Barbara
Barbara Claire McDonald, "Bobbie" to her friends and family, began her amazing life on September 11, 1931 in Paia, Maui, Hawaii. Raised by her mother, Florence Coleman, she was the middle of five children, Marjorie, Joyce and "the twins", Hugh and Fred. In September of 1949 she boarded the passenger ship, the Lurline, which took her to California to attend college at Pepperdine University in Los Angeles. In her junior year, she met her husband of 56 years, James K. McDonald, on a blind date. They were married a week after her graduation by Jim's father, Rev. Grant McDonald, on June 13, 1953 at the First Brethren Church of Inglewood, California. The couple moved to Torrance in 1957 a few months before their son, Steve, was born. A year later, they welcomed their beloved daughter, Jan, into the world. Barbara spent her life managing the household and raising the children while working as a teacher in the Inglewood and Torrance school districts. She taught Physical Education for four years in Inglewood, later teaching swimming for Inglewood Adult Ed. She was a substitute teacher in Torrance for nearly 15 years then worked with Torrance Adult Ed into the late 1990's. She was well known in the South Bay for the swimming lessons she taught in her backyard pool. Her students included hundreds of local kids and mothers from across the South Bay. Although her health was declining over the last year, she was able to spend much precious time with her husband Jim, her daughter Jan and her grandchildren Kaiana and Kevin and his wife, Megan. Her son, Steve and his friend Cathy Ricards came from Santa Barbara to assist in her care during the last couple of months. She lost her hard fought battle involving complications with osteoporosis and heart problems on August 3, 2009. She passed quietly while sleeping in her Torrance home with her cats, Pepper and Salty. She had just spent the day surrounded by family and many friends. Over her life, Barbara proved a loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She cared deeply for her family who she put before everything else. She had many long and close friendships and was "second mom" to many of her children's' friends. She impressed her coworkers who still count her as a friend. She had a great wit and even better memory and was always the final authority on family history. She was always helping others through her church, especially when it involved children and teens. She attended South Bay Baptist Church in Torrance, then Journey of Faith in Manhattan Beach. She loved puzzles and games. She collected thousands of photos from her travels creating an incredible library full of family history and travelogues. Played guitar and dabbled in painting and drawing. Mostly, she loved all things Hawaiian. She often returned to Maui for visits with family and friends. She decorated her house with the many unique items she brought back from Hawaii. Barbara is survived by her husband, James "Jim" McDonald; her son Steve and daughter Jan. Also, grandson Kevin (and his wife Megan) and granddaughter Kaiana. She also leaves behind her siblings Marjorie Brookman, Joyce Calvert, Hugh "Mack" Coleman and Fred Coleman and her aunt Dorothy known as Sister Stephanie. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 2:00PM at Rice Mortuary, 5310 Torrance Blvd. in Torrance, CA. A reception will be held after the memorial at Rice Mortuary. There will be a graveside service on Monday August 10 at 10:00AM at Green Hills Memorial Park at 27501 S. Western Ave. in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. Barbara was involved in supporting the care of animals through the ASPCA. Donations can be made to the ASPCA in her name. Her other concern was her church missionaries. Donations to Missions can be made in her name through Journey of Faith Christian Church at 1243 Artesia Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266-6970 website: www.journeyoffaith.com Please use this website, www.LAfuneral.com to send the family messages, share memories, or to obtain directions to the services.

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  1. Bobbie has left an awesome legacy – so many students of all kinds and all ages. She has touched all of our lives with her Hawaiian influence and wisecracks. She will be truly missed but never forgotten.

  2. Aloha to all in the McDonald family, I just got back from Oahu and had forgotten my cell phone. So when I went to pick up my messages I heard Jan with the news of Bobbie. I was heartbroken. Then I got on my computer and looked at the beautiful video of her life. God Bless Her Soul. She was a very understanding woman with a big heart. I always loved talking to her. She was my favorite out of all Florences’ children and I will never forget her. I remember her always enjoying a good joke and we shared many on e-mail. She will be greatly missed. I can only thank the Lord that she is no longer in pain and agony. I know it took its toll on her over the years. I hope it helps you heal to know that she is comfortable and with her Grandpa, Grandma, and Mother. With my deepest sympathy, Love Always, Roxie

  3. I worked for Barbara, she had a way of making students feel at ease. We had fun working together, I love the teacher that followed her, but I still missed her. What more can I say, she was a wonderful lady. Nancy

  4. Beautiful Memorial. We will miss Barb and although sadened we will hold close all of the fun memories and remember how she took us in as family. So glad to be a part of your life Jim, Jan & Kaiana. We love you guys. I personally will remember all of my conversations, stories and laughter with Barb. Keeping you in our prayers ox Kristy Enos

