… and still no words. Rest in PEACE Barbra Watson-Riley

10 Nov

November 10, 2013

Dearest Friends and PinkWellChick® supporters,

image of pinkwellchick t-shirtAfter a courageous and vibrant life “in the cancer lane”, the journey of our Pinkwellchick®, aka Barbra Watson-Riley, ended on November 7, 2013. She transitioned from life in the evening surrounded by a powerful family circle of love, grace and compassion.

She gave an amazingly valiant and dignified fight during these past two years and triumphs over death by leaving the world the legacy of Life in the Cancer Lane™. It was truly a miracle for her to witness her life’s work come to life on stage!

General homegoing service information.

I have mixed emotions as I type. I am deeply saddened for her physical loss because she was and remains one of my dearest, closest friends from high school until …. forever, as well as an elder Soror who adopted and “made me” in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., flyyyyy Gamma Chi Chapter. No one said it (or lived it) like Barbra did.

Yet, she now has the peace and rest she needed and so richly deserved as her body betrayed her bright mind and indomitable spirit. She was a “friend chick” who definitely reaped the love she sowed during her life with all of the love and support you showed her and her family, especially in these last two years .

So in the midst of this undeniable (and quite frankly absolutely unbelievable) loss, be encouraged by celebrating her LIFE. A life well lived, indeed. I am certain she heard “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!” Now it’s time for us to pick up the mantle, to accept the charge in her courageous and vibrant honor and spirit. We must pledge to support and encourage her husband and daughter and to carry on the work of our Pinkwellchick® through PWC. As she said and DID early and often, we now must DO SOMETHING!

Read the raw and beautiful reflections titled “No Words.” from one of Barbra’s closest and dearest friends, Michele aka Red Ink of inkwellchicks.com.

Love & light to you all,

Tonya, PWC admin

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10 Responses to “… and still no words. Rest in PEACE Barbra Watson-Riley”

  1. Jessica Baskin Taylor November 11, 2013 at 9:06 AM #

    Hi Tonya, I am one of Barbra’s high school classmates from GFS and am so sad to hear this news. Barbra was so strong and feisty, it’s incredible to think of something beating her like this. I still live in Philadephia and some of us from GFS were wondering how we might help get Barbra’s play produced in Philadelphia. I have some theater community contacts and would be happy to help connect whoever is now in charge of the play and the rights and all that. Please let me know. -Jessica Baskin Taylor, GFS Class of 1986

    • TME November 14, 2013 at 2:13 PM #


      Thanks so much for the comment and will definitely follow up with you about the possibility of staging LITCL at GFS. I’m a near-lifer from Friends Central, BTW. (class of ’87). So it’s always nice to connect with Friends folks. Barb loved her time at GFS and clearly made life-long friends.

      Warm regards,

  2. karen Lubeck November 11, 2013 at 2:04 PM #

    Hello Tonya,
    I, too, am a friend of Barbra’s from GFS, and feel an incredible loss at her passing.
    So many fantastic memories of this vibrant woman!
    Karen Lubeck

    • TME November 14, 2013 at 2:14 PM #

      Thanks Karen! An incredible loss indeed. But yes, so many wonderful memories! Be encouraged.

      Warm regards,
      Tonya, PWC admin

      • Karen Lubeck November 14, 2013 at 2:17 PM #

        Hello Tonya, please let me know if you are planning to do any kind of memorial event for Barbra in the Philadelphia area. Also, can you put me in touch with her family? I would like to write to them. Wishing you the best, Karen

      • Jessica Taylor November 14, 2013 at 3:31 PM #

        Hey Karen, and Tonya–some of us GFS-ers have been talking about doing some kind of memorial for Barb in Philadelphia if her family isn’t planning anything…I don’t even know if her parents still live here. I was going to ask Brandy and Liz Schleifer, since they’re going to the service in AZ, if they might ask Barbra’s parents if anything will be planned in Phila. If not, we can do something. GFS said we can use the Meeting house and/or Social Room, just have to schedule through G’tn. Monthly Meeting.

      • TME November 14, 2013 at 11:07 PM #

        Hey ladies,

        The idea of a Philly memorial is being discussed But there are no hard plans yet. Have Brandy and Liz connect with me this weekend to discuss.


      • TME December 22, 2013 at 3:51 PM #

        Hi again, I would encourage GFS folks to definitely do something in Barb’s honor. We’re not going to do anything in the short term although we are discussing plans for later in 2014. So please do whatever your heart moves you to do and keep me posted so I can help spread the word if you’d like me to.

        Warm regards,


      • Karen Lubeck January 29, 2014 at 3:02 PM #

        Hello Jessica,

        I hope you are well. I am just wondering if you have been in touch with other friends of Barbra’s or her family? I would like to help organize something.


  3. TME February 3, 2014 at 1:37 PM #

    Hi Karen,

    I saw your message to Jessica. It’s wonderful that you want to organize a celebration of Barbra’s life. The family had to take a necessary pause over the holidays and in honor of their wishes, we postponed organizing a planning committee for a formal Philadelphia celebration. But now that the Board is formed, we’re definitely interested in having some event(s) in the Philadelphia area (although her parents no longer live there). That being said, please do go ahead with any plans for GFSers. Keep me in the loop and I will be sure to let the family know (even if they are unable to attend or participate). And I made a note of your interest early on so be assured that whenever PWCF plans come together for a Philly celebration, we will definitely reach out to you!

    Warm regards,
    Tonya, PWCF Co-Chair

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