Barbara G. Keyser passed away on June 8, 2020, while surrounded by her family after a short illness.
Barbara was a beautiful, intelligent woman with an endless passion for her husband, children, and grandchildren. She and her husband of four decades, Dr. Herbert Keyser, were world travelers and spent every summer in their home in Chautauqua, New York, enjoying abundant art, generous philanthropy and intellectual entertainment.
Barbara was born Aug. 26, 1932, in New York City, raised in Beverly Hills, California, and moved to San Antonio in 1952 to marry the father of her children, Mendel Kaliff. She raised four children, Melissa, Melani, Mitchell and Matthew while being involved in many community and political activities. Barbara spent many hours as a volunteer at the Robert B. Green Memorial Hospital and, as a lifelong Democrat, was the Bexar County Chair of the Sissy Farenthold campaign for governor. She was an avid supporter of Planned Parenthood, spending countless hours helping educate young women regarding women’s health and family issues. In 1976 she
was sent to China with a small group of Americans to trade birth control information with the Chinese government. She pioneered sex education in local high schools for boys and girls.
Barbara had been a member of Temple Beth El since 1952 and served as the campaign chair of the Women’s division of the Jewish Federation of San Antonio. When Barbara married Herb, she became the mother of two additional children, Chris and Stephanie.
Barbara was a phenomenal cook. She and Herb were avid entertainers and many enjoyed the lavish meals that Barbara was famous for preparing. Barbara was a talented athlete, snow skiing well into her 70s, and swimming regularly until quite recently. Barbara had many life passions. One of her most cherished activities was sitting in the audience of one of Herb’s lectures or performances, and cheering enthusiastically with the crowd. There were over 800 of these, and she attended each and every one.
Barbara is preceded in death by her parents, Alfred and Ann Gardner. She is survived by her husband, Dr. Herbert Keyser; her children, Melissa Kaliff, Melani Sky-bell (Nic Tsolainos), Mitchell Kaliff (Bruce Smiley-Kaliff), Matthew Kaliff (Beth Kaliff), Christopher Keyser (Susan Sprung-Keyser) and Stephanie Keller (Paul Keller); her 10 grandchildren (Harry and Ben Stokes, Madeline and Benjamin Sprung-Keyser, Eli, Yaacov, Sara and Leah Kaliff, Aaron and Simon Keller) and one great-grandchild (Ollie Stokes).
The love, humor, and charm that our “Barb, Mom, Mother K, Grandma Barbara, Grams” brought to everyone that knew her and loved her will be forever cherished and celebrated in beautiful memories.
Because of COVID-19, a graveside service will be held for the immediate family and a celebration of Barbara’s life will be held in the future as safety permits.