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Barbara Pehlke

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Pehlke, Barbara
In Memory of Barbara Pehlke. Challenging her doctor's prognosis, she fought for years when needed in order to continue to live a life full of family and friends. Her periodic medical setbacks would be met initially with trepidation and thoughtful collaboration, but ultimately faced head on with a determined focus on recovery. She had to recover well. Her dance card was full and she would not want to disappoint. Be it a bridge tournament, a cruise with a friend, a grandchild's graduation or wedding, her annual trek to Puerto Vallarta, or her summers in Lake San Marcos, she always had a plan on her calendar. But despite her extraordinary will, she could not sustain yet another battle. On August 14, 2013 Barbara peacefully passed into God's waiting arms, surrounded by her three daughters. Born to Henry and Hazel Donahue on June 6, 1934, in Chicago, Illinois, Barbara spent her formative years as the only child of a strict teacher and disciplinarian. At age 16 she graduated high school and enrolled at Wright Junior College. She also began working part time as a secretary at Motorola where she first met her future husband, Carl Pehlke. She declined his advances though as she was set to begin a career with TWA, living in both New York and San Francisco. It was on one of those flights that she again met Carl and finally accepted his invitation for a date. They were married in Riverside, Illinois on November 8, 1957. Initially they resided in Hinsdale, Illinois before locating in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was there that they raised their three daughters, founded a business (Texscan), and met numerous lifelong friends. Though busy with the girls, Barbara was also instrumental in the growth of the business, whether it was entertaining business associates, giving sound advice or supporting Carl. In 1982, they moved with Carl's business to Phoenix, Arizona, and during the ensuing years, their three daughters followed. Following Carl's death in 1987, Barbara continued her yearly trips to Mexico, where she had developed many lasting friendships. One very special group of friends invited her to join them in Lake San Marcos, California, for the summer, and for the next 17 years she continued to spend her summers there enjoying their friendship through travel, playing golf, and eventually playing bridge. Her developing interest in bridge was seeded by her natural instinct to better herself, and led her to accomplish a goal she had set forth to achieve Life Master status. Supported by her wonderful friends, she accomplished this milestone at a tournament in San Francisco in December 2007. She continued to participate in bridge tournaments, helping her friends achieve their goals. At the time of her death, she had the distinction of being a Bronze Life Master. But perhaps Barbara's greatest joy was sharing and encouraging the successes of others. She always was interested in hearing about her friends and their families. And, though never quick with a compliment, she was very proud of her daughters and grandchildren. She was always trying to encourage them to fully challenge and better themselves, and in that regard she led by example, for that is what she expected of herself. Barbara leaves behind her three daughters, Dale Bonadio (Jim), Dana Jones (Tom), and Jo Allison Anderson (Todd), and seven grandchildren, Jordan and Julia Bonadio, Corey (Kristie), Taylor and Hayley Jones, and Ashley and Kelly Anderson. A Celebration of Life will be held will be held from 4 - 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 28 at the home of Dana and Tom Jones (4415 North 62nd Street, Scottsdale, AZ). The family invites all to come and share memories of our loving mother, wife and friend.

Published in The Arizona Republic on Sept. 22, 2013
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