Barbara Tyler Brooks Keathley, a longtime resident of Downey, passed away in Eugene, Oregon, early in the morning of Sunday, August 8, 2010, after a successful surgical procedure, followed by pneumonia and heart failure.The younger of two daughters, Barbara was born and raised in Los Angeles. She and her first husband, Earle Keathley (1929-2006) moved to Downey in 1960, where she subordinated her early career aspirations to raising her three children, Margaret, Elizabeth, and Anand (né Earle). Her interests in history, politics, and literature sparked the intellectual pursuits of her children, and she later returned to school to earn a BA in English at Long Beach State University. Both Barbara and her sister, Bernice Irene Biby (1920-2004) worked at the Los Angeles County Office of Education in Downey. As the receptionist, Barbara was admired for her professionalism and beautiful flower arrangements, and she received the office's first Outstanding Classified Employee Award in 1983. She retired from LACOE in 1998. Barbara had a quick wit, a creative mind, and fine artistic sensibilities. She could draw well, and the costumes she sewed for her children's Halloween festivities were legendary for their imaginative details. Barbara and her spouse, Gary McClure, collaboratively developed a home business designing and producing fresh and dried floral arrangements for craft fairs, weddings, and other events. Barbara and Gary moved to Eugene in 2002 to be with Anand, his spouse Star, and their son Ambrose. Barbara loved Oregon's farms, gardens, and countryside. She was particularly fond of looking at birds in local parks and visiting nearby farms to buy produce or converse with the animals. On December 17, 2010, her family memorialized Barbara and scattered her ashes in the Willamette River, as she had requested. In addition to her spouse and children, Barbara leaves behind her nieces Joyce and Janice Biby and Judith Flicker; nephews Russell and James Biby; granddaughters Helena Studer and Diana Perry; great-granddaughter Delilah Perry; and grand-nieces and -nephews Michele Eusebi, Christopher Flicker, Geoffrey Biby, and Alicia Biby. All are terribly sad with her passing, but also grateful to have enjoyed Barbara's lively presence, wicked sense of humor, and tremendous love.
********** Published: January 27, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 41