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Barbara Whisler Bedell


1948 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Barbara Whisler Bedell Obituary
Barbara Whisler Bedell, a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, teacher, Bakersfield High School Driller and UCLA Bruin, died Dec. 15 after a short but valiant battle with cancer. She was 67.
Barbara was born Dec. 6, 1948, in Iowa City, Iowa, to a father and mother she couldn't have been more in love with, Everett "Pete" and Lois Whisler. As a young child, she and her family moved to Bakersfield, where both her parents became longtime school teachers.
Barbara grew up in northeast Bakersfield, attending Longfellow Elementary School, Washington Middle School and BHS, where she was selected to spend a year in Brazil as a foreign-exchange student.
After graduating from BHS in 1966, Barbara went on to Bakersfield College and then UCLA, where she earned bachelor's and master's degrees in history.
On her first day on the UCLA campus, she met chemistry major Doug Bedell of Palos Verdes, and the two were hopelessly devoted to each other from then on. They celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary three days before Barbara died.
During those four-plus decades, Barbara and Doug raised three children in Torrance: Christine Bedell, now of Bakersfield; David Bedell of Harbor City; and Laura Proffitt of Torrance, who gave her perhaps her greatest joys, a grandson, Nicholas, and granddaughter, Alyssa.
Barbara started out her career teaching junior college Latin American history, then switched to elementary grades because it enabled her to be a more attentive, involved mommy. She taught at 186th Street School in Gardena for some 30 years, much of that time in both English and Spanish.
Barbara's free time was usually spent in the kitchen, where she turned every evening meal into a gourmet production. She also enjoyed volunteering in classrooms, rooting for UCLA, reading multiple newspapers a day and feeding blue jays on the deck of her vacation home in Cambria.
She rarely fretted about anything. Her favorite sayings were: "Don't sweat the small stuff" and "If money can fix it, it isn't a problem."
In addition to her husband, children and grandchildren, Barbara is survived by her mother-in-law, Rosina "Joni" McIntyre of Redondo Beach; sister-in-law, Lee Bulfin of Oceanside; son-in-law, Shane Proffitt of Torrance; nieces Jennifer Sweney of Morrisville, N.C., and Tricia Tedford of North Tustin; and a large extended family that lovingly called her "Barb."
A celebration of Barbara's life will be held in Torrance.
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Dec. 23, 2015
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