Mary Louise Barber

Mary Louise Barber
Resident of Corralitos
Mary Barber departed from us peacefully on January 13, 2013, at the age of 94. She is survived by her loving family, only child and son Clark, daughter-in-law, Maureen, and granddaughters, Darcy and Kerry.
Mary Louise was born to Clarence G. and Blanche (Pennington) Walker on August 16, 1918, in Huron, South Dakota. The loss of her mother at the early age of 4 years old led to her forming especially close bonds with her twin sister, Marjorie, and her father's sister, Eva Walker.
Mary attended the Huron public schools. She graduated from Huron College in May, 1941, distinguishing herself in operatic vocal music and theatrical performance, and by continuing her studies to earn a teaching credential. Subsequently, she worked for the Red Cross in the World War II era. In that capacity she met the love of her life, Robert L. (Roy) Barber, a Lieutenant in the Army, at Camp Stoneman in the San Francisco Bay Area, in 1945. They were married in 1946 and celebrated their 63rd anniversary a few months before Roy's passing in 2009. Following the cessation of hostilities in World War II, Roy and Mary lived in Japan until 1948 as Roy served as an early member of the OSS, which later became the CIA.
Upon returning to the United States Mary and Roy resided in San Francisco where she worked as a first grade teacher in the Marina District, and Roy began his career in the insurance industry. A few years later they settled in Saratoga, California, where they built a home and raised their son, Clark. Mary enjoyed an active career in the Saratoga community as a participant and leader at Montalvo Arts Center, Foothill Service Club, and Saratoga Federated Church. Mary and Roy moved to Scotts Valley after Roy's retirement in the 1980's, residing at Montevalle and then Oak Tree Villa.
Mary possessed a creative flair that allowed her to transform any floral arrangement, room, party decorations or table setting into a work of art. Darcy and Kerry hold fond memories of Grandma Barber's lavish Easter egg hunts, delicious malted milks, shopping forays, and the many fun hours of arts and crafts activities she provided for them as children. During her life she always enjoyed the kinship of new found and lifelong friendships. We will always remember Mary's zest for life, humor, creativity and tenacity. She was a loving, loyal and vibrant wife, mother, artistic soul, animal-advocate, citizen and friend. Mary made the world a more cheerful, hospitable and beautiful place for us all.
We wish to thank the staff and her friends in recent years and months at Valley Heights, De Un Amor Home, and Hospice, for the care and attentiveness extended on Mary's behalf. Graveside services will be private. A memorial service for Mary will be held in the spring. To honor Mary's life it is requested that donations be made in her remembrance to organizations supportive of education, the arts, or the SPCA. To share your condolences and memories with Mary's family please visit


Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Jan. 18, 2013