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PRSA Remembers Former Board Member Barbara Van Fleet

October 3, 2016

Barbara Van Fleet died in Portland, Ore., on Sept. 26, after a long illness. She was 69.

She was born 1947 in Johnstown, Pa., the oldest of four children of Sal and Jennie Anne Walling. The family moved to Arizona in 1962, where Barbara graduated from Scottsdale’s Coronado High School.
Her first and favorite career was that of a homemaker and mother of three children, who survive her: Suzanne (Craig Marcussen), Christine (Steven Gardner) and Justin (Anita). Two grandchildren, Zoë and Molly Van Fleet, siblings, nieces and nephews, also survive her.
She entered college once her youngest child started first grade, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from ASU with a degree in Journalism. She was named to ASU’s Walter Cronkite School Hall of Fame in 1989.
Van Fleet's 20-year career in public pelations included positions at Good Samaritan Medical Center, Honeywell, and GTE (later named AG Communication Systems), from which she retired as vice president of corporate communications in 2002.
While working in the business world during the 1980s and 1990s, she was active in service to both her profession and the community. She served on the national boards of directors of PRSA (in the mid-1990s) and the PRSA Foundation. She was PRSA Western District chairman and Phoenix Chapter president, which honored her with their top honor, the Percy Award.

Van Fleet returned to college for post-baccalaureate teaching certification, fulfilling a long-time ambition to teach middle-school English, which she did for 10 years. 

After leaving Vista Verde Middle School in Paradise Valley School District in 2013 (when she was named teacher of the year), she retired to Portland, Ore., where her daughters live.


Kevin J. Gaydosh, APR says:

Rest in peace, Barbara.

Oct. 10, 2016

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