Barbara Ann Sielaff



Memorial Contributions:

St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church

2250 East Paris Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, 49546


Susan Mast ALS Foundation

2500 Waldorf Ct. NW, Grand Rapids, 49544

Barbara Ann Sielaff (nee Bander) passed quietly into the loving arms of God on July 2, 2021.  She was preceded in death by her parents Nicholas and Virginia Bander. She is survived by her son, Dr. Alan (Jenna) Sielaff, and her daughter, Laura (Bryan) Helder, and their father Mark Sielaff, as well as three grandchildren; Scarlett and Eleanor Sielaff and Carter Helder. Other surviving family includes her sisters; Laurie Monticello, Stephanie (Paul) Scott, Andrea (Brad) Bohner, and nieces and nephews Travis (Emily) Monticello, Alyssa and Nicholas Scott. She is also survived by her first cousins Dr. Sam (Wendie) Bander, Jackie (Paul) Solberg and Brian and Carol Saykaly. Barb grew up in Grand Rapids, MI and graduated from Ottawa Hills High School, GRCC, and Western Michigan University. Her life was cut short after a long, nearly five year battle with ALS.

She was an avid NFL football fan (Go Cowboys!) and loved both watching and playing tennis. She was a lifelong member of St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church in Grand Rapids. She had a unique talent inherited from her mother for making Lebanese food; especially cheesebread, spinach pie and hushwee.

Barb’s priority in life was always her children and her beautiful grandchildren, especially during her illness. Scarlett and Eleanor would Facetime Sitto from Brighton and would visit her often. Carter loved to go on outings with Sitto and visit Frederick Meijer Gardens, Reeds Lake and watched “Secret Life of Pets” while snacking on Oreo cookies with her. Many thanks to the Susan Mast Foundation, Mercy Health St. Mary’s ALS clinic and the ALS Association of Michigan for their help along the way. Barb was able to stay in her own home for as long as she did because of her dedicated and compassionate caregivers. Thanks also to Faith Hospice, especially Tammi, RN and Faith Hospice at Trillium Woods. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, from 2PM-4PM and 6PM-8PM with a Trisagion service at 7:30PM at O’Brien-Gerst Funeral Home, 3980 Cascade Rd SE. Viewing from 10:00AM-11:00AM on Thursday July 8, 2021, at St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church followed by an 11:00AM funeral service. Donations in memory of Barb may be made to St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church, 2250 East Paris Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, 49546 or the Susan Mast ALS Foundation, 2500 Waldorf Ct. NW, Grand Rapids 49544.



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13 Responses

  1. My condolences to the Sielaff family, for Barbara’s falling asleep. May the lord hold her hand on her journey to heavenly paradise.

    Malek Wadi Karadsheh

  2. To the worlds greatest Sitto and mom – we love you and will cherish you every single day. You are in our hearts always. Rest In Peace.

  3. Barb, you were an amazing lady inside and out! I am a better person because of you. Miss you! Thank you for always having an open ear!

  4. I will miss her so much. I love u. I’m so glad I got to take care of you. You will always be in my heart for every

  5. We were so sorry to hear of Barbara’s passing into eternal life. She is now in a place where there is no longer any pain or suffering. She will surely be missed by all who knew her. May God grant her memory to be eternal!
    With our love and prayers,
    Fr. George and Carol Alberts

  6. Barb touched my life in so many ways. I am forever grateful!!!! I miss you !!!!

  7. She was an incredible aunt—fiercely loyal and loving. Aunt Barb was undeterred by hardship and kept her hope in the Lord. I treasure the memories I have with her as well as her beautiful example. She rests in the arms of Jesus.

  8. I was blessed knowing barb and able to take her to a cowboy game. We became good friends and always talk football. I came to love her. Amazing women

  9. I came to love your mom. I was so blessed that I could take her to a Dallas game and meet some players. It was a pleasure working with her. I will miss our text about the cowboys.

  10. Barb & I have been friends for 45 years .She was the best friend that a girl could ever have. Her laughter, her ability to have fun doing simple things, and her love were contagious! She taught me so much about life. Her strength and courage in the midst of hardship was amazing as she looked to the Lord. My deepest condolences in the loss of your mom/Sitto. She was a wonderful woman.

  11. My kids and I have many wonderful memories of Barb when the kids were young. We will never forget her generosity and love she showed all of us. Rest In Peace Barb!

  12. Our sincere condolences on your families loss. Barb will forever be remembered as part of our foursome at Jolly Rogers Swim Club! Those endless summer days of our youth are cherished memories! God rest her soul.

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