Joan Juanita (Kresge) Barrie passed away Friday, November 29th, at Brookdale Assisted Living in Tarzana, CA, where she had been living since 2016.
Joan was born in Philadelphia in 1932 to Evelyn and Harold Kresge, and grew up in nearby Springfield with her four brothers, (a sister arrived after Joan had already married). After she graduated from Springfield High School in 1951, she worked in an office.
One of Joan's best friends at this time was married to a US Marine, and his Marine buddy was a tall, skinny redhead from West Haven, CT, named Bob Barrie, who had just returned to the US from Korea and occupation duty in Japan. Joan and Bob began dating whenever he was stationed on the east coast, and on Joan's 20th birthday she boarded a Lockheed Constellation and flew to San Francisco, where Joan and Bob were married the next day at the Treasure Island Naval Base in San Francisco Bay.
Joan lived the life of a service wife for the next few months as Bob was shifted around the country, between San Diego and Florida, finally ending up back in Philadelphia when Bob was separated from the Marines and their first child, Thom, arrived in the summer of 1953. Bob decided to take advantage of the GI Bill to study at UC Berkeley, so the new family moved back to the Bay Area, where Bob was soon sitting in on lectures by Edward Teller and Joan was working in the brand new field of computers as a keypunch operator. After Joan and Thom became ill with tuberculosis, Bob left school to become a police officer with the San Leandro Police Department and Joan remained at home as a housewife through the early 1960's, when another son Mitch and a daughter Lynn joined the family.
In 1967 the young family relocated to Southern California, to a brand new community amid rolling coastal hills called Laguna Niguel. Joan was soon back at work as a keypunch operator for a local computer firm, and later accepted a job in the accounting department of the newly founded Saddleback Community College. For most of the next 30 years Joan managed Saddleback's accounts payable department. Beginning in the 1970s, the family enjoyed camping in the Mojave Desert and riding motorcycles, which eventually developed into a passion for traveling around the country with camper trailers or RVs, especially following Joan's retirement from Saddleback. Joan and Bob visited almost all the Lower 48 states in their Dolphin motorhome.
Joan also enjoyed traveling internationally. She and Bob visited the German-speaking part of Europe for a ski holiday in the 1980s; and a few years later they visited Mitch, who was living in London, and spent some time driving around France. Joan displayed an independent streak the following year when she stayed with Mitch in London for a couple weeks, setting off boldly by bus and by train to take in the sights while Mitch worked in his office.
By the turn of the century, Southern California was feeling too crowded, and Joan and Bob purchased a dream home in the hills above Grants Pass, OR, where deer passed through their yard every day. In Grants Pass they enjoyed raft rides on the Rogue River and visits by their grandchildren. As they aged and it became difficult to look after the house, they decided to return to Southern California to be near Lynn's family and stay in an assisted living facility. Joan was left alone when Bob passed away in 2015, after over 60 years of marriage together.
Joan is survived by her brother, Donald Kresge of Stroudsburg; her sister, Gail Anders of Kunkletown; two sons, Thom Barrie of Bellingham, WA, Mitch Barrie of Reno, NV; a daughter, Lynn Barrie of Reseda, CA; and four grandchildren.
A visitation will be held on Saturday, December 7 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM from the Kresge Funeral Home, 1763 Route 209, Brodheadsville. Funeral services will follow at 2:00 PM with Rev. David Felker officiating. Burial will follow in McMichaels Cemetery.