Barbara Ann Priestley Garst, of Boones Mill, Va., died March 2, 2019 peacefully at her home. Born September 24, 1931, in Rochester, MN to Klea Palica Priestley and Dr. James Taggart Priestley, Barbara grew up in Rochester. She went to school at Hollins College and majored in chemistry, and there she met Jack Garst II, whom she would later marry. After living in Japan and Yorktown, where Jack was stationed in the Army, Barbara and Jack settled in Boones Mill, where they raised six daughters. Barbara was untiring in her dedication to others. While raising her family, she assisted
local children in need, and began a career as a special education teacher. She taught at Truevine Elementary School and Franklin County High School. After she retired, Barbara founded the Habitat for Humanity chapter in Franklin County. She served as President and on the board of directors.
In 2017, the M.L.K. Breakfast Club presented to Barbara the Martin Luther King, Jr. award for Community Service and Leadership. Barbara was a talented gardener, cook, and seamstress. She loved music and sang in the Rocky Mount Trinity Episcopal Church choir for many years. She enjoyed traveling to visit family and sailing on the Chesapeake Bay and Smith Mountain Lake with Jack. Barbara is remembered for her boundless energy and strength by her family and many others in the Franklin County community.
Barbara was preceded in death by Jack, her granddaughter Paula Anderson and sisters Martha and Judy. She is survived by her six daughters and their families, Leslie and Bill Cleveland, of Roanoke, Tamsey and Al Audet, of Melbourne, Fla, Beth Garst and Barry Briggs, of Boones Mill, Jackie Anderson, of Wilmington, N.C., Julie and Tom Duggan, of Orlean, Va., and Laura and Gene Craft, of Vershire, Vt. Also surviving are her brother, James Taggart Priestley III, of Florida and Colorado, nine grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. The family is deeply grateful to those who so lovingly cared for Barbara over the last year, allowing her to stay at home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Habitat for Humanity of Franklin County, PO Box 834, Rocky Mount, VA 24151.
The family will greet friends at Flora Funeral Home in Rocky Mount on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Graveside service will be held at Mountain View Memorial Park at 1:00 p.m. Thursday.