Barbara Ann Hubbart
December 17, 1930 – November 27, 2018
I want to begin by thanking everyone for coming today and supporting me and my family through this difficult time. In particular, I would like to thank Billy and Jo for helping my mom get to her doctor appointments and for providing support. I would also like to thank all of the medical staff at St. Luke’s, Avalon, Aspen Quality Care, and Regency at Northpointe for all of the care they provided my mom. Thank you to Duane Ericson for his continued help. Lastly, I would like to thank my wife, Debi, and kids for all of their support.
It is difficult for me to put my feelings into words, but I will try my best to express how much my mom means to me and the incredible mark she has left on my life. I firmly believe that mothers and sons hold a unique bond, and that special connection allowed us to become extremely close. My relationship with my mom was an immense blessing in my life.
There are many parts of my mom that I cherish deeply, but one that will always remain with me is her compassion. She had such a loving and nurturing nature. She dedicated so much of her life to caring for others. As a teenager, my mom dropped out of North Central HS to take care of her beloved mother during her mother’s battle with cancer. After her mom passed, she stepped in to become the caretaker for her younger brother Bill for nearly 12 years. She also worked as a “Candy Striper” at local hospitals, which allowed her to spread her kindness to the patients.
She was a devoted wife and mother. Her and my dad got married in 1948 Missoula, MT. They were young, she was 18 and my dad was 22, yet their marriage lasted 54 years. During the last decade of my dad’s life, when he became very ill, she dedicated herself to taking care of him. She also loved her two brothers dearly and was heartbroken upon Don’s passing. She was tremendously close to her dad, my Grandpa Fyfe, as well.
Another trait I admired in my mom was her understanding of hard work. Her and my dad formed a strong partnership throughout their marriage to keep the family going. While my dad worked 6-7 days a week, she ran the household and the finances. As a testament to her Scottish background, she always figured out how to stretch a dollar. As in all marriages, they faced tough times and setbacks. Regardless, they remained devoted to each other and were determined to achieve three lifetime goals: own their house, provide me with a college education, and have a comfortable retirement.
My mom truly believed that Spokane was the greatest place to live. She absolutely adored and took great pride in her house on Woodside. Her and my dad bought it in 1960 for $17,300 with a 25 year 6.25% loan with a mortgage of $108 per month. She loved flipping through home décor magazines to inspire her and find new home improvement ideas. It was clearly her house. I don’t think she let my dad have much say in the decorating plans. The cleanliness and organization of the house never fell short of immaculate. She also loved working in the yard and put a lot of love and care into planting flowers and improving the landscaping. Anyone who stepped foot in the house would have no question about her favorite color: pink. She used pink floral prints wherever she could, and of course selected a pink oven, stove, bathtub, toilet and pink carpet in the bathroom. I couldn’t help but smile when I saw that the casket she picked out had a pink lining and flowers in the corners.
I will never forget the day they made their final mortgage payment in 1985. They sat in the backyard on a warm summer evening, made a toast with their two beer cans, and enjoyed a couple of tacos. They were so proud that they had accomplished the first of their lifetime goals.
I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to grow up in this environment that my mom loved so dearly. The neighborhood was filled with lots of kids my age. We spent all of our free time playing sports and, of course, getting into some mischief. I had a fantastic childhood filled with memories I will always cherish. Spokane was a truly wonderful place to grow up and I credit a lot of who I am today to my upbringing here.
After high school, I decided to attend San Diego State University, much to my mom’s dismay. She had always wanted me to attend college closer to home, but eventually accepted the fact that San Diego afforded me an incredible college experience plus experience playing on the collegiate golf team. Every Monday night I would call her collect and fill her in on everything that happened that week. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to go to college as it was a turning point for me in many aspects of my life. The most important part was meeting my wife, Debi. 40 years later and we are still together! My mom and dad were extremely proud of me when I graduated from San Diego State in 1980. That day marked the achievement of the second of their lifetime goals.
