As the sun was rising in the sky and a beautiful rainbow peeked out of the clouds, our sweet mother, grandmother and friend passed away on July 4, 2020.
Barbara Jeanne Brady was born on May 28, 1943, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Myrl (Adams) and Clarence Smith. Her father died when she was only four years old, and she was raised by her mother and her stepfather, Robert Duffy, along with her older brother, Del. On August 10, 1961, Barbara married Merrill Loren Brady and they started their family in Salt Lake City with the birth of their son Merrill (Lynn) in 1963. They bought their first home after the birth of their daughter Justine in 1964. Shortly after their daughter Claudia was born in 1970, they moved to a beautiful home and neighborhood in Riverton, Utah.
In 1978, Barbara, her family and some family friends moved to Castle Valley, falling in love with the valley as well as Moab, and began construction on a new home. During this time, Barbara began the best working years of her life at Family Drug Center, owned and operated by Mike and Pat Gorman. They not only became her best friends but family to her as well, nicknaming her “Goofy Gorman” and giving her a place to work that never felt like a job. She loved the store, the snack bar where she mainly worked, and she loved the people that she saw every day.
After Barbara’s divorce in 1984, she moved to Moab and, in January of 1987, became the manager of the Apache Motel, where she remained for 22 years. During those years, she formed friendships with guests from all over the world. When she finally retired from her 16-hour-a-day manager job, she decided that she’d still like to work part-time and joined the wonderful staff at Desert Dreams.
Barbara had just stopped working to fully enjoy retirement when she suffered a stroke on the morning of January 29, 2018. The stroke was severe enough that it took away her speech and movement on her left side. Her life was never the same, and yet she carried on with strength, grace, humor and so much love for everyone she met.
She loved listening to rock and roll, watching old movies and enjoying a sweet treat of any kind.
Barbara lived at the Canyonlands Care Center for the last few years of her life. She loved the Certified Nursing Assistants and nurses that came into her life to help care for her. She loved the residents there, as many of them had been her friends in the community before her stroke. Many of the residents were kind enough to endure hours of Neil Diamond’s greatest hits played at the dinner table and his concert videos on the TV. He has always been her favorite. As difficult as her life was day to day in the end, the CNAs and nurses at the Care Center made her life have as much quality and love as possible. They loved her, treated her like family, and cared for her every need. She was spoiled by them as much as by her family. As she was nearing her last days, her family was touched to see and feel how the staff grieved with us and cared for all of us. We cannot thank them enough.
Barbara always lived her life for others. Her life was her family and friends. She is survived by her children, Merrill (Roxie) Brady, Justine (Brent) Williams and Claudia (Christopher) Drake; her grandsons Jordan (Rachel) Loveridge, Cole Brady, Cody Brady and Kory (Mercedes) Williams; her granddaughters Rhiannon (Kidus) Legesse, Lauren Drake, Sarah (Jacoby) Wall, Christine Brady and Amber (Brandon) Wilde; as well as her 13 great-grandchildren.
A celebration of Barbara’s life is planned for 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 11, at the Spanish Trail Arena Pavilion located at 3641 South Highway 191 in Moab, Utah. You may send condolences to the family at www.SpanishValleyMortuary.com