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Barbara H. Griffing

May 22, 2023
Barbara H. Griffing
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Obituary for Barbara H. Griffing

Barbara passed peacefully after bravely fighting a short illness. She was surrounded by her loved ones while she transitioned to the next phase of her life. Born in Providence, she was loving raised by her parents Dorothy (Colliander) and Edward Cartwright. She is survived by her beloved brother Bruce Cartwright and his wife Juanice along with their two daughters Laura and Shawn. She was predeceased by her husbands George Griffing and Roger Osborne as well as her brother Myles Cartwright. Barbara was the loving and thoughtful mother to Kimberly Allen and a caring and wonderful grandmother to Charlie and Xavier Greene. She was the adoring step-mother to Jennifer Osborne and loving step-grandmother to Andrew and Libby. She loved nothing more than spending time with her family.

In 2021, Barbara, Kimberly and Charlie traveled to Oregon, and in addition to seeing family, she was thrilled to visit both Mount St. Helens and Multnomah Falls. We were so happy that we could go on this adventure with her and watch her revel in those two forces of nature that she loved so much. Her most recent travel escapade involved a calamitous road trip to Michigan via Niagara Falls. She watched with pride and amusement as Charlie was inducted as Mayor for the Day in Hell, Michigan.

Barbara made so many life-long friends. Florence and Cuz were two childhood friends with whom she always kept in touch. After graduating Hope High School in 1959, she went on to Rhode Island College and made deep, lifelong friendships with Paula Cote, Peggy Quinn, Helen Gumieniak and Sandra Ham. She considered them the sisters she never had. Many happy days were passed with them as they graduated college and went on to careers, families and many adventures with one another.

Barbara’s career as a kindergarten teacher at Webster Avenue School was vastly rewarding. She always enjoyed running into her former students and would take delight in opening the newspaper and spotting a former kindergartener’s wedding announcement. She never forgot a name and always kept every yearly photo of her students from the time she started student teaching.

My mom enjoyed her retirement to the fullest. She was involved in the Mathewson Street Church where she took up bell ringing and developed long friendships with the congregation. She took many opportunities to travel, including cruises with Paula, Peggy and Helen-she especially loved their cruise to Alaska. She and her husband Roger often cruised together, as well as taking a cross country trip via train. She loved every minute and it was so nice to see her enjoy her much deserved retirement. She had a wonderful life whether it was in the classroom or out in this big world.

She will be especially missed for her wry sense of humor, her love of reading, her engaging stories, unusual interest in black cats, her steadfast devotion to all things purple as well as her warmth and heartfelt love for all those around her.

Her funeral service will be held on Friday at 2pm  in the Historic Chapel at Swan Point Cemetery and friends are welcome to join the family beginning at 1:30. Burial will be private. Donations can be made in her honor to the Pet Refuge Animal Shelter at 500 Stony Lane, North Kingstown. In her honor, if you would like to wear something purple as we send her on to her next adventure this Friday, she would love that.

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