Barbara Louise Norby was born in Rowayten, Connecticut, on July 11, 1933. Her early childhood was spent in many places, including living for a year on Bainbridge Island when she was four years old. Though it was only a year she lived on the island, she never forgot the experience. It was where she wanted to spend the last years of her life.
Barbara spent most of her childhood growing up in Virginia, where she and her friends would often climb the stairs of the Washington Monument.
Barbara was valedictorian of her high school class, and went on to major in journalism at Northwestern University on a full scholarship. During her time there, Barbara met Richard Palmer Hollis. The couple dated exclusively, and, after graduating in 1955, they married.
Barbara worked in New York City as a public relations specialist for American Standard until the birth of three sons: Charles Palmer, James Richard and John William. The family moved to Los Altos, CA, in 1966 at the birth of the high-tech boom.
Barbara had many passions, including a profound interest in yoga as physical and spiritual exercise. She became the founder and president of the Yoga Society of America and learned Sanskrit in order to write books for her Hindu teacher.
Always curious, she ventured into many areas long before they became mainstream. In addition to practicing yoga, she explored self-hypnosis and New Age beliefs, was an ardent nutritionist and traveled the world.
As her children grew, she returned to the workforce. Rapidly she climbed to the position of managing entire marketing departments for high-tech and bio-medical firms.
She and Richard retired in 1995 and moved to Bainbridge Island. On the island, they joined Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church and sang in the choir. She was active in Stephen Ministries and found a deep passion for the Eastern healing art of Reiki. She founded one of the first Christian Reiki groups and spent many years healing people of their afflictions.
Barbara survived her husband by nine years. She watched in love and adoration the blossoming of her grandchildren Laura Catherine, Steven Palmer, Madeline Ann, Ryan James, Kyle Patrick, Kaya Isabelle and Abigail Leigh. She passed in peace from a sudden stop of the heart.
She will always be remembered, cherished and loved.