Gardening 07

Barbara Virginia Griffey

April 24, 1942 ~ May 13, 2021 (age 79)


Barbara Virginia Griffey, 79, of Gig Harbor Washington, died Thursday, May 13, 2021 in Gig Harbor.  Her passing marked her transition from a life of chronic pain into freedom from pain and discomfort in the arms of her loving savior, Jesus Christ.

Barbara was born April 24, 1942 in Hackensack, New Jersey, to John Kay and Mildred Kay Zuk Howell.

Barbara lived in Westwood, New Jersey, surrounded by her extended family until 1957.  In 1957 the family moved to Alaska when her step-father, George Zuk, received orders transferring him to Ft. Greeley at Delta Junction, Alaska.  Barbara lived in Delta Junction for the next 23 years.  During this time she married Thomas Leroy Gilbertson, and they raised four children.  Barbara was the consummate homemaker.  She took great pride in turning a house into a home.  She was a great cook; she sewed clothes for the children and was well known for her baked goods.  Barbara was an avid gardener.  Barbara was very proud of her family.  In 1979 Barbara became a grandmother, and from that time forward she was known to the family as “Nana,” a title she loved.

In 1980 Barbara moved to Fairbanks, Alaska where she met Chuck Griffey.  They were married on September 26, 1981. Barbara became a loving step-mother to Chuck’s two children.  Barbara and Chuck moved to Scotts Valley, California in 1988 and then to Gig Harbor, Washington in 1994.  In Gig Harbor, Barbara once again turned a house into a home and devoted her time to gardening and decorating.  Barb loved to travel both by air and by motorhome.  Barbara was a member of Harbor Covenant Church in Gig Harbor, WA.

Barbara was preceded in death by her mother, Mildred (Kay Zuk) Howell; father, John Kay; sister, Elaine Sewell; daughter, Janice Crowley; former husband Roy Gilbertson.

Barbara is survived by her husband, Chuck Griffey of Gig Harbor WA; daughter, Debbie (Jim) Roberts of Yelm WA; daughter, Darlene (Dave) Borland of Yelm WA; son, Kevin Gilbertson of Port Orchard WA; step-son, Chris Griffey of Anchorage AK; step-daughter, Lydia Griffey of Seattle WA; brother, John (Janice) Kay of Bradenton FL; brother, George Zuk of Bradenton FL; and numerous nieces and nephews plus 13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Barb was deeply loved and cherished by her family and will be missed by all who knew her.

Barb’s family is planning a private celebration of her life and love later this summer in the beauty of her garden.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Barbara Virginia Griffey, please visit our floral store.


A celebration of life may be held at a later date.

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