  5. When I went into Barbara’s room as I was drawn to her bedside where I found a few separate pieces of paper with words of inspiration she no doubt drew her strength from. The first was a tiny scrap of paper with a Gibran quote in her hand writing….. “Friendship isn’t a gift you hold in your hands but a blessing you carry in your heart.” Then I found this typed 4” x 5” piece of paper. T h e A B C ’ s o f W i s d o m Approach each day with positive thoughts Believe in the goodness of others Create a better world by being a friend Decorate your life with beautiful things Educate yourself through the teaching of others Find friendship through giving of yourself Gain insight into others by being a good listener Hope will keep dreams alive Imagination is the key to success Judge no one but yourself Keep yourself focused on your goals Live life to its fullest Make happiness your primary goal Nothing can stand in your way when you dare to dream Open your eyes to the world around you Persevere when it seems impossible Quality of life comes from doing the things you enjoy Respect the values of others Strive to do your best in all things Take hold of your destiny Unity of mind and soul makes for inner peace Value the little things Welcome input from others eXplore new opportunities at every chance You live your life, others will live theirs Zest for life will help you live at your peak I think Bobbie wanted me to share these inspirational words to live by with you.

  6. I probably have known Bobbie longer than anyone even Jim. We became buddies as freshman at Pepperdine in P.E. classes. We also have lived within a few blocks of each other for the past 59 years. We have been best friends and buddies this entire time.(AWESOME)My family and I will truly miss her—-all the swimming,Hawaii trips etc.and just plain hanging out. My family and I we’re so surprised when this happened, Bobbie was always so active and interested in ours and everybody elses lives. We taught swimming together for over 13 years for Inglewood adult education. Bobbie continued with Adult Ed and I continued with regular PE until I retired. After that we had alot more time to spend together,because our kids we’re all grown and living their own lives. I’ll miss you Bobbie.

  7. I probably have known Bobbie longer than anyone even Jim. We became buddies as freshman at Pepperdine in P.E. classes. We also have lived within a few blocks of each other for the past 59 years. We have been best friends and buddies this entire time.(AWESOME)My family and I will truly miss her—-all the swimming,Hawaii trips etc.and just plain hanging out. My family and I we’re so surprised when this happened, Bobbie was always so active and interested in ours and everybody elses lives. We taught swimming together for over 13 years for Inglewood adult education. Bobbie continued with Adult Ed and I continued with regular PE until I retired. After that we had alot more time to spend together,because our kids we’re all grown and living their own lives. I’ll miss you Bobbie.

  8. Dear McDonald Family, Thank you Jan for asking me to come see your mother the day before she passed away. I will always remember her the way in which she lived her life. I rubbed her arm and said hello, I never said good-bye. I will see you in heaven. Love, Linda Lee

  9. Dear Jim What a beautiful tribute to Barbara. We are so sorry to hear the news, but she is free of pain, with the Lord and in His hands. We have such wonderful memories of her. I think of Barbara as not just jolly, but always full of joy. I think of her as not only a wonderful person who cared for her family, but also for all those she knew. Fond memories emerge as I remember the swimming lessons she gave our children. She was the only swimming teacher they were able to trust, and she understood their fears. How much fun we had camping together! She never forgot my horror at pit toilets. We’ll always remember the laughs and the good times. May God comfort you, Jan, Steve, your grandchildren and rest of the family during this trying time. With our love, Mitch and Naomi

  10. Dear Jim and family, Our hearts are saddened to think of the loss of a good friend. Many fond memories are brought to mind when I think of the swimming class a bunch of South Bay ladies attended. I will always be grateful for the guidance she brought to so many of our young people. She will be missed but we know she is free from pain and with her Lord whom she loved. Mary Ruth and Carl Scholes

  11. I wish the best for your family Bobby. I remember the first time I came over to your house to swim with Kaiana. i was scared because the pool was so deep and I couldn’t swim. You helped me overcome my fear and taught me to swim. But that wasn’t all. You taught me many insightful things about and I’ll be sure to put them into my everyday life. Thank you to my “adopted grandma”… Love Nikki

  12. Mom I miss you very much but I know your in your Maui. I’m so glad that I know your in Heaven. I know your watching over us. Luv ya, Jan

  13. My dear Bobbie, I was asking your email so that we could reminisce about our Kaunoa School days on Maui. The bugling at the daily flag ceremonies. The walnut-shell mice in our desks. The last ones to cut our braids (you cut yours first). Helping me saddle and bridle my filly for the first time. The Haleakala crater trip that Daddy and I took you on with horses, mule, and donkey. You will be remembered in ‘Tales From Makawao’. Aloha oe till we meet again. Hannah Lou

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