Barbara Ruth Archer
September 21, 1942 – September 11, 2021
Born in Washington, D.C., on September 21, 1942, Barbara Ruth Weare was the happy only child of David and Ruth Weare of Suitland, Maryland. Nicknamed “Bobbie”, the young Barbara liked taking tap dancing lessons and, as a teen, marching as a majorette in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and, later, competing in and winning “hand dance” competitions in Ocean City as a young woman.
After graduating from Suitland High School in 1960, Barbara had jobs in a few banks in the area, and at WPGC radio station in D.C. There, she worked with personalities like Harv Moore and Marv Brooks, and saw bands like Herman’s Hermits and The British Walkers. A lifelong music lover, she attended concerts at the Howard in D.C. with her first husband, seeing artists like James Brown and Sam & Dave in the Sixties. By the time that her only son, Glenn Francis Griffith was born in 1967, Barbara was working at the Naval Oceanographic Office in Suitland, Maryland. During her long career at the Naval Oceanographic Office, Barbara worked as a program coordinator, helping international naval officers attend critical training here in the United States.
Following her divorce from her first husband in the early Seventies, Barbara began dating William Keith Archer, whom she married on June 6, 1978. Barbara and Keith were married for 43 years, and Barbara became a loved stepmother to Keith’s two daughters from his previous marriage, Pamela Sutton and Linda Ripley.
Following a move with her work to the South, first Mississippi in 1977 and then Louisiana for two more years, Barbara and her family returned to the D.C. area in 1980 to be closer to Barbara’s older parents. Barbara, along with Keith, worked at the Defense Mapping Agency where she served as a protocol officer. She retired from the government a few years later, after working at the Coast Guard Headquarters as a public affairs specialist. In her government positions, Barbara was active in a leadership role in Federally Employed Women (FEW), an advocacy group for women working in the federal government.
After leaving the government, Barbara worked for more than 20 years as a home healthcare coordinator for a series of home healthcare agencies in Southern Maryland. The work was challenging and demanding, and it kept Barbara engaged as she grew older.
Barbara is survived by her husband of 43 years, William Keith Archer; her son, Glenn Francis Griffith, and his wife and Barbara’s daughter-in-law, Myra Cabe; stepdaughters, Pamela Sutton and Linda Ripley; and grandchildren, Ryan, Chad, and Zachary.
Barbara is remembered for her big heart, love of animals, kind words, and eagerness to care for those around her. She inspired others to be the best versions of themselves they could be and tried to set a good example for her family of how a woman could live a life of decent, Christian values without being a hypocrite about it. Her career exemplified her desire to serve, whether it was the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, or local citizens in Calvert County.
Family and friends will gather privately to remember Barbara. The family asks that donations be made in her name to some of her favorite charities and causes: S.O.M.E.; ASPCA; The House of Ruth; and Democratic candidates in Maryland.
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