Barbara Ann Gholston

Passed on Mar 14, 2017

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Barbara Gholston - August 21, 1950 - March 14, 2017 

Barbara Gholston passed away at Issaquah Swedish Hospital with her family and grandchildren beside her on March 14, 2017, having fought a year’s long battle with cancer.
 Barbara was born to Jack and Dora Fleming on August 21st 1950, in El Reno Oklahoma. Her parents instilled in her a deep respect and passion for education which she pursued, earning her Bachelors of Education at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. In the summer of 1970, Barbara married Larry Gholston, her high school sweetheart. Upon receiving her bachelor’s degree in 1974, she took a position teaching art at Redlands Community College, and at her high school alma mater, El Reno High School.  
With the arrival of her first child, Jason, in 1976, Barbara decided to stay home and focus on her family. It soon grew to included Jared in 1977, and Jesica in 1980. She sustained her passion for education volunteering at her children's schools where she could be seen painting expansive murals in their cafeterias, organizing events, and managing fundraisers. 
Having moved every few years throughout the mid-west, Barbara was happy to arrive in Maple Valley, Washington, the place she called home for 25 years. There she connected with the community, and in 1995 chose to return to teaching. Having always been an art teacher, she accepted with some hesitation a position teaching Language Arts. She excelled at teaching the subject. Her innovative teaching aids and curriculum, informed in no small part by her own struggles with dyslexia, helped her thousands of students to be amongst the top performers in Washington State’s standardized tests. In 2005 she earned her masters in education from Lesley College, and was also honored with the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award. In 2016, after 18 years of service to the Tahoma School District, Barbara retired. 
Barbara loved her students, but she absolutely adored her grandchildren. In 2000 she become a Grandmother with the birth of Madison, who was followed Sophia, Braden, Flynn, and Dean. Her grandchildren were greatly inspiring to her, resulting in a prolific outpouring of portraits, sculptures, gardens, costumes, pillows, gorgeously decorated birthday cakes, blankets, and many more blankets. Barbara loved being a grandmother. 
Barbara is survived by Larry, her husband of forty six years; her children, Jason, Jared, and Jesica; daughters-in-law, Cassie, Robin, and Janet; her grandchildren, Madison, Sophia, Braden, Flynn, and Dean.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in her name to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.


Elizabeth Parker
Kennewick, WA
Jun 20, 2017

Barbara was like a second mother to me and I'm at a loss for words. She was always so kind and helpful the world has lost a great lady.

Liz Matthewson
Maple Valley, WA
May 4, 2017

I thoroughly enjoyed working with Barbara and two of her three children. I found them all to be bright and creative and a delight to work with. I am sorry to hear of her passing. She lived her life richly.

Skyler Timmerman
Maple Valley, WA
Apr 23, 2017

Taylor Azizeh
Maple Valley, WA
Apr 23, 2017

Mrs. Gholston was an amazing teacher, and was the first in the Tahoma School District to reach out to me and encourage my love for reading. She always made a point of reaching out to me and giving me book recommendations!

She was an amazing teacher and woman!

Rest in peace.

Austyn Matlick
Maple Valley, WA
Apr 23, 2017

I was in homeroom my 7th grade year and she gave me a new passion for English. I learned a lot from her and her passion for language arts.

dan percival
Edgewoo, WA
Apr 19, 2017

It was a very memorial, we will all miss her.

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