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Barbara Drake Blevens
Barbara Drake Blevens, 78, passed away Friday, May 24, 2013. She was born October 4, 1934, to Tracy Warden Johnson and Leone Mildred (Sands) Johnson, in Fargo, N.D., and raised with her older sister in Corvallis, OR.
Barbara enrolled at the University of Oregon to pursue her passion in art education. Upon graduation, she fell in love with a man who would soon become her husband. Barbara and Mel were married within six months, and after a short tour in the Navy, settled in Carmel Valley.
Always the happy and creative person, she wove an artistic life into many corners of this small community; touching people, collecting memories, and nurturing lasting friendships along the way. Barbara saw all things artistically in shapes, patterns, textures and colors. Her greatest passion was to encourage everyone, youth and adults alike, to appreciate the world's beauty and to find the creative ability within them. She loved her career as an art teacher at All Saint's Day School in Carmel Valley and Santa Catalina School in Monterey. Upon retirement, Barbara found in photography a new outlet for her artistic creativity. Her very first submission of a photograph to the Monterey County Fair was awarded first-prize. She went on to exhibit her photographs locally in various venues, including Hartnell College and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Barbara was a long-time member of St. Dunstan's Church where she served on many committees including the vestry. She was a member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, P. E. O. and Children's Home Society, and a devoted supporter of the Monterey Symphony and Nature Conservancy. For decades, Barbara supported the growth and expansion of St. Andre's School in Hinche, a Haitian missionary project of St. Dunstan's Church. She visited the school several times lending spiritual and temporal support to the students and their teachers.
Barbara is survived by her husband of 56 years, Melvin Blevens; two children and their spouses, Kathryn and Jonathan Freer, and Alexander and Marcia Blevens; seven grandchildren and their spouses, Hannah and Alexander Slamen, Heather and Win Wartanyan, Abigail Freer, Carly and Dane Rasmussen, Meghan and Zack Moore, Christopher and Melissa Blevens, and Andrew Blevens; four great-grandchildren, Magdalena and Canon Slamen, and Thea and Drake Wartanyan; and older sister, Virginia McFarlan.
A Memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, May 31, 2013, at St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church, 28005 Robinson Canyon Road, Carmel.
Anyone caring to remember Barbara and her passion for education of the Haitian children may donate to: St. Andre's School, in care of St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 101, Carmel Valley, CA 93924.
Published in The Salinas Californian on May 29, 2013