In Memory

Barbara Balfour (Greer) - Class Of 1929


Longtime South Pas Resident Barbara Greer Passes Away

Barbara Balfour Greer, a longtime South Pasadena resident, passed away May 25, 2009, of natural causes at The Sequoias retirement community in Portola Valley, California.  She was 96.

Barbara Balfour Greer was born on August 26, 1912, In South Pasadena.  She graduated from South Pasadena High School in 1929 and attended Stanford University, earning a BA degree in 1933 and an MA degree in 1934.  She taught English and journalism at the Inglewood High School District for three years.

Barbara met her husband, Captain Harry Holt Greer, a Naval Academy graduate, on a blind date in 1938 arranged by a mutual friend when he was serving on the battleship New Mexico stationed off of Los Angeles.  He invited her out to the ship for dinner, and they married soon after.  They then relocated to Pearl Harbor.  He later became a highly decorated Navy officer.

After war broke out, the couple moved to New London, Connecticut where Captain Greer undertook submarine training.  He was awarded the Navy Cross as commander of the USS Seahorse for his daring ventures through the minefields at the entrance to the Sea of Japan.

When peace was restored, he continued to have a wide variety of assignments with the Navy, and during this time Barbara raised four children.  After the death of her husband in 1974, Greer returned to her mother's home in South Pasadena, the same Craftsman cottage in which she had been raised.

Barbara became a docent at the Huntington Museum in Pasadena while working part time as a travel agent and caring for her mother, Adelia Balfour who lived to be 103 years of age.

After a decade in South Pasadena, Barbara moved to The Sequois in Portola Valley, near the Stanford campus.

Greer is survived by her four children, Gabrielle Greer Pryor of La Canada, CA., William Greer of Richmond, Virginia, James Greer of Menlo Park, CA., and Adelia Greer of Finavarra, Ireland, as well as nine grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

She was interred at Arlington National Cemetery, where her husband lies.

South Pasadena Review, June 10, 2009