Obituary of Barbara C. Cibak
Barbara Cibak, 84, passed away early Monday morning, November 13, 2023 at Hunterdon Medical Center in Flemington.
Born in Jersey City to Karl and Gerda Barkhau, Barbara grew up fearlessly competitive in Weehawken, always eager to challenge the boys in neighborhood basketball or baseball games when she wasn't sneaking across the Hudson to NYC dance clubs. As a young woman, she found work with an airline and channeled her boundless energy into the world of travel including a few unforgettable trips to Hawaii. Her globe trotting tales were always punctuated with her trade-mark laugh and an easy smile.
In the early 70's she settled in South Plainfield to start a family with her husband Bob. Barbara became an integral part of her community, dedicated to St. Stephen’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, serving as a Girl Scout Leader, and actively supporting local high school wrestling and band programs. Her involvement with youth and her community continued long after her own children grew into adulthood.
Barbara understood strategy in sports and was always great company at a game, whether it was basketball, baseball, or football. She treasured memories of sweltering summer double-headers at Yankee Stadium and crisp autumn Army/Navy grudge matches at West Point.
For those who loved her, she will be remembered as the host of many dinner parties among her wide circle of friends from childhood, family and work life as well as the occasional lost soul happy to share in her kindness. Kids in the neighborhood will also remember that the Cibak house always had the best junk food - Barb was also known for her sweet tooth.
Although Barbara’s biggest roles in life were wife, mom, grandma and friend, she did earn a real estate license and worked as a sassy receptionist for various companies once her children were grown.
Later in life, Barb continued to spread joy with her grandchildren during countless cherished holidays, birthdays and sleepovers. Despite struggling with dementia in her final years, she found ways to comfort herself and others with her unflinching brand of wit and humor. Through it all, a hit-parade of 50s music played non-stop in the background. She could always chime in with the lyrics to her favorite Frankie Vallie, Johnnie Mathis and Elvis tracks.
Preceded in death by her husband, John Robert Cibak in 2014, she is survived by her two daughters, Robyn Sison and husband Ray, Cheryl Cibak, and her sister, Evelyn Passante. She will also be missed by her two granddaughters, Kira and Karly, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
Barbara's life will be celebrated in funeral services commencing on Monday, November 20, 2023 at 10AM in the McCriskin – Gustafson Home For Funerals, 2425 Plainfield Avenue South Plainfield NJ 07080. A Funeral Service will be held at 11AM at St. Stephen’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in South Plainfield, followed by burial in Hillside Cemetery, Scotch Plains.
Family and friends may gather on Sunday, November 19 from 1-5PM in the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to March of Dimes, a charity Barbara supported for many years. Visit marchofdimes.org or call 1-888-663-4637.