Michael, Jeffrey, and Stephen Sibio, her sister-in-law Bobbi Thiede, her nephew Richard Thiede, and her grandchildren Delaney Rose (27), Cameron Hall (24), Chelsea Rose (20), and Courtney Rose (16).

The memorial service and dedication of the garden will be held on Saturday, July 28th at 3:00 PM at The United Church of Cloverdale at 439 North Cloverdale Boulevard, Cloverdale, CA 95425. For more information call the church office at 707-894-2039. Friends and family will gather afterward for food, comfort, and remembrances at a location TBA.