Barbara passed away on the evening of Tuesday, November 9, 2021, surrounded by all her beloved children and grandchildren. She was 97 years and six months old, to the day, ending an amazing life of almost a century.
Barbara came into the world on May 9, 1924 in Taft, California, the first of two children born to Francis and Margaret Mulroy. Her brother Joseph, who will turn 92 on December 1st, arrived five years later.
She attended Taft High School, where she was on the tennis and track teams, enjoyed many dances with her high school friends, and even worked in an anchor chain factory after WWII began. Upon graduation in 1942, she took the train up to the Bay Area to attend and graduate from the University of California, Berkeley. Barb spent 10 years working as a buyer for ad space at a large advertising company in San Francisco.
Living in Oakland, CA at the time, she enjoyed playing group tennis at Lake Merritt, where she met her love and future husband, Lee Rumph. We were in stitches many times when Dad would recall the first time they bumped into each other off the tennis courts, “Well Barb, I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on!”, (because he had only seen her in her tennis outfits.) So many funny stories they shared; Barb’s sense of humor remained intact to the end, joking with hospital and hospice staff.
Married in Carmel, CA on November 25, 1950, Barb and Lee had three children: Brian, David, and Linda. The family lived mostly in Orinda, CA until 1978 when Lee’s work moved them to Chicago and then Toronto in the 1980’s. Barb enjoyed volunteering at art museums in both cities and met many new friends playing tennis. Barb and Lee celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with family and friends on an amazing trip to Maui in November 2000. Sadly, Lee passed away a few months later of cancer.
Barbara was extremely proud of her grandchildren, Meagan, Kevin, and Steven, and “adopted” granddaughter, Karen, (Kevin’s longtime partner). She often took the kids golfing, gently offering advice and cheering them along, and just two months ago riding along in the cart for some fun and fresh air.
It hasn’t really sunk in for us yet that she is gone—such a huge void in our lives and hearts. We will try to fill that void with so many memories of our beautiful Mom, Grandma, Sister, and Friend, and by striving to live our lives offering love and kindness to all, as she did. We are comforted by the thought that Barb is now reunited with her favorite dance and tennis partner, beloved husband Lee.
A viewing will be held on Friday, November 19, 6-8 pm, with a service-taking place on Saturday, November 20, 1-3 pm. Barbara will be laid to rest at the Truckee Cemetery in Truckee, CA on Tuesday, November 23.
Instead of flowers, please consider donating to one of the many organizations Barb supported, such as Ballet West, Salt Lake Symphony, Natural History Museum of Utah, American Cancer Society, and the World Wildlife Fund.
Viewing and Celebration of Life service to be held at Larkin Mortuary, 260 E South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
To view Saturday services please visit https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84562642838 Zoom account is required.