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Barbara Ethelyn Dolph Freeman

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Barbara Ethelyn Dolph Freeman Obituary
BARBARA ETHELYN DOLPH FREEMAN Barbara was born in Fresno, Calif., in 1920 to Elmer and Florence Johnson, and passed away peacefully in her sleep Friday, Dec. 28, 2012. She resided in Fresno until she left for college and then on to nursing school at Loma Linda University. Upon completion of her RN degree, Barbara was asked to be head of a pediatric unit, but before taking that position she was sent to the University of Cincinnati and their Children's Hospital to do further training for a year. She came back to Los Angeles, where she supervised the pediatric wing of the White Memorial Hospital for three years. About that time, she met a young dentist, Raymond Wren Dolph, who was establishing a practice in Corona, Calif. She left her career, they married and she loved living in the small town surrounded by citrus and avocado groves. She and Ray had three children and built a beautiful home where the children grew up. During that time Barbara formed a women's auxiliary with over 100 volunteers, fondly called "The Pink Ladies," who still are active today at the Corona Regional Medical Center. After her divorce, she found it necessary to go back to her nursing career, but much had changed in the intervening years. She took classes to get up to speed with new knowledge and worked at the hospital in Corona for over 20 years. In 1987, Barbara met an acquaintance in line at the bank and learned he was widowed. He pursued her avidly and she married Robert L. Freeman. They had six years together and traveled the world, until Bob passed away unexpectedly. At that time, Barbara's oldest daughter, "Wren," encouraged her to move to San Luis Obispo to be closer. It was hard for her to leave the community she had lived in for over 50 years, but was finally persuaded. Barbara moved to San Luis in 2000 and ended up believing it was the best thing to happen to her. She made friends quickly through Newcomers and other walks of life. She became involved in two book clubs, a dining club, movie group, needlework group and others. She had season tickets to PCPA, SLO Little Theatre, the Symphony and was a Founder of the Foundation of the Performing Arts. She worked at Sierra Vista as a volunteer once a week for many years. Not long after her move to the Central Coast, she was introduced to a gentleman at a fundraiser for the Mozart Festival. Stanley Harkins was seated next to her and they became a couple who enjoyed many of the same finer things in life. They had a great few years traveling together and attended the symphony, opera and movies until Stanley's death in 2008. Stanley referred to our mother as "Mumsey," a nickname that stuck. In April 2011, Barbara moved to The Oaks at the Village. As it was throughout her life, she made friends easily and found a whole new social life. She eased into life at The Oaks and once again felt confirmed that she had made the right decision to move. She irreverently called her new place "The Home." In the month she passed, she had celebrated her 92nd birthday. At Christmas, she had had a full week of activities - she had gone out to dinner, to a friend's home for dessert and champagne, had her family join her for dinner at the Oaks and spent Christmas Day surrounded by loving family. As one friend put it, she went out with class, just as she had lived her life. Barbara is survived by her three children Karen Wren Mead of San Luis Obispo, Kristen Rae Dolph-Liger (Herve) of St. Hilarie La Foret, France, and Thomas William Dolph (Linda) of Homeland, Calif. We are the three very fortunate people to have had this amazing woman share her life with us. Her grandchildren doted on their Nana and she loved spending time with them and Turbo, a little Boston Terrier. She also leaves behind four grandchildren Alison Nicole Mead Miguel (Daniel), Christopher Wren Mead (Diana), Delaney Rae Dolph and Travis Wade Dolph; and great-grandson, Ethan Alan Heston; and brother, C. Richard Johnson, MD of Bellevue, Wash. In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to Breast Cancer Research or a . A Celebration of Life is planned for Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013. Please call 544-3063 for details. Reis Family Mortuary 544-7400 San Luis Obispo.
Published in Press-Enterprise on Jan. 9, 2013
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