Barbara C. Klein passed away in her home in Tucson, AZ on Monday, May 25 after a year-long struggle with cancer. She was born in Wilmette, IL on May 30, 1947, but her “home” was in Tucson. Barb was all about blue skies and sunshine. She did not like the cold. She did, however, love thunderstorms and lightning, whether in Tucson or Wilmette. She attended New Trier High School where she graduated in 1965. She then attended the University of Arizona where she obtained a degree in Elementary Education in 1969. She spent 30+ years teaching in the Tucson Unified School District. She touched the lives of many, many students, parents, and colleagues during her years at Pueblo Gardens, Keene, Gale, Erickson, and Miles. Barb’s passion was teaching and she cried when she retired from the classroom. She continued to share her love of learning, especially reading, throughout her life. Her niece, Beth, and her great niece, Jennifer, have quite a collection of books from their Aunt Barbara. After leaving the classroom, she continued to be an inspiration and model by teaching teachers for Northern Arizona University ‘s Distance Learning program. She also collected turtles. There were hundreds around Barb’s house sent by so many of her friends and collected on her many trips. After leaving education, she found a new passion and an amazing group of friends through square dancing. In Tucson she was associated with T-Squares, C1ders and Rick-a-Shays and in Chicago, the Chi town Squares. They provided opportunities to dance, travel, and party just a bit (as well as collect more turtles). Wherever Barb went, she connected with friends old and new…I never knew anyone with more friends. No matter the city, state, or country…friends and family could always count on long walks with Barb. She listened to so many of our stories, both joyous and troubling, and never broke a confidence. She answered calls and emails and sent us her “hand stamped with love” handmade cards. She enjoyed life, she was an amazing friend, and she left us way too soon.
She is survived by her brother, William Klein of Wilmette, IL, her nephew, Donald Adamek, his wife Heidi and their daughter, Jennifer of Canton, MI, and her niece, Elizabeth Ayres and her husband, Don of San Diego, CA. Celebrations of her life will be held in Tucson and Wilmette when the virus makes this possible. Donations may be made to EEF (Educational Enrichment Foundation), SAAF (Southern AZ Aides Foundation) and SARDASA (Square and Round Dance Assoc. of AZ)
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