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Claremont Courier - A Local Nonprofit Newsroom

Arlene Barber

Loving wife and mother, community volunteer

Arlene Barber, a longtime Claremont resident, died on Wednesday, January 21, 2015. She was 89.

She was born Gladys Arlene Richter on September 29, 1925 in Kansas City, Missouri to Edward and Malissa Richter. Her family moved from town to town during the Depression years, finally settling in San Antonio, Texas. It was here that she graduated from Brackenridge High School and made some of her lifelong friends.

Arlene met Eugene Barber of Charlevoix, Michigan in 1951 while he was stationed in San Antonio with the US Air Force. They were married a year later and spent many years traveling and living in Europe during Gene’s 21-year military career. Settling back in San Antonio and then moving to California where they made their home in Claremont, the couple raised two children.

Mrs. Barber was a devoted wife and mother, known for her generous spirit and instinct for kindness and compassion. She was a longtime Claremont volunteer, first at Claremont Heritage and then at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.

A true student of life, she was an avid reader and would routinely consume an entire book in one sitting. Some of her favorite and deeper studies involved Shakespeare, religion and metaphysics, Reiki, ancient Egypt, Abraham Lincoln, American and world history and baseball. Her adventurous spirit took her to many classes including belly dance, Aikido, silk painting and Greek mythology, and to many baseball games.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Cole Bodge, her son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Tiny Barber, and her grandson Matthew. She also leaves her brother-in-law Bud and his wife Susan and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial mass will be held on Saturday, October 3 at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Assumption, located at 435 N. Berkeley Ave. in Claremont. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to a charity of your choice.

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