Obituary: Barbara Riskas

Grandmother, world traveler, gifted cook, entertainer

Barbara Lew Riskas died with her family by her side on August 31 at the age of 86.

She was born December 2, 1931 in Payette, Idaho. Her family lived in many different US cities from when she was born to her early teens. She attended Belmont High School in Los Angeles where she met the love of her life, Mike, who became her husband of 58 years.

The couple came to Claremont as newlyweds, after Mr. Riskas was hired as a physical education teacher and coach at Pomona College. For many years she was active in the Junior Women’s Club of Claremont. After her children were older she obtained her real estate license and was a successful real estate broker in the Inland Empire for 20 years.

Mrs. Riskas’ life was filled with traveling, especially to her favorite cities of Athens and Paris. She excelled at entertaining and loved to spend time with her extended Greek family. She was an amazing cook and doted on her family, they shared.

She was a big supporter and strong advocate of her husband and his student athletes, generously offering post injury care and home cooked meals.

“Barbara leaves a legacy of love and happiness to everyone she encountered. Her family was the most important part of her life,” they shared.

She is survived by her husband, Mike; children Michelle and Steven; six grandchildren, Kyle, Connor, Madison, Hannah, Emily and Allison; and her cousin, Joyce Everett of Twin Falls, Idaho.

A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, September 22 at Guerra and Gutierrez Mortuary, 6338 Greenleaf Ave., Whittier. A reception will follow from 3 to 5 p.m. at Whittier Masonic Lodge, 7604 Greenleaf Ave., Whittier.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to one of Mrs. Riskas’ favorite charities, The Stead Heart and Vascular Center at Pomona Valley Hospital at pvhmc.org/centers-of-excellence/ heart-vascular-center, or by check to 1798 N. Garey Ave., Pomona, CA 91767.

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