Virginia Louise Barekman passed away in the early hours of December 24th, after battling with the after-effects of a severe stroke suffered in April. Born in Berkeley, California on July 12, 1930 to U.S. Coast Guard
Lieutenant (j.g.) Alonzo Oscar Hatfield and Mary Ross Elliott Hatfield, the family was frequently transferred across the country and to Alaska. She attended schools in 11 cities across 9 states and Alaska, before proudly graduating on time from St. Elizabeth High School in Oakland in 1948. Virginia joined the United States Navy
in 1950, serving as a corpsman and nurse. She settled in Mendocino County in 1967, living in Fort Bragg for 26 years before moving to Ukiah 20 years ago. Community-oriented and a dedicated homemaker, she was a strong proponent of children's education and often volunteered in her children's schools and activities. She was fondly referred to as their "Other Mother" by many of the friends her children brought home. She worked with and supported a variety of service organizations and charities, and worked part-time in the family business The Rex Pharmacy in Fort Bragg. Virginia's many passions included reading, especially Shakespeare (who she referred to as "Will"), writing, and listening to all types of music. She loved gardening, making new friends, traveling by train, and attending the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She thoroughly enjoyed the Festival's production of "My Fair Lady" less than 48 hours before her stroke. She loved animals and cared for a variety of special dogs and cats throughout her life. She also loved to participate in (and recently won!) the annual family college football bowl and March Madness pools. Living in Alaska as a child left an indelible mark on her heart, as she felt a connection to the land and the art of its people for the rest of her life. Virginia believed in living life to the fullest, and she fought and survived breast cancer
, failing eyesight, and the effects of the stroke with courage, grace and humor. Virginia was preceded in death by her beloved father (who is buried in Arlington National Cemetery), mother, and step-father, William F. "Frank" Hewer. She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Michael; daughter and son-in-law Karen Kristy & Allan Fuller of Anchorage, AK; son and daughter-in-law Steve & Sandi Barekman of Ukiah; daughter and son-in-law Marissa & Bob Skari of Menifee, CA; and her sunshine grandchildren Caroline and Jack Skari of Menifee, Chelsea and Rilee Dockins and Kallie Barekman of Ukiah, and her pet cat, Ruthie. A gathering to celebrate Virginia's life will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County, Dogs for the Deaf, or the Senior Advocacy Services of Sonoma County. Eversole Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.