Barbara Ann Robb

Barbara was born in Oil City, Pennsylvania, but lived in Brookville, Pennsylvania the majority of her life and considered it to be home. Her husband’s and her parents both lived in Brookville, which she described as the best small town in which to raise children.

And that is what she and her husband did. They had four children; two sons and two daughters who are now busy with their own children, her grandchildren. Speaking of grandchildren, she has 16 of them! Being a grandmother is just great. She loves all of her grandchildren and they call her “mawmaw.” Well, except for one; for reasons known only to him, he calls her "gram."

Barbara was a preschool teacher for 17 years. She taught 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds. She noted that years later when she retired, she received letters describing how much she meant to them when they were in preschool. She said she and her husband did not travel much, but they had a close group of friends, played golf in North Carolina in the wintertime.

However, life happens, and after a seven-year illness, Thomas Robb died in 2010. Barbara recalled that, after seeing her husband through a difficult illness and death, she was feeling sorry for herself and just sat on the couch and watched TV. She lived with her older son, Bryan and his family, in Maryland for seven years. At that time, she decided to move to Harrisonburg to live with her younger son, Jeff. However, after three years, previously married Jeff remarried. She moved back to Maryland with Bryan. After a couple of years, she realized she wanted to be back in Harrisonburg. However, soon she was ready to be, as she describes it, “semi on my own, not living with my children.” Jeff is in commercial real estate and was familiar with Sunnyside. Barbara also had prior contact with Sunnyside as she had, at one time, visited regularly with a resident in nursing care. Within a very few months, Sunnyside was her new home. She is proud of how well her sons have followed her husband’s direction to them before he died. “Boys, take care of your mother.” And they always have.

Barbara feels that Sunnyside is the place for her to be. When she first visited the Highlands as a prospective resident, she saw the puzzle table. That was it. She is a “puzzler,” and has already spent enjoyable time working the puzzles and visiting with other puzzlers. She feels that she absolutely made the right choice and is very happy here. People are very friendly, and she can do as much as she wants, and enjoys the idea of having a lot of programs to choose from. She is already taking the chronic disease class. She noted she had a kidney transplant in 2012 and appreciates that everyone in the class is dealing with chronic conditions.

Besides puzzling, she enjoys going out with different ladies at dinnertime. Just having someone to talk to. Having people around, not sitting on the couch watching TV day after day. She likes to laugh and talk; she is a happy person, so glad to be here and off the couch!

Barbara has always been outgoing. She recalled, when she was 45, she decided to volunteer to visit someone who needed company. She initially visited Sarah Holden once a week but, over the years, that turned into every day. Sara was around 75 years old at that time. In the over 20 years of visiting, Sarah became a loved second mother to her and she a daughter to Sarah. She holds that memory very dear. --Kat Marlowe