Barbara Brooks Whitney Willburn died on Sunday, January 20, 2013, surrounded by her children. She was 86.
Barbara was born at home in Alexander Valley to Carol and Lloyd Brooks. Her father worked for the railroad, so the family moved many times along the 101 corridor, finally settling in Willits after her father died and her mom married Bob Brown.
Barbara graduated from Willits High School and then joined the Cadet Nursing program at Santa Rosa Junior College during World War II. After graduating with an RN degree, she married Bill Whitney and lived in Willits, working at the Whitney & Whitney Insurance Agency and then as a school nurse at Brookside Elementary School.
She and Bill had three children and enjoyed their life in Willits, but eventually divorced. A few years later, Barbara married Eddie Willburn and they were together for 20 years, until his death. She, along with Eddie, were very involved in the AA and Alanon community, and had countless friends who have been very supportive.
Barbara enjoyed many things, including travel, sewing, knitting and quilting, and she was an avid reader. When Bill was stationed in Europe during World War II he became friends with a Belgium family. Barbara wrote to the family's daughter, André, for many years, writing letters to her in French, and André would answer in English. Barbara and her sister, Carolyn, traveled to visit Henré and André in Belgium, as did Barbara and Eddie.
Barbara was preceded in death by her sister, Carolyn Haggard, and brother Howard Brooks. She is survived by her brother, Douglas Brown, and wife Glenda; son, Dusty Whitney; daughter Wendy Emal and husband Russell; and daughter India White and husband Ralph. She also is survived by five grandchildren: Shawn White, Jessie White, Natalie Matson, Nicole Mclain and Ryan Emal; eight great-grandchildren; a great-great granddaughter; plus many nieces, nephews and a whole host of friends.
Barbara will be cremated, and her ashes interned on her father's gravesite in a private ceremony.
Barbara was known as a very loving, kind and gracious woman, so instead of flowers please do as many acts of kindness as possible whenever possible in her memory.