It is with great sadness Mary “Barbara” Ryken passed away, peacefully, on March 29, 2021, at the age of 95 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Barbara’s warmth and depth of compassion will truly be missed by all who knew her. She was known not only for her elegant countenance, but also for her unwavering integrity.
Barbara was born on August 11, 1925, in Napa and had resided there, until her move to Scottsdale, Arizona two years ago. She is preceded in death by her parents (Frank and Mary Gibb), her five older sisters; Virginia Zeller, Frances Cassayre, Bernadette Uboldi, Geraldine Soares, and Adrienne Martin), and her husband, US Army Captain, William “Bill” P. Ryken, Sr.
Barbara is survived by her three sons (Bill Jr, Dan, and Jeff), her sons’ spouses (Barb, Ellen and Kristi), three grandchildren (Emily, William and Sophie), and a great many extended family members and friends.
Barbara attended U.C. Berkeley and U.C. San Francisco, and became a Registered Nurse. Barbara worked for several years, initially as a Public Health Nurse and then later as a Napa School Nurse.
Via a blind date, a friend introduced Barbara to the love of her life, Bill Ryken. They married in 1949 after finding they had so much in common (Catholicism and similar values) and also by having so much fun together (by enjoying classical music, opera, and dancing).
Barbara always looked forward to every social occasion, where she so enjoyed interacting with her large extended family and many friends. Of note; Barbara enjoyed regularly playing bridge, in a Napa bridge club, which was active for 50 years.
Barbara and her husband owned and operated a full-service gift store in Napa, for 39 years. Initially, it was called Ryken & Zeller Gifts but then it became known as Ryken‘s Gifts. Their store offered fine china, silverware, and bridal registry.