Barbara Seeley, 81 of Valparaiso, passed away peacefully at home on June 25, 2022, surrounded by loving family and her beloved, beautiful gardens. Barbara was born in Wisconsin and graduated college with an MS degree in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin. Guided by a love for life and an abundance of compassion for others, she started her career as a teacher of science, biology, and chemistry. Her drive to inspire young people continued into a shift toward her true passion, foreign language. She was a French teacher for middle and high school for 18 years, bringing the gift of the French language and culture to nearly two decades of young minds. Barbara made the language come alive through visualization of everyday experiences. She nurtured in her students a living breathing relationship with French through cultural events, hosting foreign exchange students, and organizing multiple trips to France with her students.
Barbara was an active member of the American Association of the Teachers of French, hosting many events with her students and fellow teachers at her home. Her enthusiasm for French culture was contagious and her warmth was shared freely. She was a beloved friend and was always up for an adventure in Chicago, a hike in the dunes, a delicious bite to eat, something new to learn, or just a chat with friends.
Barbara was an avid gardener and spent free time visiting botanical gardens and tending to her extensive backyard garden. She enjoyed traveling with family to many of the national parks in the western states, as well as Canada and Alaska. She also traveled abroad many times, exploring France, Italy, the UK, Portugal, China, and other countries creating fond memories (and many, many photos!) of fun times with family and friends.
She is remembered by those who knew and loved her as one to always think of others first, caring and kind, generous in spirit, and someone all of us wish we could emulate. She will be greatly missed.
Barbara was preceded in death by her husband Gerald. Survivors include her sister Faye Greenfield, her brother-in-law Lynn Greenfield, and her two sons, Marc and Kris Seeley.
A private celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation. The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation to the kind and courteous staff at Dunes Hospice, Brightstar, and Firstlight for the outstanding and compassionate care extended to Barbara.
My sincere sympathy to Barbara's family and friends. For the past few years, I mowed Barbara's property and we would always talk about her love for gardening. She taught me alot different plants and trees. Peace, -Randy Kerns
I just found out about Barb's passing and want to express my deep condolences to her family. I taught with Barb for many years at New Prairie HS. We went to conferences and field trips together many times. She was a mentor, anchor and friend for all those years. And sometimes a coconspirator in our fun adventures. -Ann Otlewski