Barbara Mery Bennett Oakie died June 14.
In accordance with her wishes, no ceremony will be held. Interment will be in the Clear Creek cemetery, alongside her husband, parents and sisters.
Barbara was born October 11, 1913, in Chico, her father and mother both of pioneer Chico families. She attended Chico State, at that time a junior college, then went on to the University of California at Berkeley, graduating in May 1934, gaining not only a diploma but the acquaintance of her soon-to-be partner in life, John H. Oakie. They were married in 1936 and set up house-keeping in San Francisco, where their son John was born in 1940.
Barbara and her family moved to Grass Valley after the onset of World War II. They bought property on McCourtney Road, harvesting pears, raising cattle, selling cream and eggs and raising children. Their daughter Katherine was born in 1942 and daughter Sarah followed in 1947. In 1953 they purchased the Barnegat Ranch on Spenceville Road in Penn Valley.
Barbara’s life was filled with a void after her husband’s untimely passing that she sought to fill with loyalty and devotion to her family and her friends. She moved to Pasadena and went to work as a social services supervisor for the County of Los Angeles and took the first of her many trips abroad, to Europe. She was a tireless traveler, covering 49 U.S. states and almost every continent. Her last trip out of the U.S. was at the age of 92, when she hosted a trip to Japan for her son, John and his wife, Sandie. Her last year was spent on Lopez Island, Wash., in the home of daughter, Sarah and son-in-law, Lawrence Eppenbach, also with daughter, Katherine Marsh. There is no one who did not love her; there is no one who will not miss her. She touched the lives of many and we are all the better for it.
Barbara is survived by five grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and a large, multi-generational extended family
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