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Barbara Bickmore, author and teacher, died in Anacortes, Washington Feb. 23 at age 87.

She is survived by two daughters: Dr. Debra Clapp of Anacortes, Washington and Lisa Clapp, a teacher at the Jobs Corps in Astoria, Oregon.

Barbara taught high school English in New York for nearly 20 years. She moved from New York to Oregon in 1973, eventually making dear friends she kept for decades and who helped save her life during a difficult time. In 1985 she turned to writing, which she had wanted to do all her life. Of writing, she said, "It's not nearly as rewarding as a good day of teaching." Even so, Barbara spent 7 of her happiest, most magical years in Mexico, during which time she wrote most of her books.

Under the influence of sun, warmth, jacaranda trees, and a special collection of people, Barbara authored six of her nine best selling novels, published in 23 countries, in 16 languages. If her books had any common theme, many of them being based on historical instances, it was that she took an average woman and threw slings and arrows at her, forcing her to rise to heroic heights. Barbara wrote her first two novels, East of the Sun and The Moon Below, as well as her final one, Stairway to the Stars, while living in Eugene, Oregon. She loved the human story and gave generously of her interest, support, and love to her family, students, and friends throughout the entirety of her life.
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