Barbara M. Albertoni
Our dear sweet Mom, Barbara M. Albertoni, passed suddenly, yet peacefully, on December 16, 2020 at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital following a very brief illness. She was full of vitality, life and determination every single day of her life, even until the day she got her angel wings.
Barbara was born on a farm in Iowa Falls, Iowa on April 28, 1934 to Andy and Gladys DeWitt, joining an older brother, Chuck. In 1940, Barbara and her family loaded up their car with all of their worldly possessions and made their way to California like so many others did before them. They were fortunate to have relatives in Los Angeles and spent time with them until Andy was able to secure a job as a ranch foreman in Greenfield California. After driving back to Los Angeles to pick up the family, they settled in Greenfield, moving between Soledad and Greenfield from time to time.
In 1952, Barbara married her best friend Oliver and they joined his family in the dairy business. Regardless of the fact that their high schools were fierce rivals, Barbara and Oliver were a great team in the dairy industry and in life for 36 years before Oliver's passing in 1988. Even as she raised four children, she acted as cook for the hired men and bookkeeper for the ranch. Additionally, she was a dedicated 4-H leader, high school chaperone, the best PTA Mom ever, and active in the local Catholic church. As a superb quilter and knitter, she loved to share her handmade items with everyone as gifts of love and friendship.
Ready for another life adventure, Barbara decided that after 63 years it was time to downsize from the family ranch home in South Monterey County and move to Solvang. She looked forward to a life of less work and more time to explore the things she was interested in. As a resident of the Valley for six years, she did just that by finding her new forever home in Rancho Santa Ynez Estates. She loved the Valley and all of its beautiful nature, the shape of the hills, the tree lined streets, her neighbors and all the friends she made at the Solvang Senior Center where she volunteered regularly.
Barbara was preceded in death by her husband, her parents Andy & Gladys DeWitt and her brother Charles (Chuck). She is survived by her four children: Nancy (Pat) Wirz of Hollister, CA., Jan Clevenger of Solvang, Joseph Albertoni of Waipahu, HI and Ellen Albertoni of Solvang. She is also survived by seven grandchildren: Donald (Alison) Wirz, Sarah (Sean) Fruit, Heidi Wirz and Esther Wirz; Brian (Tabatha) Jenkins and Brett (Ashley) Jenkins and Drew Barker. Additionally, she is survived by thirteen great-grandchildren, her brother-in-law Clem (Phylis) Albertoni, sister-in-law Emily DeWitt, several nieces and nephews and extremely special friends.
Once we are able to join together, the family will hold a small celebration of life and intern her ashes next to her husband in Soledad, CA. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to the Solvang Senior Center's Building Fund (1745 Mission Dr. Solvang, CA 93463) or Atterdag Village (636 Atterdag, Solvang CA 93463).
The family would like to extend their deepest gratitude to all of the wonderful folks at Atterdag Village, Dr. Gus Dascanio and the wonderful doctors and nurses at both Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Barbara Cottage Hospitals. Additionally, we would like to thank Fr. Bobby Barbato of Mission Santa Ines who helped fulfill Mom's final wishes and the Loper Family for their wonderful caring service.
Prominently displayed in Mom's kitchen was her favorite saying which she had cross stitched and framed. It was a reminder of what she strived for at the end of each day: "I done my best".
Published in The Salinas Californian from Dec. 24 to Dec. 30, 2020.