1927 – 2019
Growing up in the small Iowa town of George, Barbara was determined to widen her horizons, see the world, and not marry a farmer! Although she spent many weekends with her grandparents and other family members at their farms, the closest she got to farm life was raising a pet lamb.
After making a road trip with her grandparents, mom and brother in the 1930s to the west, she decided that the west would one day be in her future. Her wanderlust would continue to take her to faraway places. In 1950, during her college years, she embarked on a 61-day European adventure with 22 other students. Their excursion to the Isle of Jersey, on the converted hospital steamship Brittany, would be the largest American group to have visited the Isle at the time. Barbara’s travels would continue to be a highlight in her life, with trips to China, Tahiti, the Caribbean, Canada, Russia, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, South America, Asia and within the U.S. Many of these trips were made on a cruise ship, which gave her ample opportunity to “dress to impress.” Those who knew Barbara will remember what beautiful gowns she wore, and how she always dressed with flare. Even her students would comment “Mrs. Soros, we never see you wear the same outfit twice!”
Education played a large role in her life. Her degree from Iowa State and a Master of Education from Stanford led to a 30-year career with the Anaheim Union School District as a high school guidance counselor, teacher and faculty advisor.
With her midwestern work ethic, Barbara dove into many volunteer activities, both personal and professional. She was a member of Delta Zeta, Assistance League of Orange, and the Villa Park Women’s League. One of her favorite experiences was volunteering for the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics as an usher at the L.A. Coliseum.
Her early musical training led to a lifelong passion for the performing arts. In college, she played the piano in a swing band, sang and played the clarinet. She parlayed that interest into volunteering for the Orange County Performing Arts Center, as a member of Opera Pacific, and the Arthur Fielder and Cabaret Chapters.
Not one to sit on her laurels, Barbara had a keen interest in real estate. She purchased many rental properties and added “property manager and investor” to her long list of accomplishments.
Barbara was a loving and generous mother who worked hard to give her family a good life. Her goals as a parent were, in her own words, “develop the potential of my children, citizenship responsibility, family communication and participation, respect for others and appreciation for the arts.”
Barbara Beth Soros was born on March 10, 1927 and passed away peacefully on Feb. 16. She is survived by her daughter Constance Townsend of Santa Barbara, son Stephen Soros and his wife La’a of Honokaa, Hawaii, grandchildren Bryant and Alyssa Townsend, Grant and Clayton Soros and brother Lee Jacobs.
This poem was written by Barbara’s mother, Esther Jacobs—a prolific poet for all occasions.
The Hand of God
A gentleness has slowly drifted to keep; Your loved one in final sleep; The hand of God has touched another; This time upon a cherished mother; Blessings on you is the angel’s song; For the loved one who is gone; Through the gate opened wide; Welcoming the dear mother who passes inside.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Barbara’s name to Assistance League of Orange, 124 S. Orange St., Orange, 92866; or Villa Park Women’s League, 17853 Santiago Blvd., #107-171, Villa Park 92861.