We remember with gratitude Sister Barbara (James Marie) Geib, a Bay Area native who died surrounded by a roomful of friends singing “Amazing Grace” in her adopted hometown of Monroe, Wash.
Sister Barbara was a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur for 65 years. Born in San Francisco, Barbara graduated from Notre Dame High School, Belmont, before entering the Notre Dame Community. For 21 years, she taught in Notre Dame elementary schools in Marysville, Salinas, Honolulu, Santa Clara, Saratoga, California; and Des Moines and Seattle, Washington. In 1967, she responded to a need for a parish Sister in what was then a small rural parish in Monroe, Washington.
Her role as a parish Sister soon expanded to include being a chaplain and domestic violence advocate for the Monroe Police and Fire Department. Reverend Philip Bloom, pastor of Saint Mary of the Valley Parish, described the “energy, enthusiasm, support and deep involvement in the community” that “Sister B” brought to the parish and to everyone she encountered. Sister Elisabeth Tiernan, who has also served for many years in the Northwest, wrote that “Sister Barbara has made the words of Saint Julie, Notre Dame’s foundress, come alive: ‘How good is the good God!’ She has lived a life sharing that goodness.”
Sister Barbara was loved and will be greatly missed by her brother, Gerald, her cousins, Fran and Mary Croak, by hundreds of other friends from the Church and community, and her own Sisters of Notre Dame.