Barbara "Risty" Wood
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April 8, 1925-May 20, 2012
Barbara "Risty" Wood of the Peninsula's landmark Admiral Risty Restaurant sadly passed away on May 20 in Rancho Palos Verdes at the age of 87.
The Admiral's hat was just one of the many "hats" that this Mills College graduate wore. From The Admiral Risty's inception in 1966, Risty was involved in all of the creative aspects of the restaurant and she oversaw a myriad of duties from marketing and public relations to holiday décor, special events, community donations and more. Crewmembers dearly loved Risty, and one shared that she was like a second mother to him.
In 1945, Risty married her high school sweetheart, Ralph, while she was still a coed at Mills College and he was on a 30-day Army furlough. While Ralph was completing his studies at Occidental College, they lived in the veteran housing on the Occidental campus. Risty rode the streetcar to work in downtown Los Angeles where she utilized her degree in Spanish as a translator for an import/export company.
During their long and wonderful 67-year marriage, Risty and Ralph raised and educated four children. While reminiscing, her children described Risty as a loving, supportive and involved mother. According to her daughter, Sara, "she never tried to put us in a box, she let us follow our own dreams." Son, Chip, commented "she could gut a fish in the morning and go to a black-tie event that evening." Eldest son, Jon, credits Risty's open-mindedness as "the glue holding a seriously diverse family together."
Risty was a dedicated runner and she also enjoyed tennis and sailing. She made time for community volunteer activities, too, as a member of the Marymount College Board of Trustees, and Bravo!, a support group of the Norris Theatre. Further, she was a longtime member of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Branch of AAUW, and an active member of the Mills College Alumni Association.
After her children were grown, Risty returned to the classroom and became a commercial Real Estate Broker. She also earned a Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) credential as did Ralph. In 2008, Risty and Ralph were awarded the Matt Brunning Business Excellence Award from the Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce. Their love of adventure took Risty and Ralph to six of the seven continents.
Risty is survived by her husband, Ralph, and their children, John (Lisa), Sara (Chuck), Chip (Lee Ann), and Eric (Robin); grandchildren, Lars, Anders, April, Don, Evan, Christine; and great-grandchildren, Ian, Anabella and Mia.
A memorial service honoring this remarkable woman will be held on Saturday, June 9 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Peter's By The Sea Presbyterian Church in Rancho Palos Verdes. There will be a reception immediately following in the church's Fellowship Hall. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts be made in Risty's honor to the Mills College Annual Fund in support of scholarships, c/o OIA, 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613.
Risty was loved greatly, and she will be missed greatly. Please sign the guestbook at www.dailybreeze.com.
Published in Daily Breeze on June 8, 2012