During my college years, my mom worked as a home aid for elderly people. She told me many times how much she enjoyed this work and felt it gave her life real meaning. I also think she enjoyed the additional spending money. Her favorite client was named Stella. My mom took care of Stella for five years until she passed. Stella knew how much my mom cared for her and trusted my mom completely with her care and finances.
As my parents grew older, they looked forward to their third goal: their retirement. At age 65, my dad had dedicated 50 years of his life to the grocery industry. Unfortunately, his deteriorating health made it difficult for them to enjoy the retirement they had dreamt of. My mom spent the next 8 years taking excellent care of my dad at home. At a certain point, she had no choice but to put him in an assisted living facility. It was an extremely difficult decision for them to make and I know my mom carried a tremendous level of guilt for doing so. I did everything I could to reassure her that it was the best decision for both of them. For the next two years, my mom visited him everyday until he passed in 2002.
The years after my dad’s death were extremely trying for my mom. She felt an immense loneliness, but persevered and made the best of her situation. Her friends Jeanette and Lori visited often and helped her with the transition. Her personal struggles made it difficult for her to engage with people as she got older, but as I have told my kids many times, she loved her family and friends with all of her heart.
I have many other wonderful memories of my mom that I will always carry forward with me. She was an avid reader and particularly enjoyed Western novels. Belva Plain was her favorite author, and every year for Christmas I would buy her Belva’s latest novel. It was a running joke between us. Kenny Rogers and Glenn Campbell were her favorite musical artists. Surprisingly, she enjoyed NFL football. The Dallas Cowboys were her favorite team. One day, I asked her why the Cowboys were her favorite team. She said she loved the fedora-style had that Coach Tom Landry wore on the sidelines, but really, I think it was because Coach Landry resembled Grandpa Fyfe. Growing up, my dad and I bonded over golf. Not wanting to miss out, my mom began taking golf lessons from Joe Durgan, a pro at the Downriver Golf Course. I think she really wanted to get good enough so that my dad and I would include her in our weekend golf outings.
Most importantly, I will never forget all of the support my mom gave me over the years. I loved my dad very much, but my mom was the one who was always there to help me endure any challenge I faced. She was the one I could rely on for the emotional support I needed to get through the tough times.
The last few years of my mom’s life were very difficult in terms of her health. She faced a number of chronic health issues, including multiple fractures that caused her terrible and constant pain. I can tell you she was tough and faced these challenges with courage and strength. I was fortunate and honored to be able to spend so much time with her in these final years. We spent many hours talking about her care, food, the weather, the work that needed to be done around the house, what my kids were up to, and my frequent business trips. We spent many hours simply sitting together quietly. I know she appreciated the company very much.
She hated photos of herself, and would actually choose to leave the room to avoid having her picture taken. The last picture I was able to take of her was on February 1, 2015. That picture is featured in today’s pamphlet. It was Super Bowl Sunday when the Seahawks played the Patriots. My mom was so excited to watch the game, probably because my dad was a huge fan of the Seahawks. I bought her a Super Bowl t-shirt and she proudly wore it for two days leading up to the game. This was the game with the famous finish where the Seahawks were at the 1 yard line with 23 seconds to go and were behind 28-24. The Seahawks elected to pass instead of run the ball and the pass was intercepted. My mom was very disappointed and could not understand why they didn’t run the ball with the best running back in the league. We had a great time watching the game together and enjoyed a couple of beers that I smuggled into her room.
Later today, I am blessed to have my dad buried with my mom. They will be laid to rest next to my grandmother. I know this is exactly what my mom wanted. Everything has come full circle.
In closing, I want to reflect on a ritual I had with my mom every time I visited her. When preparing to leave for Spokane, I always called to ask if she needed anything the next day, and she would always ask what time I would arrive. She tried her best to pin me down on an exact time, and after going back and forth, she would relent and say, “you’re always late anyways.” I would laugh and say, “See you tomorrow, Mom.” Well, on Tuesday November 27th, she was correct. I was late. Mom, I won’t see you tomorrow, but I know I will see you someday. I miss you so much and I love you forever.
- Funeral Service Wednesday, December 5, 2018
- Graveside Service Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Barbara Ann Hubbart
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