Barbara (Barb, Barbie) Dee Hawley-Bellinger was born on March 28, 1932 in Emmett, Idaho, to Helen Pass-Bilbrey and Irvin Bilbrey. Barbara was blessed with two sisters. Patricia (Patty) Springsteen-Bellinger and Gail Ann Gosson-Bellinger. Barbara grew up in a farming family living in small town agricultural communities. As a young child living in Idaho she and sister, Patty helped their Grandpa Pass herd cows. Tragically, Barbara’s father Irvin, died very young in a car accident when she was just 7.
Barbara’s mother Helen, remarried Allen “Skin” Bellinger. Allen became Barbara’s beloved stepfather. The family lived in Hermiston during Barbara’s grade school years. She enjoyed playing and exploring outdoors, accompanied by a menagerie of farm animals, dogs and cats. Barbara was fond of telling tales of her daring horseback riding antics and the adventures she and sister, Patty shared with friends.
The family moved to Anselmo, Neb., for Barbara’s high school years, where she graduated “Class of 1946.” She attended two years of college at Carney State receiving a Teaching Certificate. Barbara taught children in all grades in a one-room schoolhouse.
In 1952, the family returned to Oregon. Barbara’s family settled on 20 acres in the upper Hood River Valley in Parkdale, where they enjoyed a majestic view of Mount Hood.
As a young woman Barbara waitressed at the iconic Timberline Lodge and worked at the telephone company in Hood River. She married Ralph “Kelly” Kellenbarger and the young couple moved to Portland, Ore. They had five daughters together, Laura, Jannice, Gina Marie, Kelly Anne and Julia. Barbara was a busy homemaker raising four young daughters. She was a creative woman and a skillful seamstress sewing most of her daughter’s clothes. She also created stuffed animals for her girls. She was a hostess of countless birthday parties and holiday celebrations. Barbara was a marvelous and enthusiastic cook. She canned and preserved much of the family’s food. She took special pride in making her own homemade bread. Barbara’s cinnamon sticky buns were legendary in the neighborhood.
Barbara loved her garden. Every season she planted and nurtured a colorful array of flowers and bushes to adorn her yard. In summer 1970 the family moved to Tualatin. During that time Barbara was hired as a circuit board assembler at Tektronix, an up and coming tech. company in Beaverton. She completed additional courses and received several promotions at Tektronix. Barbara and Ralph divorced during the 1980s. Barbara remarried Lloyd N. Hawley in 1991. When she retired from Textronix Barbara purchased a home and acreage on Miller Road in Parkdale, next door to her parents Al and Helen.
Barbara and Lloyd attended religious services and enjoyed community at the Hood River Church of Christ. On their fertile property Barbara was able to continue enjoying her penchant for gardening. She collected antiques, dolls and figurines. She spent time working in a local antique shop. Barbara cared for a succession of beloved pet cats and strays. She had always been interested in oil painting, and once retired, had a little more time to devote to her art.
She also enjoyed camping and fishing with her family on the East Fork of the Hood River. She and Lloyd purchased a large motorhome, taking trips to the Oregon Coast, as well as a long road trip to Nebraska, where Barbara attended her class reunion.
In the summer of 2014, Barbara fell and fractured her arm and hip. She defied the medical professionals predictions, making a full recovery. However, Barbara was also dealing with memory loss. Her husband, Lloyd, struggled with mobility and vision loss, so the couple reluctantly moved from their Mount Hood acreage into Hawks Ridge Assisted Living in Hood River. Though they missed home, they enjoyed a double mountain view of Adams and Hood from their window at Hawks Ridge. Barbara enjoyed the activities and socialization while living there. She submitted several newly created art pieces for display at the Alzheimer’s Association sponsored “Memories In The Making” art show held yearly in Portland. Barbara proudly attended the show, accompanied by her daughters.
In 2015, Barbara moved into memory care in Eugene, Ore., where two of her daughters live. Initially she continued to enjoy outings, visits from her children, grandchildren and pets. Barbara liked to paint, arrange flowers and listen to music. She took pride in her ability to quickly rattle off her daughter’s first names by their birth order. Barbara had a sweet tooth and enjoyed cookies up until her final days.
Barbara peacefully passed away with Hospice support, surrounded by family. She will be missed by many who walked this journey with her. Barbara’s remains will be in interred alongside her parents Allen and Helen Bellinger, at Hermiston Cemetery, in Hermiston, Ore.
Barbara faced challenges and loss, yet her determination and strong will prevailed. She leaves behind a legacy of a large extended family, creativity, strength and resilience. There are clear threads running through the generations expressed as artistic talents, outdoor nature exploration, gardening and a love of animals.
Donations in Barbara Hawley-Bellinger’s memory may be directed to the non-profit Alzheimer’s Association, “Memories in The Making” art therapy program at www.alz.org, Hood River non-profit Columbia Gorge Cat Rescue (CGCR) at www.gorgecat.org, or the Oregon Humane Society (OHS) at www.oregonhumane.org in Portland.
Barbara Hawley-Bellinger is survived by her two sisters, four adult children, 13 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, one niece and three nephews, and one great-nephew in addition to their spouses and in-laws, and countless pets!
Barbara Hawley-Bellinger was predeceased by: her father and mother Allen and Helen, infant daughter Gina, husband Lloyd and ex-husband Ralph “Kelly”, brother in law Richard “Dick”, nephew Richard “Richey” and niece Gina.
Services are planned for 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2 at the Church of Christ, 1512 Tucker Road, Hood River.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River.
Visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.