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Barbara Packard Obituary (1932 - 2022) - Palo Alto, California

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barbara packard
February 13, 1932 to May 21, 2022
Barbara Packard died of natural causes at Stanford Hospital on May 21, 2022, aged 90.
Barbara was born in Orange, California to Byron and Viola (née Lyon) Bentley, grew up in Los Angeles, and attended Hollywood High School. After her graduation, she entered Stanford University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in 1954 and her master’s degree, both in mathematics, in 1955. At Stanford she met John Packard. Everyone was surprised when the smartest girl in the class and the rowdy fraternity president fell in love. However, they brought out the best in each other, and their bond deepened and lasted until the very end.
After graduation, marriage, and the birth of Dana and Bob, while John was a flight instructor in the Air Force, the two returned to the Bay Area, where Barbara worked as a mathematician at NASA’s Ames Research Center, and John I have an MBA from Stanford University. Soon after, the family also included his two daughters, Becky and Leslie. Barbara then joined her Hewlett-Packard, eventually becoming her R&D engineer and manager, and earned her second Stanford master’s degree, this time in Computer Science. Barbara worked on several significant projects at HP and managed part of her groundbreaking NewWave project that inspired the early development of her Windows at Microsoft.
Barbara came from a family of teachers, and in the Packards there was nothing more valuable than an education. She passed on her love for her higher education to her children. John and Barbara generously supported her beloved alma mater, Stanford, from fundraising to organizing a reunion to donating multiple scholarships and faculty chairs.
From an early age, Barbara displayed great intellectual curiosity and a sense of adventure, traveling the world, trekking to the Galapagos Islands, China, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and even Nepal. She once attended a dinner where the host placed her next to Sir Edmund Hillary and they talked all night long about their shared love of the Himalayas. Although she was no longer able to, she was still able to spend as much time as possible in her favorite place in the world, her adopted home on Maui.
Barbara’s activities and interests have resulted in many lasting friendships. She was far from her typical mother, but she loved her children deeply and loved her grandchildren. She has an older brother Donald (Penny), daughters Dana Dooley (Byron), Becky Nagy (Ted), Leslie Martin (Tony), and grandchildren Lauren, Cathy, Sam, Madeleine, Booker, Robert, and her survived by caregivers. , Ina, who became her best friend in her later years. She had lost her beloved husband John and her only son Robert. We will miss her and she is so proud to be the daughter of such an extraordinary woman.
In lieu of flowers, we would appreciate a donation to the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in Barbara’s name, or another charity of the donor’s choice. At her request, her family attends a private ceremony to scatter her ashes at sea.

Published by San Francisco Chronicle on August 10, 2022.

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