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.